If you are a Boston Celtics fan you have understandably experienced March Madness. Like the March climate in Boston, the Celts came in roaring like a lion beating The Los Angeles Lakers and The Toronto Raptors handily. They then dropped 6 of the next 8 games and at times I wondered, and others agreed, is it time to throw in the towel and throw out the Coach with the bath water?
Hoosier Next Coach?
When Celtic’s Coach Brad Stevens’ name was rumored to be in the mix for the men’s basketball Head Coach position at Ohio State after Archie Miller was fired, Stevens went on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and shot down the rumors. He flat out said he was not going anywhere.
The team celebrated by losing the next three games in a row. When sports radio wasn’t bashing Stevens they were going after GM Danny Ainge and the possibility that he might sit tight at the Trade Deadline. Some even suggesting that Danny himself should be double-dribbled and bounced out of town.
Meanwhile Tristan Thompson goes AWOL due to Covid protocol and other undefined health issues. He has missed pretty much the whole month. Enter Time Lord, Robert Williams III. He responded quickly off the bench. He looked like a guy who should be a starter instead of a number 2 guy.
Exit Daniel Theis stage left. A little bit of a surprise to Green Teamers as Daniel was a well liked teammate and fan favorite. A hustle bustle happy go lucky bundle of energy who was just too expensive to keep with the The Time Lord proving he’s ready and chomping at the bit. Can you say Salary Dump?
Enter Fournier & Friends
GM Danny Ainge does not sit tight. He traded 2 future 2nd round draft picks and point guard Jeff Teague to the Orlando Magic for guard Evan Fournier on March 26. Fournier, from France incidentally, was putting up excellent numbers this year. He was averaging 19.7 points in 26 games this year with the Magic. Although in his Boston debut the magic had left his fingers. He went 0 for 10 and looked like a deer in the headlights under the Eiffel Tower at midnight.
Ooo La La.
The Green Fornet
Looking much better in his debut was Luke Fornet. Cleverly nicknamed The Green Fornet by Celtics commentator Brian Scalabrine, Fornet swished in two three pointers to help the Celts rumble on by the Oklahoma City Thunder in convincing fashion last Saturday night. Fornet came to Boston in the Theis trade along with other Big Mo Wagner.
Leaving like a Lamb
Showing promise at the start of March was indeed short lived. The Celtics ended the month losing 4 of 6. Without breaking it down too much I feel it just comes down to a few obvious things. You got 2 kids in Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum who could form the nucleus of a Championship team. Brown seems more willing, or at least seems more capable to understand that someone needs to be in charge. And I think Brown knows that person won’t be him.
Tatum, on the other hand, is convinced that he is that guy. Someone, whether it be a Coach, a GM or someone Jason looks up to, has to tell him that he is confusing talent with leadership ability. He has got to understand that until he burns up inside to win above all else, then he’ll just keep hogging the ball and complaining to the Refs when he misses and stands around complaining about not getting fouled. And Championships will pass him by.
And losing the promise and ability of these two young talented superstars would be sad. A very sad state of affairs. What is to be done? Well, I really think Brad Stevens must be replaced. Tatum is obviously not gaining the inner strength needed to make winning his sole driving force. And I don’t think Tatum will listen to Brad, even if Stevens knew how to find Jason’s inner drive and lead him to the next level.
And as for GM Danny Ainge, it is sad that he does not recognize that Coach Stevens cannot teach what he has not experienced. Stevens has never played at that level. Ainge not only played at the Championship level, but he played with that inner drive that made him an All-Star player on a team with some of the all-time greats. Did Danny forget the part about wanting to win more than anything? Has he forgotten the look on Larry Bird’s face?
But Danny Built A Super Team
Yes it’s sad that Danny had the accidental Dream Team with Kyrie Irving, the 2 Kids and Gordon Hayward all in 1 place. Sad and maddening that they couldn’t play together for all the various injuries and ultimately, attitudes.
But hey, it all turns out for the better!
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