Our Boston Celtics are on a 5-game winning streak, and it’s easy to see that the team is starting to click. And I, along with the rest of Celtic Nation, have been rejoicing at the return of Avery Bradley and what that has meant to this team. Jason Terry and Courtney Lee can slide into their respective reserve roles, and suddenly we’ve got the backcourt that Danny Ainge envisioned when he started tinkering last summer.
And while I don’t want to go negative, I do want to point out that our Celtics still have a serious flaw in the frontcourt.
Simply put, we still need size.
When you look at our bigs, the only true center on the roster is Jason Collins. And Collins isn’t enough. Not if the C’s want to win the NBA Championship.
Kevin Garnett back at the center position, flanked by Brandon Bass and Paul Pierce, with a healthy dose of an emerging Jared Sullinger thrown in for good measure. In today’s NBA, that configuration can certainly work. Centers – true centers – are becoming a rare breed. The position is now manned, in most cases, by a power forward. So the Celtics can certainly compete with the roster as-is, especially with the way the little guys on the perimeter are playing.
But I still say we need another big. And not necessarily a center. We can get by with another power forward with size – at least with more size than Sullinger and Bass. If Ainge can somehow work a trade that doesn’t impact the team’s newly discovered mojo, then our Celtics might stand a legit shot at getting past the Miami Heat and reaching the NBA Finals. If not, then our Celtics will continue to struggle on the boards, something that could come back to haunt us in the playoffs.
With Sullinger continuing to impress, and with Bass struggling, now might be the time to trade Bass and upgrade in the size department. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be for DeMarcus Cousins, who continues to cause concern with his behavior and temper issues. I’m willing to go in other less sexy directions if it means our C’s are better able to protect the rim at the end of the day.
I don’t have a clue who might be the best fit, and won’t pretend to know what is running through Ainge’s mind at the moment. I’m just making the point that this team, while greatly improved over the version that didn’t include Bradley, is still flawed and incapable of winning the championship as constructed. We’re a trade away, a tweak away, but Ainge needs to move quickly if he’s going to move at all.
If not, he’ll be forced to let this team ride and hope that Doc Rivers can figure out a way to make it work.
On a positive note, it’s not like he hasn’t done it before.