So the boys are ravaged with injuries right now. Kyrie is out with his sore knee. Jaylen Brown is still out with his concussion (by the way LeBron it’s JAYLEN, not Jalen). Marcus Smart just had surgery on his thumb and should be back mid-playoffs. Theis is out for the year. And of course Gordon Hayward (he isn’t coming back this year, stop hoping). Right now, this Celtics team is not a championship contender at all. They won’t beat Toronto, who looks stronger than ever, and even if they did, Houston and Golden State are just too strong. Next year is the year, I promise.
Here’s the good news. Greg Monroe is turning out to be an amazing signing, shooting 65.7% from the field in the month of March. This tells me two things. He is shooting close range shots instead of settling for lower percentage step backs and difficult hooks, proving that he can out muscle defenders. Secondly, he finally seems to have found his role for the Celtics in the paint. As a big-time three-point shooting team (5th in the league at 37.4%), the C’s lack offense down low, but Monroe is bringing them plenty of that, notching game-highs of 18 in a narrow loss to Houston, 16 in a double OT loss to Washington and 17 in a blowout against Orlando.
More good news is the fact that without Kyrie, Brown, Smart, Theis and even Horford due to illness, they aren’t getting blown out. They took the Wizards to two overtimes in a game the Celtics commanded for the major of it (not to mention an unbelievable 31 points from Marcus Morris). They lost to the Pacers by two points in a game we also commanded (this was the game where Kyrie left early). By the way, the Pacers are extremely talented and are not to be taken lightly. And even if the C’s go back to the Houston game, when everyone was still healthy, they should have won that game. A few late-game mistakes, including Kyrie accidentally making a free throw he should have missed and attempted to rebound, cost them the game. Yes, they got blown out by New Orleans yesterday but come on, how many games has Boston been blown out in this year? I can remember two. Every team gets blown out from time to time, especially when you have to call up guys from the D-League because all your best players are injured. If you are sitting at home crying about that Pelicans loss, you need to get over it.
Now is the time to rest players as much as possible, the Celtics are still 6.5 games ahead of Cleveland and I would much rather head into the playoffs with a healthier team than a still recovering injured team. If they can hang on just a little bit longer, they can keep the No. 2 seed and fight our way through the playoffs. This is not a year to expect a championship, it’s a year to watch and look at all the potential this team has in the future. RESIGN TERRY AND SMART.
Photo: Boston Herald