Cup of Joe. Revisiting the value of the C's making the playoffs
Oh, how our opinions can change.
At the beginning of the season, or, at least after the decision was made to move on from Rajon Rondo, the near-universal train of thought amongst Celtics fans was that the best thing for this team was to lose as many games as possible and get the best pick possible. As time passed, and this team significantly exceeded both our as well as anyone else's reasonable expectations a debate took place, with most folks ultimately deciding that the best thing for the Celtics to do was to make the playoffs to get these unseasoned players a little taste of the postseason. Heck, they might even be able to beat the Hawks!
Of course, that thought process is now being questioned, and the reasons are obvious. The Celtics lost relatively convincingly to the Cavs in four games, there's a sizable drop off in talent somewhere around the spot the Celtics would've picked at had they not made the playoffs, and to make matters worse, Willie Cauley Stein's - who is seemingly every Celtics fans dream target - stock seems to be dropping to the point where he'd be available, again, where the Celtics would've picked had they not made the playoffs.
The latter two reasons are in all likelihood why the Celtics are said to be working so frantically to get themselves back into the top 10. The problem is that no one really wants to trade out of that spot.
So, bummer, right? The Celtics making the playoffs was clearly a mistake as they absolutely would've been much better off long-term by selecting at the 10th or 11th spot in this year's draft. Well, no. Not necessarily, at least.
There's more to the Celtics making last year's playoffs than the idea of 'experience.' To me, without question, the greatest of which is increasing the value in the Boston Celtics' unrivaled best asset, Brad Stevens. A playoff berth solidified Stevens as one of, if not the greatest in-game coach in the league. A coach so good that he could bring a team made up entirely of misfits and castaways to the playoffs. Forcing a national spotlight onto his accomplishments and abilities.
The question on if the Celtics making the playoffs was worth it won't be answered, at the very least, for a few months. But it comes down to a relatively simple question:Is there greater value in the difference between the 16th and 10th pick or in the ability to sell free agents in July on the talent of this team's head coach.