Welcome friends, to the very first edition of the Weekend Greenie Bag. What is the Greenie Bag? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s this new thing that no one on the internet has ever done before, where strangers write in with their questions about the Celtics, and I, your loyal Celtics blogger, do my best to answer them. This is something new for the 2016 season that I plan to roll out every weekend, as a way to help you vent out frustration, talk about what dominant thing Isaiah did that week, or really whatever you want. I suppose we could do all this over Twitter, but where are the #pageviews in that? One of my goals for this season is to make this blog more interactive. Sure you came here for my hot takes, but I see no reason why the stoolies can’t be more involved for the 2016-17 season.
For this mailbag we had a pretty good amount of submissions, which I won’t lie, was a bit of a surprise. To those who wrote in, you the real MVP, and for those who are sitting there thinking “man, I’d love to be part of a mailbag someday..” you’re in luck. It’s easy. Tweet me whatever and use #GreenieBag, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, to your questions..
Now this is the type of shit I want to talk about to start this mailbag. #1 seed Boston Celtics. Take a second and let that sink in. Take another sip of that ice cold Kool Aid and think of how that feels. Now wake the hell up. What do I think the chances are the Celts could pull it off? I’d say a solid 17% if everyone on the Celtics stays healthy, and Lebron gets hurt. Instead I want to focus on the second part of your question. Does it appear that the Celtics are a regular season team, right this second, I’d say absolutely. But here’s why that doesn’t bother me. Isn’t that what happens during a rebuild? You go from being really shitty, to making the playoffs, to winning a couple games, to eventually winning series. In order to do all those things, you need to add talent, and that’s exactly what they’ve done since winning only 25 games THREE seasons ago. Up to this point the talent that they’ve added has dictated how far they could go. With the talent they have going into this year, we may end up seeing a team built for the postseason as well.
Welcome to my biggest fear of the 2016-17 season. I cannot stress enough how important the second unit was to this team last year. In the entire NBA, of every teams bench, it was the Celtics who had the league’s second best point differential. They were eighth in the league in bench scoring. As infuriating as he was at times, Evan Turner was a huge part of that. The challenge now is to find a way to replace 11/5/4 and 45% shooting from a guy who can give you 28 minutes a game. Is that what we are to expect from Jaylen Brown? A rookie?
You know what would help? If Marcus Smart had a breakout year. Yup, that’s the option I’m going with. The bench is going to be dominant.
A great question. Maybe this is the solution to the bench concerns. First, let’s talk about what inserting Marcus into the starting lineup does. First thing it allows you to do is play Isaiah off the ball more, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the defensive end, I’m just as confident in Smart guarding a shooting guard as I am Bradley, in fact you actually get a little better on the glass as a starting unit this way, but I don’t see it. Here’s why.
Think back to last year, what was the most consistent thing about Avery Bradley’s season. His first quarters. The Celtics start pretty much every one of their games essentially the same way. Either a big is going to set a down screen and Avery curls off for a dribble handoff pullup midrange, or they’ll start with a motion where the ball goes opposite Avery and he’ll cut from the corner for a midrange jumper. It’s like clockwork. The numbers back it up. Avery has his most FGs of the season in the first (156) and shot 47%/40%. Of those 156 makes, 118 of them were assisted, which is far and away the highest of any quarter. He is the Celtics offense to begin games, believe that. Throw in his All NBA defense and he’s just too valuable to that first unit to replace. Instead, I’d rather roll the dice with Smart carrying the second unit.
Email: If Isaiah Thomas were an animal in the Sahara, what animal would he be? – Will
The easy answer is to say a lion or something. I’m going to go a bit deeper. To me, Isaiah is like a Death Stalker Scorpion. This crazy little fucker looks small, but apparently is “one of the most venomous animals of the Sahara desert, and the entire world. They look ephemeral and fragile, but they are incredibly dangerous, capable of causing respiratory failure and death.”
Um..wait a minute..did you say death?
Email: Alright Greenie, I’ve been miffed by this one since Draft Night. Now, either: a) a high-profile reporter got wrong info; b) Danny missed it; or c) he (wrongly) turned it down. Ok, let me try and lay it out. About 3-4 hours before the draft, Marc Stein tweets out that ESPN sources say Philadelphia is offering Nerlens Noel, No. 24 and No. 26 and Robert Covington for Boston’s No. 3 pick. Now, that deal in a vacuum I’m okay with turning down. But here’s my problem – could Danny have made a bigger move knowing this offer was in his back pocket? I think it’s generally accepted that there were two Tier 1 (Simmons, Ingram) and then six guys Tier 2 (Brown, Bender, Dunn, Hield, Murray, Chriss). Danny even admitted that they considered Chriss at #3, and he went #8. The point is, being in the top 8 was critical. So, if Danny had that offer in-hand he should’ve looked at the other top 8 picks. who’s sitting at #8? Voila…the Kings! What did the Kings do at #8? Only trade it to Phoenix for #13, #28, a 2020 2nd and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Could the Celtics have better’d that offer? Hell yes. With that Noel trade, the Celtics could have offered #16, #23, #24, and #26. I doubt it would’ve even been that much but you get the point. Now the Celtics have Noel AND #8 to show for #3. With that, they may have walked away with Jaylen Brown and Nerlens Noel. They could’ve drafted the Euro guys at #31 and #35.
