Can the Celtics beat the Warriors? - Anthony Davis to Cavaliers? - & other questions
Some of our readers, including Bdiddy, have broached the question of the Celtics having the talent, ability and experience to defeat the Golden State Warriors. We all realize that once a team is in the playoffs, anything can happen, including unfortunate injuries. That can change the outcome very quickly.
But looking at the structure of both teams right now, the main stumbling block for Boston is Kevin Durant. When you put a player with point-guard skills into a 6'11", extremely-talented, athletic body, you have a mighty dangerous foe. That is Kevin Durant personified. Which member of the present Celtics team gets the unfortunate task of guarding him? Who can guard him? He can't be stopped, only slowed down.
Durant can get by, and shoot over, most NBA defenders. He can create his own shot, get to the hoop or take a pass for a three-pointer. He leads the list in MVP ratings even though his value to the Warriors is significantly diluted by his teammate, Steph Curry, sitting in fourth place. Few, if any players, in the NBA can equal Durant's size, talent, versatility and production. Anthony Davis is in that tiny mix, and that is why his name comes up in trade discussions. But New Orleans Coach, Alvin Gentry, has said that The Brow, to paraphrase Rick Pitino, "is not walking through the Celtics' door". Here is The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett on Gentry's response to the proposal:
“I know there’s been rumors about Boston trying to trade for him or whatever,” said Gentry, “and my response to that is, yeah, we’ll trade him. But they’re going to have to give us the New England Patriots and the two planes that they just bought. . . . And I don’t think they’re going to do that. So we’re not even thinking about those kind of things.”
“No, no, no, no, no,” he said. “I would never trade a great player for good, and I don’t think that our management would be willing to do that either. We have one of the premier players that’s going to be in the Hall of Fame one day, and what you do is you try to build around him to try to put a championship team together. You don’t trade him.”
Well, Coach Gentry should not be so sure. The Pelicans are in a small NBA market, and retaining Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Jrue Holiday will be a financial dilemma for them. If Davis remains where he is, his chance at a legitimate shot at the title is slim at best. Another question was raised by First Take's Stephen A. Smith. He broached the ridiculous proposition of the Cleveland Cavaliers trading Kevin Love for Anthony Davis and taking full control of the Eastern Conference.
The extremely-excitable Smith must have had too much coffee, but was was quieted a bit by his partner, Max Kellerman. Max broached that Boston had "organizational advantage" over New Orleans and the Cavaliers and the assets to get a deal done. Smith asked Kellerman if he would send both Al Horford and Jayson Tatum to the Pelicans. Max hesitated but finally agreed that he would do so, The tweet/video of the discussion can be found below. Look at it closely. I may have seen Smith levitate during one of his tirades.
These questions relating to The Brow will not subside until the trade deadline, and even after that they will still be alive and well if nothing occurs by that time. If the Celtics get out of the East and meet the Warriors in the finals, they will have their hands full, particularly with Durant. Davis, as he sits now with the Pelicans, will have little chance of getting to the NBA Finals in the next few years, having to defeat the Warriors in the West first. The Brow has the size and ability to handle Durant. Would Davis be worth sending Jayson Tatum to the Pelicans? Like Kellerman, I would hesitate, but in the end, I would probably say no. If it comes to that, I would guess that Danny Ainge would say the same and look for other avenues. Danny-Land has a lot of them.