Why bold Boston Celtics roster shakeup is about more than just talent

Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /

It’s like baking. Too much of something, or too little of something else causes the final result to be inconsistent with the baker’s ambitions. That is what Brad Stevens has been attempting to do, at a much larger scale since taking the reins from Danny Ainge in the Boston Celtics’ front office.

Ainge built one of the most talented rosters of this last decade in 2018 which included Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford. The only issue, they weren’t the right ingredients.

Building a championship contender is something any NBA franchise can do with the belief from ownership. Constructing an actual NBA champion is the task Boston hopes it has finally figured out. It is not just about acquiring an abundance of talent. It’s about meshing together 12 or so personalities. Each of which have different needs, goals, and talents on the floor.

Sure, having three of the best shooters in the world would help, but that doesn’t mean success will follow. Everyone on a championship team has to be willing to give something up for the betterment of the team. Over the past few years, the Celtics have obtained those kinds of players. This year, it’s different. The talent on the upper part of the roster has taken a significant jump while that essential piece of unselfishness still remains.

Sacrificing two homegrown pieces this offseason could result in something special for the Boston Celtics

It takes a special player to be able to be that former All-Star caliber player while knowing that individual recognition may be a thing of the past. It’s one thing to say all the right things, but it’s another to actually mean it.

It may be early, but both Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday look like they REALLY mean it.

The former Washington Wizard talked about the potential of his statistics taking a hit.

“It’s not that much of a sacrifice, at the end if you’re winning, what are you sacrificing?,” Porzingis told the Celtics’ media last week. “Your own stats for winning? That makes sense, I’ll do that trade every day. If all of our stats dip a little bit, or some stats dip a little bit, who cares? We’re here to win.”

That’s the kind of attitude a top-four player within a team needs to have. Holiday and Porzingis both realize that they are not the main foundation. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are. The two former All-Stars were brought in to act as lifters, or accentuators of what those two have been building for years.

Holiday even gave his take on whether or not he wanted to start.

“It’s not that big of a deal,” Holiday said. “I like winning. Winning is really important. Playing good on the court is important. Supporting my teammates is important. So it’s not always how you start, it’s how you finish.”

That’s a two-time All-Star and three-time All-Defensive First Team player saying that.

Tatum may average 29, but one night Holiday will be red-hot and go for 32. There’s no question about that. The leading scorer game in and game out is most likely to fluctuate throughout the campaign. The best part about it is that to the players suiting up, none of it is significant. That theme has continued, even with the kinds of losses the Boston Celtics underwent.