This new tradition? Blowing games in the 4th quarter. The Celtics have been outscored in the final period by a whopping 109-66 in four games this season.
The problem? No closer. I'm on the record as a Jeff Green fan, but certainly not as your best player. Green is a third wheel being forced to be the man right now. And it shows… just watch the end of the Memphis game.
Eventually, I think forcing Green into the spotlight is going to be the reason he leaves town, at least once his contract is up.
When Rajon Rondo returns to the lineup, Boston's late game execution promises to improve. It has to when you add a true point guard to a lineup playing without one (until Brad Stevens gives Phil Pressey minutes). But is Rondo himself a closer?
I say no. Not to say he has not put forward some impressive performances. But that was Paul Pierce's role, where as Rondo acted as the facilitator. Rondo will very much be counted upon to score on this team, but even with a full roster, the closer role is still MIA on the Celtics.
There are two ways for the Celtics to nail down the guy they need. Neither of those ways are free agency. It's never worked before, and it's not going to work now.
The first way that everyone is hoping for is through the draft, preferably by landing Andrew Wiggins. In order to do so, not only will the Celtics have to lock down a top pick (so far so good), but develop the player they take. The next way is through a trade. Despite their record, the Celtics have a ton of young assets to go along with draft picks and expiring contracts. A combination of those things could be enough to bring in a second star to pair with Rondo.
Bottom line is it's all about timing. Cleveland won the lottery and took LeBron James in 2003. They won the lottery this year again and ended up with Anthony Bennett. All signs point to this being a great draft, but don't forget you need to hit on your picks. Houston is a great example of finding the perfect trade opportunity. The Thunder felt they could not keep James Harden and the Rockets found the perfect opportunity to bring in him in, which in turn led to Dwight Howard. On the opposite end of the spectrum the 76ers saw a chance to bring in Andrew Bynum and got absolutely nothing from him.
The Celtics are going to need to keep their eyes peeled all season for an opportunity to find their closer, both around the league and the college game. Because right now they simply do not have one.
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Julian Edlow 11/05/2013 12:27:00 PM Tweet Edit