There are only 11 games left in the regular season for the Boston Celtics. While some Celtics fans’ attention shifted towards the NCAA Tournament, the Celtics were routed in Brooklyn by the Nets on March 21st. The Celtics then fell to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, 99-90.
There were some fans who tuned into the Tournament this weekend so they could see how some of the highly touted players performed on a grand stage, including Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Duke’s Jabari Parker. Both players did not fare well as their teams were unable to make it past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Duke was upset by an experienced Mercer squad in the second round last Friday and Kansas fell to 10th-seeded Stanford in the third round on Sunday. Parker scored 14 points, but he took 14 shots and only made four from the field. Wiggins was a rather pedestrian 1-of-6 from the floor.
The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn pointed out in a story from Monday’s edition that neither Parker, Wiggins, or any other young athlete should be expected to “Carmelo-ize” a school or NBA team. Washburn was referring to Carmelo Anthony’s immediate success when Anthony led Syracuse to the national championship in April of 2003 as a freshman. Three months later, Anthony became the third overall pick in the NBA Draft for the Denver Nuggets. Danny Ainge even discussed that while the 2014 draft class is talented, this is not the best class.
I was a huge fan of Parker this season with both his ability and competitiveness. He played for an undersized Duke team, but he battled on the glass and displayed a versatile skill set. None of the games has swayed my opinion, but I understand that Parker could have bumps along the road in the NBA. If the Celtics do draft Parker, he will need time to acclimate himself into the NBA. Every superstar has dealt with some kind of adversity early in their careers because they either play for rebuilding organizations (after all there’s a reason why that franchise holds a top-five selection) or they suffer an injury. LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Kevin Durant (Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder) competed for teams with losing records in their first few seasons. Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers missed his entire rookie season due to surgery on a broken left kneecap.
The Celtics will not regain instant success with their rebuilding process, but Ainge and the Celtics’ ownership have a proven track record. They will work on drafting and developing their young talent as well as dealing for critical pieces. The Celtics have a list of possibilities this summer when they are able to clear money off their books.
Olynyk was watching the Boston Bruns play the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. Olynyk is a hockey fan because he grew up in Toronto. Unfortunately, the Bruins’ 12-game winning streak ended in a shootout loss. The Bruins clinched a playoff berth last week and they currently own the best record in the NHL.
In another sad note, Bayless sent a tweet expressing his disappointment that next season will be the final season of the hit series, “Boardwalk Empire.” This was a truly entertaining show, but the fifth season will bring forth many intriguing questions about what will happen after last season’s thrilling conclusion.