The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

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The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by bobheckler on Sat May 20, 2017 8:41 pm

The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.


They’ll have their superteam soon



And just in time for LeBron James to finally retire.



By Zito Madu on May 20, 2017 10:18 am



Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images



Well, that wasn’t pretty at all.

The Cavaliers beat the Celtics by 44 points — the largest margin of defeat ever for a No. 1 seed in the playoffs. A game that Isaiah Thomas promised would be different was ultimately more of the same. Cleveland is a much better team than Boston, and LeBron James remains head and shoulders the best player on the planet. It doesn’t matter if you fear him or only see him as a regular guy. You’re just deciding if you prefer delusion or despair.

To the Celtics fans, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s ... not your fault.

They can take consolation in knowing that this year is superfluous to the overall timeline. The Celtics being the No. 1 seed is great and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals is even better. But it is an extra achievement en route to the bigger prize. The inevitable series loss and embarrassment to Cleveland will sting, but it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of the Celtics’ plans. They’re not banking on the Isaiah Thomas/Al Horford era, but what will come after it.


Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images


All things, even the reign of LeBron James, must come to an end. It seems hard to imagine that now, with James getting better when all ordinary people fade, but he is not eternal. He will wane and subsequently retire. Maybe even before that, his superteam could disperse. The chance for a new beast to rise in the East will present itself.


It’s foolish to pretend otherwise and attempt to topple James at his best. That endeavor is a waste of resources.

For some teams, like the Raptors, the choice was out of their hands. Kyle Lowry is in his 30s and his free agency was approaching. DeMar DeRozan is in his late 20s and the rest of the team is in the same age bracket. They had no choice but to expend their resources on a fruitless effort, because their championship window was small. To be more accurate: The open window was a hallucination, and they could do nothing but attempt the improbable. It ended as expected.

The Celtics don’t have that problem. These last few seasons have been more about showcasing the talents of Brad Stevens and restoring the reputation of the team more than anything else. This is still ultimately a rebuilding year, and you can look to the Brooklyn Nets for that.

Thanks to Brooklyn’s foolishness, the Celtics had the No. 3 pick in the draft last year, the No. 1 pick in the draft this year, enough cap space to sign Horford last year and chase a free agent star this summer, and the Nets’ unprotected No. 1 pick in 2018. They have the ability to wait out this Cavaliers and Warriors mega-battle and then swoop in later to establish themselves as that era ends.

That’s why there was no need to make a big trade for Jimmy Butler or Paul George this season. A loss to the Cavaliers was still the most likely scenario. Beyond adding a maximum contract for at least three years, which would have made it harder to retain the current crop of players, the margin of loss would have only been closer. There are no awards for failing better than everyone else.


It’s true that assets, picks, and potential stars to acquire in a trade are not on the court yet. Markelle Fultz, Gordon Hayward, George, and Jimmy Butler are all enticing names, but each comes with his own difficulties.

Fultz could fail to adapt and develop in the NBA. George seems destined for LA. Butler doesn’t look as sensible an option as Hayward when Hayward could be gained without giving up anything. Hayward, of course, could very well stay with the Jazz. Another superteam could pop out of nowhere — hello, Bucks! There’s also a danger to holding onto assets for too long.

Nearing the end of the road for this Celtics team

But if the worst should all happen, the Celtics are still in a better position than most other East teams. If they remain the same team that they are now in a few years, with Thomas and Horford aging gracefully, they would be one of the best teams in the league. If they do succeed in their plans, they could have a core of Fultz, Hayward, a mature Jaylen Brown, and whomever the 2018 pick is.

That’s even deadlier.

Let LeBron James have his dominion now. There’s not much that can be done about a force of nature like him. Rather than trying to drive through the hurricane, the sensible thing is to find a safe place and wait it out. The immediate loss of the time spent standing by is nothing compared to surviving it and thriving afterward.

