By: Ben Pagani
Who would have guessed? The Celtics overcame all adversity, and finished off the season with the number one seed in the east, ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Isaiah Thomas has proven he is a true superstar talent and has led an otherwise subpar team to the number one seed. But when Thomas is on the bench or off his game this team falls apart. Especially in the playoffs. Here is what I think of these potential star talents coming to Boston this offseason.
To be honest, this Wizards series should be 3-1 Celtics. The whole series they have started slow, and will need that to change going forward. When Isaiah starts slow, they need someone to help him out. Now don't get me wrong, Avery Bradley and Al Horford can take over a game, but they aren't able to do that on an everyday basis like a Paul George or a Gordon Hayward. Let's be honest here. Crowder can shoot the three and play defense alongside Smart, but they are not game changers. Imagine if Thomas had a “go to guy” for situations like this. Isaiah needs a true superstar alongside him.
The Celtics need someone to set the pace, or hold down the fort, so to speak when Thomas is taking a seat. They are very inconsistent when Thomas is sitting, sometimes digging a huge hole to climb out of. Most of the runs the Wizards, Bulls, and many teams in the regular season have gone on was without Thomas in the game. A guy like Paul George, Jimmy Butler, or Gordon Hayward would be able to hit the open shot, get to the hoop, control the floor, and make the right plays for the team.
One thing the Celtics have really struggled with this season is rebounding. Now anyone with superstar talent can do it all, and that includes rebounding. Paul George averaged 6.6 rebounds, while Gordon Hayward averaged 5.4, and Jimmy Butler averaged 6.2 boards. This will tremendously boost the Celtics ability to grab boards. All of these players can also play shut down defense, so losing a Smart, Bradley, or a Crowder won't be the worst thing for the C’s. Lastly, all of these players averaged over 21 points this season.
The Bulls could be waiting until the lottery to see if they want to get the Nets pick in a trade. As for Paul George and Gordon Hayward, they are free agents, and the Celtics are a promising team.
Just think about a lineup containing one of these players. The Celtics are already contenders with the Cavs and Warriors, beating them both once this year. The C’s also already made it into the second round, and more than likely the third. With the addition of one of these players, I believe the C’s will not only be contenders for the championship, but will win it. All we can do is pray Danny Ainge comes through for us once again.
Photo Credit: (Basketball Insiders)