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The Sports Daily > Red's Army
Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics starting 5 is among the best line-ups in the league

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Maybe even more encouraging for Boston is how the starters have performed since the All-Star break. In 82 minutes together over seven games, Boston’s starters’ net rating is a pristine plus-18.9, which would rank second behind only the Warriors (plus-23.1) if maintained over the course of the season.

What’s more, Boston’s offensive (117.4) and defensive (98.5) ratings in that span would easily top the league in both categories as the Warriors lead the league in offensive rating at 112.6, and San Antonio is tops in defensive rating at 100.8.

ESPN Boston

Wow, even a cynical bastard like myself is smiling at these numbers.

It will be great to see the starting 5 develop even more chemistry over the final 14 12 games once Isaiah Thomas is done resting his non-injured knee.

But these fancy stats won’t matter once the playoffs start. This team needs to win at least one playoff series, preferably two, to silence the critics.

Speaking of critics, how about at this fresh troll job by Shank:

Let me ask you this, Celtics fans. You saw them dismantle Minnesota Wednesday, right? Al Horford almost had a triple-double, and the Celtics bolted to a 117-104 win over the 28-39 Wolves. Swell. But which roster (including future draft picks) would you rather have for the next five years?

Give me the Wolves. The Celtics don’t have anyone — nor will they have anyone — with the upside of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. It’s not even close.

The Celtics are going to win more than 50 games and are only two games behind the Cavaliers in the East, but their ceiling is significantly lower than that of the T-Wolves. It would be much more fun to build around Towns and Wiggins than around Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Danny Ainge’s raft of draft picks.

 

The Wolves also had a high ceiling when Kevin Garnett was lacing them up and what did they win? Nada.

What Dan refuses to acknowledge is that this league is littered with highly talented players who haven’t won squat. The league is also littered with as many inept GMs and ownership teams incapable of building a perennial contender.

On Page 2, the Indiana Hoosiers are looking for a new head coach and you know what that means.

Tom Crean is officially done at Indiana, which means one of the highest-profile jobs in college basketball is now open.

While Hoosier fans have long been clamoring for former Butler coach Brad Stevens to return to the college ranks and get IU back to winning national championships, it seems like the current coach of the Boston Celtics is perfectly content in the NBA. In fact, just Wednesday night, Stevens addressed the steady swirling of speculation about him returning to the college game.

“Nobody calls,” Stevens said, referring to universities with job openings. “The only thing people usually call me for is to ask questions about candidates. Everybody has a pretty good idea of where I stand, and I think ultimately I’m going to be here. I think that’s pretty well known.”

“I think it’s all flattering, but it’s certainly flattering to ever be considered, because there aren’t that many jobs out there,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m really flattered to be here and thankful to be here.”

SB Nation (w/ Boston Globe)

Brad isn’t going anywhere… for now.

The situation might change in 2 years if the Celtics fail to achieve a modicum of playoff success and/or fail to land a top 2 pick in this year’s draft.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

RelatedHerald: It’s March, so Stevens rumors heat up

And finally, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy Birthday to Danny Ainge.