The Celtics are in good shape now, but their plan is to be in their ideal state when the LeBron era is over. Because even though it doesn’t seem like it now, the clouds will eventually go away
.






bob


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Re: The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Sat May 20, 2017 8:54 pm

Kin the meantime, we wait. ......I don't know, I am not good at that!
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Re: The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by swedeinestonia on Sat May 20, 2017 9:13 pm

I just realized now how the decision to join the Heat in 2010 wasnt that much of an asshole move by LeBron. He left a team that had tried but wasnt gonna win, they were good though but not good enough (with him on the team). When he left they had nothing and the next year they were terrible which landed them Kyrie Irving + Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters in 2012 (Which ended up being shumpert+jr smith), and Wiggins in 2014 (which ended up being Love).

In retrospect it probably was a fairly planned move both from LeBron and Cavs side, I will go win some rings in Miami with those guys and then I come back when roster is restacked, win-win kinda.
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Re: The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by fierce on Sat May 20, 2017 9:15 pm

swedeinestonia wrote:I just realized now how the decision to join the Heat in 2010 wasnt that much of an asshole move by LeBron. He left a team that had tried but wasnt gonna win, they were good though but not good enough (with him on the team). When he left they had nothing and the next year they were terrible which landed them Kyrie Irving + Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters in 2012 (Which ended up being shumpert+jr smith), and Wiggins in 2014 (which ended up being Love).

In retrospect it probably was a fairly planned move both from LeBron and Cavs side, I will go win some rings in Miami with those guys and then I come back when roster is restacked, win-win kinda.

Moving to Miami wasn't an asshole move.
It's how he executed the move that made him an asshole.

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Re: The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by kdp59 on Sun May 21, 2017 8:18 am

nice article, it spells out exactly where we are now.

I believed the fools gold of trading for Butler to put us on the elite level. But we are not ready, LeBron is not ready, I should say. He will be , maybe sooner than many expect.

how we've played againts Cleveland the past 3 games (including that last game at home) has shown me just how far away we are.

we don't need one more player in his prime or like Horford past it. Keep the picks, upgrade the talent with YOUNG players who IF they become stars we can sign to the big $$. Keep salary flexibility ( no more max players) for when LeBron starts to slip. That's when Danny needs to pounce.

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Re: The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Sun May 21, 2017 9:51 am

i wonder, when LeBron finally does slip, will Kyrie already be there? and Love? They alone are not enough to win it, so it just depends on LeBron and when his body finally starts betraying him. He is great, don't get me wrong, but for how long?? Only God knows the answer to that

So, what you are saying is to stay that arms throw away until he fails, then pounce on the chance. I don't know if I can wait that long. We need to keep moving forward, not stagnant. I love youth, they are exciting players, but a couple of good vets helps to stabilize the team and help them on this journey
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Re: The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by gyso on Sun May 21, 2017 10:20 am

Rosalie,

I agree that to just go the youth way isn't the best path. While I do not want to trade away any of our assets, bringing in Gordon Hayward as a free agent works for me.

Build on what we have and continue to improve. The time to go all in is still down the road a piece, IMO.

gyso

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Re: The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by bobheckler on Sun May 21, 2017 11:10 am

If we are 3-4 years away from being able to snatch the gold ring away from LeBron then why not sign free agents like Hayward, who will help us get to the EC Finals again and hopefully again and again, while our young'uns grow up and gain playoff experience in the process?

It will take Fultz, or any of the others, that many years for the game to slow down for them.  We pulled the trigger too fast on Chauncey Billups and Joe Johnson.  There were a lot of people screaming for AB's head after his first year.  Young'uns need time and that is even more true now that many, if not most, of them are one-and-doners.  Jaylen Brown is two years out of High School.  Fultz and the rest are one year out of High School.  IF that is "NBA talent" then the quality of the product in the NBA has become seriously diluted.

If we are keeping this pick, and maybe even the Nets' 2018 pick, then we are adding 3-4 years onto the rebuild.  Maybe that's ok, maybe that's what we have to do.  Maybe we have to wait like a couple of vultures on a tree and wait for LeBron to die before we get to eat but we should understand that and accept mediocre results for the next 3-4 years as we wait for them to mature (and for LeBron to decide to allow us win. Let that taste linger in your mouth a little while).


bob


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Re: The Celtics’ embarrassing loss doesn’t matter.

Post by gyso on Sun May 21, 2017 11:51 am

We don't so much have to wait for LeBron to whither and die off, we just need to continue to improve each year, be patient and eventually push him out of the tree.

cheers

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