The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

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The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by bobheckler on Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:54 am

http://www.foxsports.com/nba/story/boston-celtics-cleveland-cavaliers-nba-title-contenders-playoffs-preview-040517



The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances



Andrew Lynch  @andrewlynch  



Apr 5, 2017 at 8:54a ET



The Cleveland Cavaliers are vulnerable, despite what a 20-point win over the likes of the Orlando Magic otherwise indicates.

We all know the flaws in this supposed superteam headed into the postseason. No second-half beatdown of a lottery team is going to change that, cathartic though it might be.

The only catch: There’s no team in the Eastern Conference in position to take advantage of the Cavs’ struggles.



Were this a different universe, that team would be the Boston Celtics — a team just good enough to push Cleveland to the brink without getting the job done in its current iteration and a team the Cavs face Wednesday night. Unfortunately for Boston, Danny Ainge ruined the Celtics’ title chances when he refused to package Boston’s assets for Paul George at the trade deadline.

Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images
You can understand why Ainge hesitated. He had the choice between setting Boston up with a long window of title contention or trying to go up against LeBron James with The King still in his prime.

In a vacuum, that’s no choice at all. You stockpile players and picks, then you wait.

Of course, we don’t live in a vacuum.

The writing was on the wall that the Cavs could have problems way back in February. Ainge and the Celtics knew this was a possibility. Rather than try to scoop a massive pot at the trade deadline, though, Ainge folded. He was happy to count the chips he already had.


They’re great chips, sure. Marcus Smart is a potential star in the making, Jae Crowder is one of the best two-way players in the game, and the future Nets picks have quite a bit of value. I realized the error of my previous ways, Celtics fans.

But Ainge didn’t need to give up every asset he has to pry George from the Pacers. A player or two and a Brooklyn pick could have gotten the job done, especially with PG-13 none too pleased with his franchise. Better for Larry Bird to trade George for a few future pieces than lose him for nothing next offseason.

Instead of going out and getting a superstar, Ainge played the long game — and played himself.


There was the chance George would choose not to remain in Boston beyond next season, sure, a risk that reportedly caused many teams to reconsider trading for the Pacers star. It’s hard to imagine such concerns were valid for the Celtics.

The opportunity to win a title doesn’t come around very often, for a player or a team, and George wants to win more than anything. He likely would have stayed, given that the other option is rolling the dice with the young Lakers.

For Boston, trying to build a dynasty from the ground up is overrated. We saw how quickly that can fall apart with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kevin Durant were primed to rule the Western Conference for years … until they weren’t.

As good as the Celtics’ assets are, they aren’t in the same league as that All-Star trio. Expecting things to work out any differently in Boston is optimistic at best, but a Celtics team with Paul George is a title contender, through and through.


He would have given Boston a star-level secondary playmaker alongside Isaiah Thomas — a guy who can create his own shot, knock down wide-open looks or make plays for others. As one of the best two-way players in the Association, the Pacers forward would have fit right in with Brad Stevens’ defensive scheme. George also would have shored up the Celtics’ sometimes shaky rebounding, one of their biggest weaknesses in a potential playoff series against the Cavs.

And there are those Cavaliers. LeBron’s team came away with that aforementioned 20-point win against the Magic on Tuesday night, yet it looked out of sorts for the first half. A three-game win streak can’t cover up all of the flaws in Cleveland. The Cavs are waiting to shock the world by coming up short in the postseason, if only someone would do them the honor of knocking them off.

George would have made the Celtics that team. Now, Ainge has to be kicking himself for not making the deal.

If he’s not, then Boston has far bigger problems than not trading for Paul George.



bob
MY NOTE:  Andrew Lynch is the guy who wrote an article back in February about how Danny's assets are overrated.  So, this article is just him hammering that same nail, even as the Celtics are tied for #1 in the EC.  We could be a title contender?  If we win tonight vs Cleveland, we are in good shape to end up with home court advantage all the way through the EC playoffs and we are 28-10 at home this season.  How does that not position us well to be a title contender?

Here's the link to his article running down our assets.  

http://www.foxsports.com/nba/gallery/boston-celtics-nba-trade-deadline-jimmy-butler-demarcus-cousins-carmelo-anthony-draft-pick-020817



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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by BaronV on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:55 pm

It amazes me that a 'professional' analyst can write this kind of junk. So many flaws with his thinking...

1) Have we seen confirmation that George was actually even available? Just because a bunch of sportswriters all write about a potential trade doesn't mean the team actually wants to trade the player.

2) If George was on the table, what was Bird asking for him? The writer states that he could have been had for one of the Brooklyn picks and a couple of players. That might have been a good deal if the players were Zeller and Young. Not so much if the players were Smart, Bradley, Crowder, or Brown.

3) It makes sense to make a move like this when your team has an aging star, or significant players are poised to leave in free agency at the end of the year. The Celtics have neither. Instead, they have a core of young players and several consecutive high picks coming. They are poised to build a long-term winner. You don't blow that up to have the privilege of losing to the Warriors in the Finals, and then lose George next year in free agency. This is a George Steinbrenner type of move... trade all the youth for a proven star you'll control for a year or two, maybe win now, and then stink for a while. That makes no sense when you're positioned to be a perennial contender.


