In a chippy final game, the Celtics got swept by the Cavs in what was really a heat check for a scrappy, underachieving Celtics team. In the end, it was the more star-studded, team that pulled away with the series win. Surprise, surprise. That’s how the NBA works.
The main takeaway from this series is that the Celtics aren’t there yet. They are not contenders. Not yet. If it wasn’t obvious before the Cavs series, it is now. Sure, it was an unfavorable draw getting King James in the first round as opposed to a very mortal Atlanta Hawks team, but the general result would have been the same – a first round loss. Which is fine by Celtics fans. Not many expected them to be in the playoffs anyways.
So, exit stage left regular season, and enter offseason 2015. Two things were especially apparent in the Cavs series that the C’s need to address this offseason – rebounding and star-power. Both were exposed by the Cavs during the series at some of the most crucial times. Kyrie and LeBron hit big shots and got to the free throw line at-will. Tristan Thompson killed the C’s with sneaky offensive rebounds in crucial late game situations. Just two examples that echoed problems the team has dealt with all season.
Celtics have both cap space and assets in draft picks to address these needs, with either a free agent signing or a trade. To me, the most attainable move would be to sign Kevin Love. He is one of the few talented free agents that has expressed interest in playing for Boston. At least, that was before Kelly Olynyk ended Love’s playoff campaign, dislocated his shoulder fighting for a loose ball with Olynyk. As furious as he was leaving the TD Garden, Love has a past with the Celtics, so I wouldn’t rule out him signing completely. Still, you can bet your ass that the chances of landing him took a hit – especially after the announcement of Love being sidelined for 4-6 months. Thanks, Kelly. You should try that whole box-out thing sometime.
Did Kelly Olynyk spoil the Celtics chance of landing Love?
Luckily, there are a lot of available free agents not named Kevin Love that can address the offseason needs. With the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, Greg Monroe, and old friend Al Jefferson, there are a lot of available free agents that fit into these two needs for the Celtics. There’s a lot of cap room and a lot of talented big men on the market. With Danny Ainge as your GM, something’s got to give this summer. Whether that big man is Kevin Love is to be determined.