The Boston Celtics have been on a hot streak recently. The Celtics are now 26-15 and hold the number three spot in the Eastern Conference as well as in the top 10 of the NBA, but the question that is uncertain and unpredictable is how are the Boston Celtics going to win their division and ultimately win their 18th banner. Currently, the Boston Celtics have dominated most of their opponents, but they have yet to beat the Toronto Raptors (0-2) who are the current division leaders as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers (0-2) who are the leaders of the Eastern Conference.
The most obvious answer to how the Celtics are going to beat these two important teams in both of their final regular season matchups is Danny Ainge needs to make a trade for one last final piece to pair up alongside Al Horford, Avery Bradley, and Isaiah Thomas. Examining the 15-man roster, the Boston Celtics have 3 players who can specifically fill a role in the lineup. This allows Danny Ainge to trade for a player in any position. The smartest position where the Celtics need a leader and mentor for their team is the small or power forward position. With Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Al Horford covering the backcourt and the center position, the Celtics are in desperate need of a leader to fulfill the flex positions of the forward position.
What Needs to Happen Next?
With careful examination of many successful NBA champions in the past, teams have dominated if they have a star player who can play outside the arc and on the wings and inside the paint. As of recent those Championship teams have had players like Andre Iguodala, Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, and Dirk Nowitzki. These players were leaders to their respective championship teams, and they were also able to play multiple areas and roles within their position.
Jimmy Butler and even Paul George have been big name players mentioned as potential trade targets for the Boston Celtics to acquire, but those types of players do not promise championships. DeMarcus Cousins is the easier target to acquire from the Sacramento Kings, who have been a mess for a very long time now, and not getting any answers from their current roster. Cousins has a career 3-point shooting percentage of 32.3%, but currently this season, he is shooting at 37.2%; nearly 5% higher this season. Cousins also is a dominant force in the paint averaging 28.1 points per game with already 53 blocks and 56 steals this season. At this current rate, he is looking to have career highs in both defensive columns and career high in points within a season.
With a player like Cousins, who is a big player that can play the Center and Power Forward positions, if he joined the Celtics and Al Horford, they could both play in the paint or they can stretch the floor and make defenders play closer to the 3-point line. With the addition of Cousins, the Celtics would set themselves apart from the leader of their division and the leader of the Eastern Conference.
If the Boston Celtics can win all four final matchups between the Cavaliers and the Raptors, then they have an extraordinary chance of making it into the NBA Finals within the next two seasons, but without making a trade for a player that has many basketball traits like Cousins, then Celtics’ fans can forget the Boston Celtics from passing the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they will most likely see the Toronto Raptors in a seven-game series.
Christopher G. Harrington
Photo Credit: (Themadmansports.com)