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Red's Army

How will the Dwight deal impact Boston?

Nick Sannicandro August 12, 2012 Around the NBA, Trades 16 Comments

FINALLY!  The circus act that has become the Dwight Howard “will I stay or will I go” saga (otherwise known as The Indecision) is over. Dwight stomped his feet loud enough, pissed off enough executives in the Magic front office, and even blew off Orlando youths at his own camp to get his way. In turn, Dwight has become one of, if not the most hated athlete in the NBA for his childish approach to this whole ordeal over the past 8 months. With Dwight Howard leaving the Eastern Conference, one would think that Celtics fans would be cheering, but how does this trade impact the Boston Celtics and their chase for Banner 18? Lets take a look:

With Dwight Howard out of Orlando, it essentially eliminates one threat in the conference. The Magic were a perennial 4/5 seed in the East, even making the NBA Finals a few years back, though they were never a truly legitimate title threat, they did have the potential to play a spoiler in the playoffs. With Orlando receiving a few boxes of Cracker Jacks, used thongs, and a bench player it is safe to say that they will no longer be much of a threat to the Celtics. Had Orlando gotten Pau Gasol as was originally reported (Before the Lakers pulled their used car salesman, snake in the grass trade you my crap for your great crap without giving up what we should have…like they have in the past (Gasol, Nash, Wilt, Kareem) the Magic may have made some noise, but with their top player now being…Jameer Nelson? Aaron Afflalo? They stand no chance in the East.

The biggest concern though for Celtics fans won’t be the Conference as a whole, but their own division. Gone are the days where the Atlantic division was a cakewalk and winning it meant nothing to Boston. Now, the Atlantic has to be the strongest division in all of basketball… seriously.  Boston is still a legitimate contender with their rebuild on the fly approach taking off on the runway before our eyes, New Jersey erm, I mean Brooklyn was able to make a sorta Big Three of their own, retaining Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Gerald Wallace while acquiring Joe Johnson. The Knicks still have Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy… oh wait.  The Raptors still suck, and will for a while. But the Sixers may now be the most impressive team in the Atlantic thanks to this trade.

With the Dwight Howard trade, the Sixers were somehow able to land former Lakers center Andrew Bynum.  Bynum, while a major health risk and potential one and done player gives the Sixers one of the most solid starting fives from top to bottom in the league. Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Lavoy Allen, and Andrew Bynum make for a pretty solid and well-rounded roster that can hit you from all ends of the floor. A team that took the Boston Celtics to seven games last season just got significantly better.

With that said, the fact that the Lakers got better and the Nuggets still even exist (nevermind the fact that they were involved in this trade) should be the last thing on Celtics fans mind. Often, Celtics fans get all worked up, building a team around what the Lakers have. The big concern that arose after the Perkins trade was “How can we beat the Lakers without Perk, Bynum will kill us!!” While that may have been true, did the Lakers even make the Finals that year? The reality is, the Lakers are just one team out of the Western Conference, they still need to win the Conference before we should worry about how we match up against them, a conference that should be mentioned is still VERY strong and won’t be a cakewalk to win. If you build a team around matchups against a team you will possibly face as little as twice a season, then you won’t be going far.

The Celtics fans need to focus on how they matchup against their own conference first, one that got significantly stronger during the offseason. The one benefit is it adds one more team that can legitimately beat up on Miami and level the playing field a bit, but the reality is it is just one more huge challenge for the aging Celtics. Gone will be the days of a first round playoff matchup against a clearly inferior team. Winning Banner 18 will mean going through four extremely talented teams in deep playoff series for each round. The East now has Miami, Chicago, Philly, New York, Brooklyn, Indiana, Boston all as legitimate threats with the knowledge that there will likely be another team or two lying in the weeds as an underdog that could make some noise this season (Cleveland? Atlanta? ) The Celtics have a very tough road ahead of them this season, there is no doubt about that but the reality is that the Celtics have also managed to improve their roster and should be able to stand up to any team in the division and hopefully the conference on their way to Banner 18.

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  • BillRussellTheGreatestOfThemAll

    I think it all depends on how Kevin Garnett can play center full-time. KG is a legitimate 7-foot-1 (forget the officially listed 6-foot-11 height, that’s bullshit), 250 lbs. Those are great measurements for a modern NBA center. KG has to go down in the low post more often next season, and Wilcox and Collins need to do more than usual to spell him. KG is the key.

