Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“You know me. I’m always open to doing something,” he said of potential trades. “But that doesn’t mean I think we have to go and get something done right now. And it’s not that simple anyway.
“But patience wins out more often than not — more than panic. It has to. I know panic is a bad way to react, so I will remain patient and allow our players to find their form. With some teams, it takes time, and some teams get it quicker. But I like a lot of things I see in our team this season, and I’m not going to be impatient.
“Look, I’m always looking to improve our team, but every one of our players is capable of playing better than they’ve played.”
This is exactly what I expect to hear from Danny Ainge. But let’s be clear, the next 20 games are critical to the Celtics season.
It’s early, but not really. I echo these sentiments shared by Gary Washburn:
The season is now about 25 percent over, and average is what the Celtics are — and may be this season. They would now have to go 40-22 the rest of the way just to win 50 games. They will be fighting for a fourth or fifth playoff seed for the rest of the season. It’s no longer early.
The obvious trade chip is Terry Rozier, but might Ainge be tempted to move some other players and really shake up the roster?
Doubtful. I think Danny will refrain from moving a bigger asset (Jaylen Brown) until the offseason when the Anthony Davis situation gets clearer*.
Let’s play the blame game. I realize the Celtics struggles are collective more than individual, but here’s my ranking of underperforming players:
1. Jaylen Brown – dreadful shooting numbers, rebounding down, looks lost at times
2. Gordon Hayward – dreadful shooting numbers, appears reluctant to attack the rim, willing to give him some slack due to the injury
3. Al Horford – shooting, rebounding and assists down across the board, defense still strong. Is age (32) becoming a factor?
I think Hayward and Horford will come around. I really hope this doesn’t become a lost season for Jaylen.
*Due to an obscure rule, the Celtics cannot trade for AD unless Kyrie Irving is involved. Once Irving resigns in the offseason, Boston can pursue a deal w/o any caveats. Mike D. covered this Saturday.
On Page 2, updates on Brown and Brow for tonight’s game.
The Pelicans (10-10) are coming off an 0-3 East coast road trip (they also lost to the Knicks). They’re much better at home (8-1), with that only loss coming without Davis.
I have no feel for this team and wouldn’t bet on the Celtics even if Davis sits out.