Celtics (11-21) vs Nets (16-18): Time For A Youth Movement


Fresh off a dispiriting loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the Boston Celtics find themselves in Brooklyn tonight trying to get some positive momentum going.

Due to the absolutely abysmal make-up of the Atlantic Division, and the Eastern Conference as a whole, Boston actually enters tonight’s game as the third-place team in the Atlantic, and is somehow only 2.5 games behind the 8th-seeded team in the East, the Miami Heat.  I’m sure dreams of making the playoffs are in the heads of everyone in the Boston Celtics locker room, but nothing about the team’s performance Monday night points at those dreams becoming a reality this season.

Losing takes its toll, people, and a good chunk of this roster is en route to losing over 100 games spread across the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.  This team is in need of a shake-up, which is why I would love to see coach Brad Stevens load his starting five up with as much young talent as possible.

But what about winning tonight’s game, you ask?  Who the hell cares about that?

Even if Trader Danny Ainge doesn’t ship Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, or both of these guys out of town by the end of the season, this team would be three-and-done if it managed to squeak into the playoffs with the eighth seed.   That’s a big if, too, since we all know that Ainge has been actively shopping both Green and Bass, in search of more magic beans – I mean, in search of more draft picks!

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With that reality firmly established, it’s time to see what the youngsters have.  No more playing Evan Turner at starting point guard over Marcus Smart; no more sending James Young to Maine; no more pretending Jared Sullinger is a stretch four and that Kelly Olynyk is a stretch five.  My starting line-up from here on out would be Smart, Young, Sullinger, Olynyk, and Tyler Zeller.

Anyone worried about hurting Turner’s and Avery Bradley‘s feeling?  Those two combined to score 9 points on 4-for-12 shooting against Charlotte.

Anyone worried about hurting Jeff Green’s feelings?  Don’t worry – he’s going to get traded!

(Although, in all honesty, if Green continues to start, I’ll understand.)

Young finally got the chance to show what he could do with some respectable PT against the Hornets (13 points in 17 minutes), but we need to see what he can do night in and night out.   Even if he doesn’t get the start tonight (he won’t), he needs to see at least 20 minutes a night from here on out.  There’s little doubt about it: Young and Smart will be the starting backcourt for the Boston Celtics, soon.   This is the perfect time to play them together and see what they accomplish.

Tonight’s game tips off at the ever-reliable time of 7:30 p.m.  Follow us @houdiniceltics, and let’s see what we see!