  • KJandHondo

    KG is the heart and soul of this team. I really want his minutes to decrease in the regular season. Pierce as well. The added depth should help. We could use a starting center though. I don’t like KG having to matchup with Bynum. That’s tough. We need KG to play very low minutes to keep him fresh for the playoffs. KG plays very intense so he needs it. Wilcox and whoever else we have need to really bring it. We can’t ask KG to carry us each night. We’re gonna need him to carry us in the playoffs. A fresh KG is needed then. Also, Igoudala played really good defense on Pierce so that’s a part of their perimeter defense Sixers will miss.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Let`s keep ignoring the elephant in the living room!

    The Howard trade makes the Lakers a HUGE favorite in raising their 18th banner…before the Celtics get to raise their 18th banner.

    • greenbeand

      20 irrelevant blogs about ray allen’s feelings need to be exhausted, then in game 7 we’ll think about that elephant in the living room

  • Lee in Oregon

    I hate to say it but the Lakers also had a great offseason. They shoulda been able to beat OKC last year, but with the additions (Dwight, Nash, Jamison, Meeks) they’ll be much improved. They have enough to win the West, but the better teams are in the East. Looks like Rose is gonna miss most of next year though. Like alot of C’s fan’s, I’m pretty convinced we woulda killed OKC had we gotten by the Heat.

    I agree with the author, the East is now the better conference.

  • HanoiIG

    Dwightmare on Causeway Street? Maybe not so much, at least for me.
    I’ve been a Celtics fan since 1955 or so when I saw them play the Rochester Royals (right, there once was such a team, now in their 4th home). Since my mom was for her hometown team, I took up with the other side and have been with them ever since.
    Except for McCauley and Lavelli (accordion player I think) and Brannum, I saw them all: Russell, Cousy, Sharman and the Joneses. Heinsohn and Satch and Siggy. I even remember “Hambone” Williams and Gene Guarilia.
    There was much success in the early days, with the 8 consecutive championships and then the two sweetest of all: 1968 and 69, right after the Sixers seemed to have established their own dynasty.
    I enjoyed the Havlicek Era when he, Cowens and White won two championships and could have done even more.
    When the C’s drafted Bird, I watched his senior year at Indiana State with interest. Was he too slow, too white, and too anchored to the ground? It seems not, though I always felt the team could have won another championship or three had the ball bounced differently.
    My wife and I attended so many games, basically all the Atlantic Division road games. In a former life I went to a St. Patrick’s Day game in Hershey, PA, in the very arena where Wilt scored 100 and where I now punch in for my work as Security Officer for HersheyPark. We even went to some games in Hartford, which were played in a mall!
    My 41st birthday was spent watching Michael outscore Larry(barely) in a C’s victory at the old Chicago Stadium where I shook the hand of the Greatest Player Ever(#6 NOT #23) after which we flew to Detroit for another game.
    Living in Hanoi, Vietnam, I heard so many losses on the computer as the team hit rock bottom, then recall having my hope restored when Ray(who?) hit a game winning three against Charlotte after an improbable steal of an inbounds pass by Eddie House.
    At this point in life I am more focused on the “Big Picture,” as in they don’t have to win every year, just be relevant and compete to the best of their ability. The Heat had 3 stars conspire to get together for “not 1, not 2…..” I still like to think that with a healthy Pierce and Ray, not to mention Bradley, the C’s could have prevailed. I was disappointed but not devastated by their loss and the eventual Heat triumph.
    Over the years there have been great victories and some heartbreaking defeats, like 1987 and 2010 where I couldn’t believe that our guys could lose those big leads.
    Now that the Fakers have basically gotten Steve Nash AND Dwight Howard for little or no cost, I could despair and moan that the C’s offseason wheelings and dealings were for naught, as they are doomed to be just another good team, but I am not of that mind. I will celebrate the spirit of this team and their unquestioned leader Doc Rivers. I will enjoy KG’s resurgence and the return of Paul Pierce to Truthfulness.
    My team, OUR team, plays the game right and will do whatever it takes to win. The oddsmakers may count them out, but I for one will just enjoy watching them compete and knowing that we may just hear Sean Grande screaming something like “Bradley stole the ball!!!!”

