Boston Celtics player No. 1) Luke Kornet
Coming into this year’s playoffs, one of the bigger storylines that fans have been following is the trash talk by Bruce Brown about the C’s frontcourt personnel, particularly now that they’ll be without Robert Williams coming into the series.
In a postgame presser directly following the team’s play-in victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Nets guard was asked what he believes will wind up being the biggest key to slowing the Boston Celtics down in the first round to which he gave a simple answer to: attack the bigs:
"“We got to be physical with them. Now they don’t have Robert Williams, so they have less of a presence in the paint, and we could attack Al Horford and [Daniel] Theis. So them not having Robert Williams is huge.”"
Now, frankly, it appears as though Brown is severely underrating the impact that both Horford and Theis have in the paint, especially on the defensive end as they rank second and third, respectively, on the team when it comes to Defensive Rating (Time Lord, of course, being first).
Since these comments were made, we’ve gone about and discussed in great detail why his own teammate, Kevin Durant, was right to dispel such notions that the C’s are now somehow completely depleted on the less glamorous side of the ball and that they’ll be easily driven on without Williams manning the middle–after all, we’re talking about a former All-Defensive selection and a guy in DT who averages 2.3 blocks per 100 possessions and boasts a blocks percentage of 4.3 in green and white threads.
Simply put, the major reason why Luke Kornet is a player we hope to not see receiving extended playing time in this first-round series is that, well, then it would mean the combination of Horford and Theis is injured or in foul trouble, the latter of which would then subsequently strengthen Brown’s comments.
Don’t get us wrong, we have no ill feelings about Kornet as a player. However, if he’s getting significant run, that means at least one of Boston’s main big men is off the floor, which is not a recipe for a successful series.