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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by kdp59 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:00 pm

one thing for sure, tonight is going to be a playoff type game.

after it's over we'll know just how close this team is to being able to challenge the Cav's.
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by sinus007 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:45 pm

Hi,
Reading through the article I was looking for an explanation of how beating Cavs (tonight and possibly in playoffs) will make Celtics capable of beating GSW or SAS. I didn't find it. What gives.
The only thing this article proves, IMO, that common sense is very uncommon.

AK
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by jrleftfoot on Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:00 pm

Balancing immediate gratification vs. the possibility of a long run of excellence is one of the hardest things to do in running a sports franchise. Gutting a young talented team to obtain a star player seldom works out. The player better be Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. I`m with you guys. This guy is engaging in speculation with no foundation in fact. I`m told by close associates that I am perfectly capable of doing that all by myself.
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by beat on Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:41 pm

Perhaps he is blind. He sure can't see. So we were supposed to sell of the herd for 1 star then have not much left to put around him? The price for these guys was too much imho.
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by worcester on Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:43 pm

What a jerk. He deserves no more consideration than any other ill-informed, pompous, self-important rube at a bar.

Meanwhile Danny, Brad, and the gang have a lot to be proud of. Fingers crossed for two wins tonight. One by Boston and one by the Spurs.
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by sinus007 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:57 pm

worcester wrote: What a jerk. He deserves no more consideration than any other ill-informed, pompous, self-important rube at a bar.

Meanwhile Danny, Brad, and the gang have a lot to be proud of. Fingers crossed for two wins tonight. One by Boston and one by the Spurs.

Worcester,
You meant "...fingers crossed for LAL and PHX to win...", didn't you?

AK
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by worcester on Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:35 pm

OMG, that's why I'm not a GM. Yes, I want LAL and PHX to win. Slim chance, unless Pop rests all his starters.
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by gyso on Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:46 pm

worcester wrote:OMG, that's why I'm not a GM. Yes, I want LAL and PHX to win. Slim chance, unless Pop rests all his starters.

What if LAL and PHX both play the Spurs at the same time? Maybe then they will win.


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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by dboss on Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:42 pm

Danny is not in the business of building some other team.  He is in the business of building the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are not concerned with becoming contenders.  They are in this game to win championships.

The guy is a moron.  To suggest that it is worth the risk of losing George to free agency clearly indicates that Lynch does not have a clue about how things work with franchise.  He probably doesn't know that Danny secured a commitment from KG before making the big block buster trade in 07.  And he probably does not understand that adding George and subtracting a core player or 2 does not win us a championship.

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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by NYCelt on Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:21 pm

So Paul George, even if he was available, and by all reliable accounts he wasn't, would have made us a true title contender?  And giving up what it would take would have been wise?

I had an old friend who would have said 'I'd take the time to read this, but I'm too busy flossing my teeth.'
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by kdp59 on Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:40 am

after last nights wake up call....perhaps the writers has a point to make.

No matter if green wearing goggle fans can't see it.

this team is a LONG way off from being considered anything more than playoff fodder for REAL contenders. and we can all see it today.
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by NYCelt on Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:47 am

kdp59 wrote:after last nights wake up call....perhaps the writers has a point to make.

No matter if green wearing goggle fans can't see it.

this team is a LONG way off from being considered anything more than playoff fodder for REAL contenders. and we can all see it today.

kdp,

I agree with you that there's still work to do, but I do think the writer missed the mark.  George alone won't do it, and weakening our lineup, by swapping what should be strong bench players and/or a high draft pick, won't help.  There's also the tiny little fact that George wasn't going anywhere.

Back to your point about not yet being real contenders; you're right.  I won't even say 'in my opinion,' because you're simply correct.  We still need three key pieces; 1. a volume scorer who can rack it up shooting from beyond the arc, 2. a rebounding, defensively capable forward, and 3. an upgrade to the bench. In my opinion (this time), I think the bench is quickly emerging as the most critically lacking.  Especially when you consider that's where a second offensive weapon might best rotate in from.  Someone has to find the hoop when IT is off the floor.

I do believe we're getting there.  I'd even say we're ahead of the expected pace.  That's one of the reasons I'm so big on retaining and using that Nets pick this year.  The chance to get a top shelf prospect to develop and play long-term may never be better.  Ainge trades this one, and comes back with anyone less than Steph Curry v2.0, I personally start the fire Danny campaign.

But yes, you're right about what I think may have been the writers intended point.  His words just got in the way.

Regards
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:22 pm

What a jerk. So, just say they traded for George, imagine what Bird wanted in return? Then George decides to move on to Los Angeles to his boyhood dream team? What would the next article read, "DANNY AINGE BLEW IT AND LET BIRD WALK AWAY WITH HALF HIS TEAM AND THE BIG PICK". Danny Ainge was too smart for this.

Writers like this should be fired. what a waste of time.
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by jrleftfoot on Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:00 pm

gyso wrote:
worcester wrote:OMG, that's why I'm not a GM. Yes, I want LAL and PHX to win. Slim chance, unless Pop rests all his starters.

What if LAL and PHX both play the Spurs at the same time?  Maybe then they will win.


10 on 5 maybe
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by gyso on Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:03 pm

jrleftfoot wrote:
gyso wrote:
worcester wrote:OMG, that's why I'm not a GM. Yes, I want LAL and PHX to win. Slim chance, unless Pop rests all his starters.

What if LAL and PHX both play the Spurs at the same time?  Maybe then they will win.


10 on 5 maybe

That's what I meant.

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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

Post by jrleftfoot on Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:06 am

thought so, gyso
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Re: The Boston Celtics should be title contenders, but Danny Ainge blew their chances

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