By: Evan Singleton
Isaiah Thomas is the guy. We all know that. It is no secret. However, there is no chance he can do it alone. I am not questioning whether or not he will be able to continue to build on the remarkable season. The question I pose is who will be the other guy? Someone will have to step up in order for the Celtics to make a realistic push.
I have a few thoughts on who should step up and who will step up. First off, let me reiterate the fact that I believe Isaiah will still crush it. So here I am looking for someone to simply be the second in command, so to speak.
Al Horford is almost the obvious answer of someone that really should step up. Do I think he will? Maybe. I am not sold on him becoming essentially a 20 and 10 guy in the playoffs though. I wish i could be fully confident in it. However, I am simply not. He has seemed to disappear in the playoffs in the past. So if Al can step up that would be phenomenal. Would I guarantee it? Nope.
Avery Bradley is the next in line. Oh boy how I wish he could do it. Avery is not going to be the guy that steps up, even though he definitely should be. He should be the second best scorer on the team. However, he has reached such a plateau in terms of offense. He is simply a catch and shoot type of guy and I don't see him making too many in the playoffs.
Now the good stuff. I predict that Amir Johnson is the first guy that will step up. The Celtics are going to need a big to step up. Amir is going to have to rebound, score inside, and defend the rim. Do I think he can do it? Yes, completely. Do I think he actually will do it? Well, there is a reason his name has been mentioned, yes. I'm calling it now, Amir Johnson will have a great playoff run. Just you wait.
The next guy that truly needs to step up is Jae Crowder. Boy oh boy will he have some tough matchups both offensively and defensively. But I think he becomes an animal in these playoffs. I really do. Think James Posey or Leon Powe. He will have to come out of no where and play out of his mind. Right off the bat he is at a higher point that those two names, but you get the point.
With the combination of Amir and Jae playing well and Al and Avery playing like they actually should, the Celtics can make a serious push. If all goes according to plan, the Celtics will be shocking the NBA in a few months. KG once said, "Anything is possible!"
The other name I wanted to briefly mention is Marcus Smart. As a jolt of energy off the bench, Smart has what it takes to impact these playoffs tremendously.