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The Weekend Greenie Bag: Does Keeping Brad Stevens Cost The Celtics Kyrie Irving?

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Alright with a few more hours until the Celts tip off against the Magic, I figured why not empty out the mailbag for another Weekend Greenie Bag blog. Things have taken a turn for the better for this Celtics team over the last week or so, they’re playing much better and honestly there wasn’t that much rage in my inbox. I think people are starting to prepare for the playoffs and all the stress that will entail, which is why I want to remind you this mailbag is always open for whenever you need to talk. Nervous about something? Have something you want to speak into existence in hope Brad listens to you? That’s what this mailbag is for. Tweet me whatever with #GreenieBag or you can email greenieceltsbag@gmail.com and say whatever you want.

With that said, your questions…

Greenie,

I am undeniably a “BradBot” (s/o Big Jim Murray) and hearing Kyrie’s asinine comments after the Charlotte game has my blood boiling.

It’s clear he doesn’t believe in Brad and I don’t think he believes in anyone other than his boy Taco Jay. My question is that if Danny’s plan comes to fruition this summer with Kyrie resigning and a trade for AD, will we also see a coaching change?

Brad has had his faults this year with his lack of lineup adjustments and poorly timed TO’s, but I think a lot of that has to do with the frustration this season has brought, balancing ego’s, etc. — he hasn’t forgotten how to coach.

I know Danny and Brad are tight and Kyrie/Brad can easily bury the hatchet with a decent playoff push, but I think it’s something to consider with a season full of unpleasant surprises.

-Sugar Shane

Good news is Shane is I don’t know if you’ve heard but Kyrie and Brad are basically best friends. They’re doing karate in their garage as we speak. There are times these two have butted heads that’s for sure, Kyrie has certainly been vocal at times clearly throwing his coach under the bus to the media, but those days are in the past. As we know, winning cures all and as long as this team plays well I don’t think we’ll have anything to worry about. If they really have to come down to choosing Kyrie or Brad, I really don’t think they pick Kyrie. Like if he says I’ll only sign an extension if Brad goes, I think we see the team move on from Kyrie. Maybe that isn’t the right decision, but listen to Danny and Wyc talk about Brad and it’s clear he’s a huge part of how they want to run as an organization. If that means they have to go with Plan C or Plan D in order to get to their overall goes then so be it.

That’s why this playoff run is so important for everyone involved. We see if Kyrie can back up his talk all year about how he is the postseason answer, and how Brad responds and coaches will tell us a lot moving forward as well. You need stars in this league to win there’s no denying that, but at the same time is anyone convinced Kyrie is the star you blow your entire franchise foundation for? We’ll see.

Greenie,

I still can’t get over this starting lineup, if I’m Ainge I would be pissed. He’s put together a roster with three all-stars and two top 3 picks, instead we are currently rolling with Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris #thebrickbrothers. Brown and Hayward were not good in the beginning of the season so the initial lineup change to wake them up made sense. However the fact that Brad hasn’t attempted to go back to the original starting lineup since then, especially considering the Marcus’s shooting struggles is inexcusable. In a league where talent is so important, we need to roll with the best players if we’re going to go far in the playoffs. Even though Brown has been finishing games lately, Morris has still been getting more minutes total. They need to go back to the Irving, Brown, Hayward, Tatum, Horford starting lineup for now and playoffs going forward, thoughts?

– Nate

I accepted this a long time ago so honestly it doesn’t bother me as much. I don’t care who plays the first 6 minutes, I care who is on the floor when it matters. We’re seeing Jaylen play around 30 minutes and whole fourth quarters, Hayward has stepped up and been rewarded with minutes while guys are out, if starting Morris but only playing him 15-20 minutes is the solution to keep everybody happy then so be it. The real question isn’t going to be who starts once the playoffs roll around, but how the rotations look. I think we all want to see a majority of the minutes go to Kyrie/Smart/Tatum/Horford/Baynes/Jaylen/Hayward with limited Morris/Terry minutes, and this is where Brad comes into play. Can he not be stubborn enough when guys clearly don’t have it and pull them in a playoff series? Will he be slow to adjustments? In the playoffs you have to play your best guys, and it’s a luxury that this team can go 7 deep of guys you trust with minutes before you even get to Mook or Terry.

