BOSTON – Even though the Boston Celtics struck out on landing Andrew Bogut, that doesn’t change the fact that they need to make some serious changes between now and the playoffs.
Bogut has reportedly chosen to sign with the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the most likely path to the NBA Finals coming from the East.
This Celtics franchise is beyond being happy and thankful to make a team’s short list of possible landing spots.
Bogut was the bonus that Boston would have loved to add to the mix, but knew going in that the odds of landing his services were slim.
So where does that leave the Celtics?
Back to their original plan when they opted to stand pat at the trade deadline, and that is to hope that there’s growth from within.
That growth can come in many forms.
But more than anything else, the Celtics need to shift from being such a finesse team to one that plays with greater force, more consistently.
It’s great that Boston shoots 3’s with the best of teams in the NBA. But that shouldn’t prevent them from banging a few bodies around the paint from time to time, or close out under control to either force a missed shot, a bad pass or a turnover.
It’s the little things like setting firm screens or sealing a big man off so a guard can swoop in for a rebound, that Boston needs to do with more consistency.
And with the Celtics losing out on the Bogut sweepstakes, no longer will Celtics players have to worry and wonder about whether they will get traded away or waived and replaced by a player picked up off the buyout pile.
Having that peace of mind can do nothing but help a team that failed to add a player to address what’s clearly their biggest need.
And while they have done a fine job this season in terms of success, they want more than just make the playoffs.
They want to be there for a while, something that has little to no chance of happening unless they make some type of adjustments in how they rebound the ball and defend the paint.
Success for Boston in both areas is possible.
Because we’ve seen this team defend and rebound at an elite level this year. At one point, Boston had either won or tied an opponent in the rebound battle in eight of 11 games.
They’ll need more of that going forward, especially from one another now that Bogut is no longer a consideration.