The Celtics Need to Make a Move
Boston, MA - The Boston Celtics outscored the Memphis Grizzlies by seventeen in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, which was enough to bolster Boston to a 112-103 come from behind victory that was led by Kyrie Irving, who netted twenty-six points and dished thirteen assists in the double double, and Al Horford, who added eighteen points. They followed this up with a 120-111 New Year’s Eve loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
I’m not the kind of Boston sportswriter who likes to hate on the teams for fun or for the narrative or for whatever so I’m more than happy to acknowledge the quality of play from Boston and the smart decision from head coach Brad Stevens to rely on Irving, Horford, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris, and Marcus Smart in the stretch run of the game on Saturday, moving away from the younger play from Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier. The recipe worked as Boston won. But if they want to win when it really, truly counts, they cannot just exclude Tatum. Something has to give. And while I’m more than happy to enjoy the Celtics’ success when it comes, I don’t think it’s a mistake to say that something needs to change.
The Celtics are a respectable 21-14, but this is nowhere near where anyone thought they would be at this point of the season. And now, no one except Celtics fans expect any sort of legitimate post-season run from Boston.
Personally, I still have faith in Stevens and the core group of talent in Boston. After all, Irving has been putting on an absolute clinic lately. With the Golden State Warriors constantly looming, I don’t think any team can win a championship without a true basketball superstar on the roster. Fortunately, Boston has that in Kyrie. They just need a more consistent supporting cast.
That’s when the eyeballs turn to Rozier and Brown. Tatum has too much potential to move on from this early and Hayward’s potential is already apparent as one of the best in the league. But it’s safe to say that the 2017-18 campaign was the ceiling for Rozier and Brown. And if Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans is off the table, it would be wise for Boston to evaluate the interest the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic have in Rozier and Brown.