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It would shock me if we saw Brad go with something outside of Kyrie/Smart/Tatum/Horford/Baynes to start the playoffs given how good that’s looked, but it will all be matchup based. They’ll have to go big against IND for that matchup, but that may change against MIL. Just don’t get so hell bent on who starts and let’s focus more on the actual minutes distribution.

Anyone who doesn’t say Air Bud is the police

Are the Celtics playing possum? Because I think they are. The best is yet to come.

Viva – Carlito

No, I wouldn’t say they are playing possum. They’re trying to figure out how to be consistent. It’s not as if they looked like shit on purpose as a decoy or something. In reality they looked like shit. This is not a team without flaws, the whole thing moving forward is just finding ways to limit those flaws. If they do end up going on a deep run and play well, that doesn’t mean their struggles and inconsistencies weren’t real. It just means that they found a formula that works after spending all year looking for it.

Greenie,

Sometimes I ponder life’s unanswerable question:

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Can God make a boulder so heavy He can’t lift it?

What’s worse, Terry Rozier’s offense or his defense?

I WannaMake a change to who is our primary bench PG. Isn’t it time? – Joshua

Probably his offense. At least when he makes a mistake on defense there are guys there to pick up the mess, but offensively he’s really hurting them. It’s not just his brutal shooting and shot selection, but he’s still really struggling at actually running an offense, especially out of the P&R. He just won’t take the blinders off and actually find his open teammates.

The good news is in my opinion the primary bench PG is about to be Gordon Hayward, because let’s be honest if you’re at the point where you’re relying on Brad Wanamaker, that’s an issue.

Look for other teams to go zone when we line up under the basket out of bounds. Miami did it April 3rd. I know by the time this registers Brad and his patronage/legion of Celtics Legends will have already had a plan in place so I I’ll give you a second part to this post in a question.

Since everyone loves Rating things on a scale of 1-10, what would you say the chances are the Celtics lose Kyrie and land Kemba in July?

-Larkside Radio

I welcome any and every team to go zone against the Celtics. Please, I encourage it. What would I say the chances are that they lose Kyrie and add Kemba? 0%. Even if they lose Kyrie, they cannot afford Kemba Walker, so let’s just not waste our time with that. You can afford Kyrie because he’s already on your team and you can go over the cap to sign him, just because you in theory would have his max money to use, that’s not how it works. I believe even if Kyrie walks, the Celts have like 7-8M in cap space or something like that. That doesn’t get you Kemba.

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Loyalty is not without its challenges.

Greenie,

The NBA has a long, storied tradition of fixing the draft lottery when the Commissioner deems in necessary. With a big name superstar expected to go #1 in Zion Williamson, my question is: who “miraculously” wins the lotto — the Knicks or the Lakers? You know the league is putting Zion in one of those two media markets. I’m betting it’s the Lakers. Keeps LeBron relevant in his twilight years, plus I get the feeling that David Silver doesn’t like James Dolan enough to do him any favors. Agree?

–Tom

The Lakers currently have a 3% chance at the #1 pick, and I can’t see it. They had their moment in the sun last summer and got LeBron, their interest is already back. If you don’t think the Knicks are up next you aren’t paying attention. Remember there’s all that hype around free agents going there, but that’s not a slam dunk guarantee they land two. You know what is a slam dunk? The league finding a way to get them Zion. If the Knicks don’t win the lottery I will legit be shocked. Patrick Ewing all over again and I can’t be convinced otherwise. What the league is going to let Zion go to CLE? After they’ve already won like 50 lotterys? Or they are going to let him go to PHX where no one will watch him cuz they’ll stink and play on the West Coast? Nope, he’s going to be a Knick and that’s clear.


Alright, I gotta go tire out my monsters before tip so everyone can be focused for what’s still a big game against the Magic. Thanks to everyone who wrote in, we’ll see you guys next week when the playoffs will be in full swing. Enjoy the rest of your lazy Sunday!