In the second half who came through for the Celtics last night in game seven? Did Isaiah Thomas score all the points all by himself? Or was it Horford? He must have thrown the team on his shoulders if it wasn’t Thomas. The rest are interchangeable stiffs, right? No! It was Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, and Jae Crowder. Amongst others. Olynyk gets hot in a fourth quarter in game seven. Interesting… Well it is now onto the Cavaliers and these stiffs are going to get swept or maybe win one at home. Not so fast. This Celtics team is worth watching. With all the crazy stuff going on these days why can’t the Celtics throw a wrench into the NBA status quo expectations? Lebron is the man, but the Celtics and their team cooking got them this far.
I am a huge Danny Ainge fan. A great general manager especially in today’s NBA. Perfect mix of what is needed. His main strength is the patience. He waits for the right deal even if it means taking a little longer than expected to build a contender. This is a quality easily over looked and disregarded. But critically important in 2017. In the NBA you can stink for a very long time. Even draft picks in the top 5 are mostly busts. Or more accurately are not game changers. The team that get the “once in a decade” player is just lucky. The stunk at the right time to get the pick and had the lucky ping pong balls. It is very difficult and just a bad idea to think you can build a winner through the NBA draft. It takes too long. You need established sure things and like three of them. Which are hard to get as well. A highly sought after free agent must like your city, the players on that team, the coach, and be given an insane contract. That last part is starting to free up a bit. The point is that the current NBA system is a tough set of ingredients to cook with. As a result, teams reach and settle for players they know are not the answer long term. But they bow to the pressure to make a splash now. So they end up trading for players who are a seven or an eight on a scale to ten. The team then gets no better, and they have traded away their assets for any future moves, or players that could have developed if they stayed a couple more years. Setting them back even further in terms of the “years remaining until a contender” imaginary metric. But Ainge does not do that. If the right move is not there he waits. Where has this strategy taken Danny and the Celtics? Well as of tonight they are 0-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Their star is too short but is getting better all the time still. Horford is playing his best ball of the year. Role players like Smart, Bradley, Olynyk, and Crowder have not gotten the message that they are useless stiffs. They also as of tonight have ping pong ball hope. They could have the number one overall pick as well as another one next year from the Nets. If they get it, Ainge has not shown his cards yet. He could keep it, trade it for that other scorer they need, nobody knows. Keep them guessing Danny. Let everyone else reach and something will come up. Keep it up. Wait it out.