This is a big week in the NBA, and it's especially big for the Celtics.
We all know how Danny Ainge shocked the NBA world (and his own team) by dealing away Kendrick Perkins last season, essentially sealing the Celtics' fate as noncontenders once it was clear Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic weren't the answers.
That trade defined the Celtics’ 2010-11 season. And just like last season, a trade — or lack thereof — will again define this one. Tack on a brutal eight-game road trip starting out west, and this is the biggest week of the Celtics’ season to date.
First, look at the Celtics' current team. There is one glaring need — a big man. They need size more than Rick Santorum needs the South. Jermaine O'Neal is useless and is considering season-ending wrist surgery. Chris Wilcox is out indefinitely while he gets tests done on his heart — yes, another Celtics player with heart trouble.
A lot of what the Celtics do at the deadline depends on those two players' immediate future with the team.
The C's will do everything they can to bring on a big body at the trade deadline, but they aren't willing to trade any starters for 75 cents on the dollar. All reports indicate that Ainge is asking for a lot in return if opposing teams want any of the Big Four, and none of those teams are biting.
For that reason, you might just see a small trade to bring on a low- to midlevel talented center with the C's not giving up much in return. If that doesn't happen, look for the C's to scour the D-League or recently released veterans for help.
Ainge isn't going to "blow up the team" at this stage when they're already designed to self-destruct at the end of the season. Almost every player on the C's roster (not Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, JaJuan Johnson, or E'Twaun Moore) is slated to come off the books.
The C's have two concerns right now: Getting bigger down low, and surviving this brutal road trip. A minor trade for a somewhat proven big man, and a 4-4 record on this road trip would equal "crisis averted."