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The Weekend Greenie Bag - Should Our Expectations Of This Team Change?

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As I sit here and hope my beloved Sun Devils don’t lose again to Stanford on Senior Day, I figured with a few more hours to kill before the Celts tip off why not check in with the stoolies to see what’s on their mind about this team. If we’re being honest, it was a lot more rational than I expected given what’s been put out on the internet over the last day or so, and I must say I’m a little disappointed. What’s the point of a weekly mailbag blog if nobody is going to be outrageous? Anyway, as a reminder participating in this blog is easy, you can tweet me whatever with #GreenieBag or you can email greenieceltsbag@gmail.com. Any day, any time, we’re open for your best takez.

With that said, your questions…

I suppose they could if someone were to get hurt or something like that, but that player would not be eligible to help in the playoffs. All buyouts/FAs have to be on your roster by March 1st in order to be able to play in the playoffs, so unless you figure out some sort of time travel device, the roster we see now is probably what we’ll have for the duration of the Spring (wink wink).

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So moving forward it’s not just going to be Morris/Terry that have to be solid second unit options, this team is going to need Greg Monroe to look a whole hell of a lot more like what he looked like against CHA.

You also can’t forget about their secret weapon, Brad’s been saving this all year I just know it

Just wait.

Alright, what should my expectations be for this season given all the ups and downs? Do these Celtics need to make it to the finals for this to be a successful step in the rebuild or is just getting to the conference finals enough sort of like last year? Last year I was great, even getting crushed by Cleveland, they made it as far as was reasonably possible. What about now?…Without Gordon Hayward coming back…We know what’s expected if he does, finals for bust. – Sean

To be honest Sean my expectations have not changed since the moment Hayward went down, and did not change during their 16 game winning streak or their stretch of terrible basketball before the break. I fully expect this team to make the ECF, or have a competitive series against CLE whenever that is. If that’s in the second round and they take them to 6 or 7 and lose I’d consider that a success, and if that were to happen in the ECF same thing. That would show me progress from last year.

If for whatever reason they are able to miss CLE? Then my expectation is they should come out of the East. I do think a series with TOR would be close but I’d expect them to win it. That’s why to me homecourt is so important, you don’t want a Game 7 up in TOR, you just don’t.

The thing that makes it interesting is we have no idea how our young kids are going to react to this new pressure. Jaylen looked OK in stretches last postseason, but now him and Tatum have 100000x the pressure to play well that they do in the regular season. If this team were to lose in the first two rounds to any team other than CLE, I’d say the season was a disappointment even without Hayward. I think that’s fair.

With all the stuff going on with Kawhi in San Antonio, do u think theres a shot that the Celtics would go after him, and if so, how would he fit with the C’s? – Wally

Do I think Danny Ainge will pick up the phone this summer just to check in? Of course. SA is in an interesting position with Kawhi in terms of they need to figure out if they are willing to give him a big time extension. I still think they come to terms but once again if there is a team looking to unload a star player, Ainge is there with the assets to get it done. Now it won’t be cheap, you’ll probably have to get rid of players you’d rather not give, but we’re talking about a top 5 player in the NBA in Kawhi Leonard who is just like 26 years old or something.

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And yeah I’d think someone of his caliber would fit rather nicely with the Celtics because you’re probably going to be giving up pieces at his position in order to acquire him. I can think of worse things than playing Kawhi as a SG, or maybe even a small ball four. You figure out a way to make things work with him he’s that good.

So you can add him to the Anthony Davis list of guys who will be rumored with the Celtics from now until they sign an extension. It’s just how it goes for this team, but just understand you aren’t getting him for your trash. It’ll be expensive.

Greenie,

I know you saw that Players’ Tribune video of Hayward putting in work. Let’s just say he does come back in late March / early April… Is this Celtics team better than the Warriors? They have the two best players, for sure, but Kyrie is Kyrie. Jaylen is capable of dominating on offense and defense. An 85% healthy Hayward is still an All-Star. Tatum hasn’t been super consistent as of late, but we know he can hit shots when it counts. Horford can put in work on the perimeter. The bench looks greatly improved. Am I crazy for thinking this team has a legitimate shot against Golden State this year? Or should I ditch these homer glasses? – Reece

People really need to be careful here. This isn’t 2K. Just because you put Hayward into the lineup does not mean it all the sudden makes them the best team in the league. So much goes into it, the chemistry, the familiarity of how certain guys play, not to mention he hasn’t played one second of basketball since getting hurt. You would think that even if Hayward did come back, he’s topping out at like 10-15 minutes a night. I don’t think that would make them better than GS right now.

If you want to talk to me next year now that we know how good Tatum is, and with the options we could see this summer in terms of trades, OK I’ll listen. Adding a 100000% Hayward to this group and having him play 30+ minutes a night makes them drastically better. It’s fun to joke about on Twitter, I am as guilty as anyone, but let’s not put that sort of pressure on him. Whatever he gives us is a bonus and anyways the Celtics play the Warriors tough without him. I’d love to see a series with them but we need to figure out how to get past CLE first.

Considering the odds are going to be much more even moving forward at the top of the lottery, I’d say it helps the Celts. I’m still not sold on that Clippers pick being all that valuable, and the MEM pick does have protections. The big thing is the SAC pick where we just need them to not land the #1 pick. Lowering their odds for this is why I think this helps the Celts. In most cases they’ll once again be a bottom 3-5 team, so making it a little more even with those top 3 is good news. There are some great talents at the top of the lottery next year, so I’d be happy with pretty much anybody. Just can’t have that be #1.

Hey Greenie,

I’m always happy to see a Celts win but I gotta ask,,, why is Morris taking so many shots? At first I thought he was taking some of Smart’s shots during the injury, but Smart is back now and the trend is continuing. Looking back, I feel like his point total does not change drastically with the extra shots, so they seem to be inefficient when he does take them. I like to see the strain taken off Kyrie, but I don’t like the idea of Morris matching or exceeding Kyrie in FGA. Viva – Jake

Jake I decided a long time ago that I would just accept whatever Marcus Morris’ shot selection is going to be on this second unit. It’s clear they need him to score, so the second he gets into the game, he does not waste any time getting shots up. I fully understand it’s frustrating as hell, but once you accept that this is just what’s going to happen it’s a little more tolerable.

The good news is he’s playing great since the break which means we can expect his around 15 points a night. It may not seem like a lot but having him contribute like that takes a huge amount of pressure off Smart and Rozier on that second unit. Yes there will be halfs where he goes 1-8 and you want to punch your TV. But then in the same game he’ll get hot going with his iso midrange and you’ll forget all about it. Plus, at least it’s taking away shots from Smart!

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