    • Celtic Pride in Oz

      Well said, mate. I too go back a ways, maybe not as far as you but also found my “team” as a child around 1960. Russ was and will always be my hero, and i watched all the highs and lows ever since. Left for Australia in ’88 , planning to stay a year, maybe two – am still here now, 24 years later, with a wife and son. Thank god for espn , cable and now the internet. Didn’t think that ’86 would be the last banner for all the years I’ve spent here, until ’08′s great effort. But i don’t think many of the other NBA clubs could keep their fans like us Celtics fans. Too many fickle fans make for the Miami’s and LA’s now buying their “championships”. LA did this years ago with Wilt, Jerry and Elgin; with Magic and Kareem and we still found ways to win with lesser known names. Worried a bit when Ray left for Miami and now that Dwight finagled his way to LA. But you are right,we have pride, tradition and a history of winning. Team chemistry and defense are always in our mix, so stay strong and enjoy the ride! Go Celtics!!!

  • Chris

    Anyone who tells you this isn’t that big a deal is in denial. Howard is the most dominant center in the league, and while Bynum is number 2 on his day, he is a long way short of Howard.

    Having said that, I think we match up better on Howard than Bynum, In the 2010 finals, Kobe scored consistently but we were beaten when Bynum was on. I’m more concerned with Nash and the effect he’ll have on Howard’s offensive game. But if anyone can slow that offense, it’s the Celtics.

    The Sixers have a new weapon to throw at us, but when we played Philly in the playoffs, it was Iggy who gave us problems. Bynum will be easier to shut down without an elite scorer (J-Rich is no Kobe) and being the only decent big (Hawes is DEFINITELY no Gasol).

  • Art

    Red’s Army compares the C’s to the 76ers but doesn’t want to compare the C’s to the Fakers? C’s fans focus on NBA titles, not the division or conference titles. Philadelphia is no concern, the C’s may have enough to get by Miami this time, so the question is the Finals match-up.

  • Jimmy B

    The East now has Miami, Chicago, Philly, New York, Brooklyn, Indiana, Boston all as legitimate threats? So u seriously consider the Bulls and Sixers as threats? The Bullls, this offseason lost Asik, Lucas, Korver, Brewer and Watson. The Sixers lost their 4 best players and vets in Ugadola, Brand, Williams and Meeks. But Red’s Army still considered those teams a threat. Wow!

    I think I’m losing my mind. I just skim through the article and just have to Smh. When are Celtics beat writers and bloggers are going to realize that Doc and his Celtics don’t scare or fear anyone or team.

    • http://redsarmy.com John

      Just because they don’t fear a team doesn’t mean that team isn’t a threat. Philly is a threat because they have the second best true center in the NBA and they still have good pieces around him. Whenever Rose comes back, Chicago’s a threat again… especially if he’s healthy for the playoffs and the C’s meet up with them.

      If you can’t acknowledge that other teams in the East are very good and are capable of winning, then you’re not looking at things objectively. And if you think acknowledging that those teams are capable of winning equals some sort of “lack of faith” or picking the Celtics to lose means you’re not following the logic.

      • Triple-Dubbz

        They’re no threat. You can justify and articulate your argument until blue in the face. The reality is the Sixers are slightly better, but no drastically better than last season. I’m sorry, but when u lose your 4 best players in Ugadola, Williams, Brand and Meeks you’re not exactly better. The Sixers are not a running or slashing team with Bynum, sorry. The same goes for the Bulls. The Bulls arguably had the best bench in the entire league of 2012. Now the entire bench is gone. Rose is will be until March or April. So how are they any sort of threat?

        Use your logic John. I have to agree with the poster before u.

        • http://redsarmy.com John

          You have to agree with yourself? Remember, we can see your ip addresses, despite you using a different user name. Are we going to discuss this and see if other people agree with you, or are you going to just pretend others agree with you?

          • Matt in Maine

            BUSTED!! haha

  • rangeli

    I believe in OKC beating the Lakers, so why worry about DH, Kobe, Nash? All we have to do is keep up the good work we’re doing right now and see what happens.

  • King P

    Good morning folks. As a laker fan I’m proud of the Juggernaught we’ll be leveling the league with. But I do agree Boston is the second best team in the east. Miami can be beaten especially since you guys upgraded your bench. Hope to see you in the finals so we can snatch number 17 from you.
    – Peace