This season’s Celtics are turning into that girlfriend you had senior year in high school. You’re about to graduate and move on to bigger and seemingly better things. You don’t want to get too attached.
You’re applying to Harvard (Kevin Durant). But you may settle for Boston College (Kevin Love). You may even choose to ride that full scholarship to UMass-Amherst (keeping the Nets pick in this year’s draft).
You know you’ll have to cut the cord soon with your present fling. Summer is fast approaching.
Last Friday night was something else. Things got real. You went all the way. Without a condom (Jae Crowder). You beat Golden State. At Golden State.
It was ecstasy.
You’re falling in love and you can’t help it. Maybe you can make this thing work next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. Hell, maybe you’ll even get married one day and have kids (win a championship with this current Celtics core).
But then you start to think. And think. And think some more.
Your mind says the odds of getting married one day to your high school sweetheart are astronomical. There will be far too many pretty girls winking at you, grinding on you this summer for you to stay true with this wholesome girl who gave you a neat senior year.
So be a realist. Enjoy these next few weeks (playoffs) and then get ready to cut the cord this summer.
Don’t get too attached to this group, Celtics fans, because Danny Ainge is the ultimate realist.
He knows the way to still win a championship in the NBA is to get multiple superstars on your roster. Isaiah Thomas has emerged as the Celtics’ superstar this season. But the current situation with the Celtics dictates that Thomas be “the guy.” When Ainge brings in the big guns (and he will bring in some big guns soon – either via trade or free agency), Thomas will either be the third option on this team (at best) or he won't be here at all.
We’ve already seen Ainge do this. People genuinely liked those early 2000s teams with Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce. They had heart. They had soul. Walker even banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat the reigning NBA champs one late night out West during the height of the Kobe-Shaq Lakers. That group ultimately got to the Eastern Conference Finals in a watered down East. It was a fun ride, but in no way were those Celtics close to a title - if you’re being real.
Ainge blew that fun group up in 2003. He blew it up again a few years later in order to land Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Something big is coming with the Celtics in terms of a transaction. We’re just not sure what it’s going to look like yet. Yes, there will be more than a few holdovers from this fun group when the Celtics are legit title contenders again. We just don’t know who will be here and who won’t be here yet.
So be a realist.
Enjoy the Celtics’ 2016 playoff run (they clinched Sunday night with a win over the Lakers), but really – don’t get too attached.
You’re about to graduate to the big time soon. Keep that in mind.