Bulpett: Disappointed Celtics realize there's so much more to build

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Bulpett: Disappointed Celtics realize there's so much more to build

Post by 112288 on Fri May 26, 2017 9:23 am


Bulpett: Disappointed Celtics realize there's so much more to build

BOSTON HERALD

Steve Bulpett

The Celtics’ slogan for these playoffs was actually pretty clever.

“It’s not luck.”

And no doubt that was just fine for those in the organization who wear sneakers for a living. Fine in the first two rounds of this postseason, anyway.

When it came to these Eastern Conference finals, getting past the Cavaliers would have required good fortune on the grandest scale. Winning Powerball lucky. Getting four first-round draft picks from the Nets lucky. Finding a parking space on Newbury Street lucky.

Oh, the Celtics stayed the course and made the big plays down the stretch to come back from 21 down and win Game 3, and they made Cleveland sweat some in Game 4. But when the Cavaliers were engaged, as they were in last evening’s 135-102 series clincher, the Celts were no match.

“We still obviously have to keep growing as a group, getting better,” said Al Horford. “We obviously see the team to get past is Cleveland, and right now we’re not there. We’re not where we need to be.”

Maybe only Golden State is. And while those around the Celtics were saying these last few days that, hey, there are just three teams left playing and they’re one of them, the C’s are most definitely not one of the three best teams in the NBA.

Cleveland won three more games than they did in this nine-day span, yet they scored 100 points on the nose more.

At some point in the series, maybe when the Cavs were leading by 28 points in Game 1 — or 50 in Game 2 or 21 in the first quarter last night — one half expected Brad Stevens to call a timeout and go all Norman Dale “Hoosiers” on his lads.

“Maybe they were right about us. Maybe we don’t belong here.”

If we’re being intellectually honest, there is no maybe. These two teams shared the same stage in the last week, but they are on different planets.

The Cavaliers are built to defend the NBA championship they won last season. The Celtics are built to build some more.

Danny Ainge essentially told everyone that when he avoided making a deal at the trade deadline that could have made his club marginally better now but might also have hindered its chances to the kind of larger moves that he’ll be looking for in the offseason that begin officially late last night.

In light of that need for roster enhancement, this could have been the last parquet party for a fair number of those in uniform. And while it’s a lock that Greenhearts will offer their affection quickly to the next edition, it’s worth noting that even the jaded local sports fans who have seen more parades than presidential elections this century managed to find a lot to like in a club they knew wasn’t ready to stitch a banner.

And though the players know what’s coming and those who leave will still make more money than us at their next place of employment, the parting won’t be easy.

“It’s difficult every year whenever you don’t have guys back,” said Stevens. “I think you share a bond. I think we had our first practice eight months ago tomorrow. We’ve been together pretty much for eight straight months. There’s a lot of bond that’s created with that, especially on a team that has some success. I appreciated everybody’s accountability. I appreciated everybody’s approach. I thought those things were huge in helping us all achieve together.

“So when you have a team like that, you’re going to miss the guys that aren’t back, whoever that may be. And those are great things and lessons for the guys that are to take forward with them.”

Avery Bradley knows what’s bound to happen.

“I mean, it’s out of our control as players,” he said. “The organization is going to do whatever is best for the Celtics, which I totally respect, and I know my teammates do, as well.

“But we can’t worry about that. We had a great year together. If guys are here, if guys aren’t, we all wish the best for each other. But I do feel like this is a special group. We all gave our heart every single night, played as hard as we could. I respect all my teammates, and I really appreciated playing with all the guys I had a chance to play with this year. A special group.”

But Ainge will have to break this roster and reset it if he ever hopes to make it strong enough to deal with any team bearing LeBron James.

And while the Celts recognize that reality, they were still fighting after the last, merciful buzzer of the series.

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Re: Bulpett: Disappointed Celtics realize there's so much more to build

Post by gyso on Fri May 26, 2017 2:46 pm

Color me disappointed that Bulpett wrote this article without making reference to:

1. Isaiah's injury.
2. No one actually believed we were going to beat the Cavs.

Sure, the Celtics are going to make some changes.  It is my option that it is a false narrative to state that there is going to be any kind of major "reset" going forward.

IMO, Bulpett can be lumped in with many of those reporters over at Comcast. Rolling Eyes

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