It is time to say "Nay" to the naysayers. A number of skeptics just can't buy the fact that Danny Ainge has quickly constructed (not simply assembled) a potent team of youngsters and faces new to the team this season and that Brad Stevens has effectively transformed a bunch of newcomers into a whirling dervish of a unit. Let me introduce our guest naysayer and hear what SI's Andrew Sharp had to say. The basic question being discussed was would Boston be the next team to beat the Golden State Warriors in a playoff series:

The Celtics are not the best team in the East, and I feel like we’re going to look back and laugh at this stretch. They just feel very Hawks-y right now. Granted, they’re Hawks-y with the best coach in basketball and with Kyrie Irving, so there are definitely some things working in their favor. But I refuse to take this team seriously.

So Sharp feels this Celtics stretch is some kind of laughable joke, and he refuses to take the team seriously. At least Andrew gave credit to Brad Stevens and Kyrie Irving. But in his next quote, he apparently feels that Al Horford's terrific season thus far has been a fluke, as has the current 17-game winning streak (per SI's Andrew Sharp):

I’m just saying that I think we’re going to get to May and look back at this first month as sort of a fluke, and one of the things that I don’t think is sustainable is Al Horford. Once they start playing really good teams, particularly in the playoffs, I don’t think he can hold up and be quite as dominant as he has been. He’s looked awesome for them for the past couple weeks, but that’s the piece that I think will sort of come back to earth over the next few months.

We will hear back from Andrew one more time in a minute. Al's play may moderate a bit during the season, but it won't crumble. Okay, one more ride with SI's Andrew Sharp:

No, I think that by the end it’s going to be either the Wizards or the Cavs or the Raptors—maybe not the Raptors. Wizards, Cavs or Bucks, let’s say that. And the Celtics will probably be in the mix, but I think the biggest takeaway from this first month is just how great their foundation is and how dangerous they will be 1) When Hayward gets back and 2) If they’re able to pull off the Anthony Davis trade in the next year and a half. And it’s dangerous to be openly courting a superstar for that long, and a lot of things can change and a lot of things can go wrong. But I think that it’s just so clear that Stevens is great, they can get the most out of Kyrie while hiding his weaknesses and the front office is awesome at stocking the rest of the roster.

So Andrew indicates that the Celtics will be dangerous when we get Gordon Hayward back or we trade for Anthony Davis. Sharp got away from the main question a bit, but it is clear that he, and may others, don't believe in the current Boston Celtics team defeating the Warriors in the Finals. Sharp lauded Coach Brad Stevens but neglected to add that Brad seems to have the Warriors number.

He knows how to play them. And he has the troops to carry it off, many of whom are young or new to the team and will improve even more with time. Sharp really irritated me with the comment about Hordford's stellar play not holding up. He is talking about one of the most consistent players in the League. I say "Nay" to his statement.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports

Tom Lane 11/21/2017 03:54:00 PM Edit
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