Former Boston Celtics GM and championship point guard, and current Utah Jazz President, Danny Ainge, sent mixed messages on the C's second unit -- saying, a few sentences apart during an interview on the NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Pregame Live show that he worries about the team's defense if a starter goes down, but that he likes the roster "a lot."
"They have shooting, maybe the best shooting in the NBA," Ainge said (h/t NBC Sports Boston). "You do worry about the defense a little bit, if they have an injury somewhere.
"I do like their bench, their depth, their size. They are never too small because Tatum and Brown are good sized for a three and a four [small forward and power forward] or a two and a three [shooting guard and small forward]. I like their team, a lot."
A lot besides the defense in the second unit, presumably.
Don't be surprised if Boston Celtics opt for internal improvement over splashy signing or trade
The Celtics' 128-111 win over the Orlando Magic on December 15 felt like a turning of the corner for Boston, who got shockingly impactful contributions from fill-in center Lamar Stevens -- who was stepping up in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, and Luke Kornet --, Oshae Brissett, and Payton Pritchard.
Given the lack of an obvious defensive candidate available in free agency, the cost it'd take to land a true needle-mover, and the underrated man defense Sam Hauser provides that is often overlooked, it wouldn't be surprising to see Brad Stevens guarantee Stevens' and Kornet's contracts, while possibly cutting Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and converting Neemias Queta's two-way deal to a guaranteed one.
A Celtics team that's firing on all cylinders by February is one unlikely to make dramatic changes, so if the winning keeps up, the improvement may come internally as opposed to from the free agent or trade markets.