Celtics looking for second wind

The Celtics marched into Laker-land with dead feet and tired minds. You could see from the get go that the momentum they had built prior to the all-star break was drying up faster than Kevin Garnett's resolve.

We could argue and beat a dead horse about the lack of point guard play, but no one hardly speaks about the elephant in the room.  The very real need for a rugged big-man without decimating the team.

This is not to say that the team hasn't explored options to fill this need, but Celtic management has shown that they either are not willing to do really big deals only minor ones that do not really help the team.  The signing of Terrence Williams may have given them some hope.

Williams, a former first round pick of the New Jersey Nets, has never been able to stick with one team in his brief career.  He is one of the few talented four year players who just didn't get it when given the opportunity.  Most players in this situation end up being NBA journeymen, or make a living in the Euro-league. Boston's newest addition, has too much talent to fall into that category.

He even admitted to ESPN's Chris Forsberg, how he allowed the money and fast-paced lifestyle to influence his attitude toward his coaches and teammates:

"I think that’s what made everything go downhill -- not being a professional," said Williams. "I was young, 20-whatever, money, and not really caring -- I cared about playing basketball, but I didn’t care about putting the work into basketball. Now, if you go to China even for a day, you learn how to be a professional. You want to come back so fast." 

He also says:

"It’s an honor to even be able to wear the color, and be a part of the organization," Williams said before Wednesday's 113-99 loss to the rival Lakers. "Especially with the history. I’m still in shock, but I need to get out of shock and relatively fast, because we have a game coming up."

Hence, T-Will may have a very real chance of making the team and possibly sticking around beyond this 10-day tryout. He is exactly what the Celtics need and want.  He brings athleticism and a fearless attitude; something that is in very short supply on this team.  He joins Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo in that regard.  This is not to say that he will be an all-star, but he can be more than serviceable as Rondo's future back-court mate.

At 6'6" he brings length, toughness, and a willingness to compete and combat the likes of D-Wade, Joe Johnson and mostly any other two-guard that gives the Celtics trouble.  No, he is not going to be a Kobe-stopper or anything like that, he will just make it tougher on them. Terrence just might make Courtney Lee's stint in green a short-lived one.

Next year's roster could have a healthy Rajon Rondo, Terrence Williams, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger as a young core.  This lineup will make Rondo's job easier, because all of the aforementioned players will run the court all-day.

There are all sorts of trade- rumors as always about Rondo, Pierce and KG, but, unlike the ultra-sensitive Ray Allen, they understand that the franchise will listen to offers to improve their position. Beyond all of this, is the feast or famine approach in the paint where games are ultimately decided. Last night Antwan Jamison looked like a spring chicken next to Brandon Bass.

Bass is the poster child for over achievement as an emergency starter and being over-valued. It has become quite evident, that the Celtics do miss Greg Stiemsma.  At least Steimsma would block shots make the most of his limited minutes by rebounding the ball and bring a presence in the paint. Brandon's lack of height should not be an excuse, he has the body to absorb the pounding but in his mind offense trumps defense.

This can be said about all of the Celtics, except PP, KG and AB (who is showing signs of wear and tear). The Celtics addressed the need for more offensive punch, but in the process weakened their defensive identity and have been unable to find someone who wants to scrap down low.

They will win some games, because of the "Celtic Pride" of the championship core of Pierce and Garnett.  Jason Terry brings what he knows from his championship run with Dallas, but the lack of a defensive 'big', beyond KG and someone who can stabilize the team when a shot is needed will be their demise.