Bottom line – if that Stein report is accurate, did Danny make a mistake on Draft Night. – Gary
First off Gary, kinda messed up you come into the premiere mailbag with such a well written and coherent question at a time when you knew I needed material. That’s diabolical man. How dare you try and outshine me in my own mailbag. Second, I absolutely fucking love everything about your question.
On the surface, if the above is true, then yes, you could very well say Danny misplayed his hand. That’s just simple basketball math. I can take my one chip and trade it in for a young promising big man plus the person I would take anyway, and still get guys like Yabu and Zizic with my later picks. All of that makes sense, and as a fan you have a right to be mad about it.
But here’s the thing. That scenario is forgetting some things. The first concern is obvious. The Celtics must have known something that led them to believe Brown wouldn’t be there at 8, and that is who they really wanted the most of that group in Tier 2. That brings me to my next point, what if the Celtics knew that they could also just get Noel later? Who’s to say something can’t happen before the start of the season. Maybe Danny is just playing his leverage because he knows PHI doesn’t want all those bigs to start the year.
And don’t forget, by trading those late picks they ended up with Demetrius Jackson, who they apparently really, really like, given his guaranteed deal. If they didn’t have those later picks to package, maybe they miss out on a player they think might be able to one day hopefully somewhat help. Then what about the Dancing Bear? Now you’re asking me to make an uncomfortable decision about Yabu, and I just won’t go there.
My love for Boogie is well documented. I think he is that true blue chip talent that when you add to this team, makes them a title contender. I could care less about his attitude or the shit he pulls in SAC because how can you blame him, that situation is a dumpster fire. Need Boogie in Boston more than I need air. I’ve spent a long time thinking about your question (15 seconds) and there are two main obstacles for me. One, I’m a huge pussy. When push comes to shove no chance I actually commit a crime. Second, after watching the crew go to jail for Tom Brady, you could say that was the Barstool version of Scared Straight. I want NO part of that life because I know I’d be like Hank and have to take a shit in jail. That’s a disaster.
But, if I absolutely HAD to do something, the answer is obvious. Just follow in the footsteps of a couple of my childhood heroes
Let’s start by taking a look at where he was last year: 15mpg 4 points 3 rebound 42% shooting during the regular season and 28mpg 9 points 6 rebounds and 47% during the playoffs. With Sullinger now gone, it wouldn’t shock me if Brad puts Jonas in that role to start the year, and Sully got around 23mpg, so I’d say that’s probably where Jerebko ends up. The logical answer to what his production would then look like is probably around that 9/6/47% range but this is no place for logic. I mean did you see the work he’s putting in this summer?
I know it’s a running joke to call Jonas the Swedish Larry Bird, but after watching those two workout videos I see no way that people don’t start calling Larry Bird the American Jonas Jerebko. Whatever the best 6th man season ever was, double that.
Final Question Of The Week:
There were a couple questions about the ’17 pick, and next year’s class, so let’s just handle everything all at once. If they want, the Celtics could trade that ’17 pick swap, they don’t have to worry about the Stepien Rule or anything like that, which is nice. I’m a firm believer that if the right established NBA player becomes available, give the picks, but chances are that’s not going to happen. So who do I want? Well, seeing how it’s months before college basketball tips off, I guess all I really have to go off of is YouTube highlights. First let’s figure out who I even want with this pick, seeing as all signs point to it being like Top 4. If you don’t know them, get familiar with these names: Josh Jackon (Kansas), Harry Giles (Duke), Markelle Fultz (Washington), Jason Tatum (Duke), and Lonzo Ball (UCLA).
If we are to believe this is the crop that the Celts can choose from, you could make a case for any of them because they all possess a skill that the Celtics need. Obviously what their roster looks like at the time of the Draft will pretty much tell you what direction they should go in. For example, if they need a guard, I love Fultz. Next up for me would probably be Giles, knee injuries be damned. He’s a 6’11 freak that I wouldn’t mind at all. It’s important to remember though, these things are so fluid. The guys who are projected to be beasts might get passed as the year goes on. The good news for the Celts is that once again they should have their pick of the litter, and whether or not you trust Danny makes the right decision is your own problem, because In Danny I Trust.
And that will do it for the inaugural Greenie Bag. Thank you to those who wrote/tweeted in, keep them coming. Any time you have a random Celts thought, I want to hear it. For next week, let’s try and step it up, if you tweet me a question, make it a video or something and let’s get some weird/creative questions. Enjoy your Saturday everybody.