Found March 01, 2013 on Boston Sports Then & Now:
The Boston Celtics will need strong interior play from Brandon Bass. It’s the end of the world for the Boston Celtics. They failed to sell off their aging core that includes franchise cornerstone Paul Pierce. Would the Celtics be better off trading Pierce and Kevin Garnett for thirty cents of a dollar? If the Celtics moved Pierce or Garnett for a player like Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, they would be in a worse position than they find themselves now. Smith brings the same attributes as Rajon Rondo at a different position. The one key difference is Rondo has improved his shot while Smith hasn’t. Defenses can sag off Smith and force him to take long jump shots. Also, Smith has dealt with maturity issues on the court. He was suspended for one game in January by his team because of an incident in practice. The Hawks had lost six of seven games at the time and they could not afford their best player to cause trouble.  Smith would want a max contract after this season since he is an impending free agent and he is not worthy of that type of money. During the recent road trip, the Celtics went 2-3. The most disappointing loss was against the Portland Trail Blazers, yet the Celtics redeemed themselves with a 110-107 overtime victory over the Jazz in Utah on the following night. The biggest problem with the Celtics is the inconsistency from the role players and the injuries to Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and Leandro Barbosa. Brandon Bass has been inconsistent for most of the season and he is below average in rebounding. Jason Terry has been good in spurts, but he doesn’t shoot the ball as well on the road as he does at home. This team has relied on Pierce and Garnett. Pierce and Garnett were able to deliver for the Celtics in overtime against the Jazz, but they cannot do it every night because the team is limiting the minutes of Pierce and Garnett in order to keep them healthy and fresh for the postseason. The Celtics’ defense has faltered, especially late in games. The Celtics have allowed shooters to roam the perimeter. Wesley Matthews of the Trail Blazers hit a dagger 3-pointer that clinched the victory on Sunday night. In the second half of the win over the Jazz, the Celtics were able to deny entry passes into the post, but Gordon Hayward exploded for 26 points and he was drilling open outside shots in the first half. Smith, DeAndre Jordan, and Eric Bledsoe would not be the remedy to the Celtics’ issues. The Los Angeles Clippers don’t play Jordan in the final minutes because his free throw shooting is horrendous and he’s not good enough defensively to overcome his shooting troubles from the line. The Celtics would be forced to go small with Smith and Green as their big men. They would not be able to match up with the Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Chicago Bulls inside with Smith and Green going against the likes of Roy Hibbert, David West, Brook Lopez, etc. At least the current crop of Celtics has a chance to compete in the Eastern Conference if they can avoid the Miami Heat in the first two rounds. With the experience of Garnet, Pierce, and Doc Rivers, the Celtics have an opportunity to climb in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics will need to improve their play on the road and get more consistent play from their bench in the second half of the season. The sky is not falling on the Celtics because there were very few significant trades made at this trade deadline and the Celtics will most likely make the playoffs with a short-handed roster.
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