Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Essentially, Stevens was taking some of the blame for Green’s shooting slump, which, despite some big games, goes back almost two months and coincides with the downfall of the Celtics offense.
“I think the biggest thing for us right now, is we just have to be consistent in trying to get him the ball against the right matchups, and him take advantage of those matchups,” Stevens said Tuesday. “In some games he gets doubled, and some games he doesn’t have a matchup that’s advantageous, certainly, as far as in the post goes. But in a lot of times he does. Most of the time, what I’m talking about is being able to get him the ball in the post. In the halfcourt he’s very good down there.
“He’s also good in certain other scenarios that I think we can do more often. And I think it’s fair for us to continue to explore every which way to help him maximize the way he’s playing. I do think it starts in transition. We’ve got to get him the ball more in transition. And everybody’s accountable for that. But at the end of the day, that’s the way that I look at it. Any time a guy’s struggling, it’s how can we help him get a little bit better?”
If you didn’t catch it, Masslive’s Jay King wrote a related article, highlighting Jeff Green as the leading figure in Boston’s offensive regression. I knew times were tough, but I wasn’t aware that the Celtics had been struggling so much with scoring since the beat down in New York a few months ago (I suggest reading his article, it really explains just how bad we’ve been).
With Rondo now back, it became conceivable that Jeff Green would be able to find his shots in places he’s more comfortable, and he’d be able to score even when his game was lacking agression. Unfortunately, with the exception of his monster game against the Wizards, not much has changed over the past ten games or so. Maybe as Rondo continues to get his speed and confidence back, the transition opportunites with pick up for him.
It’d also be nice to see Green play the stretch-forward role, and let Chris Johnson or Gerald Wallace play small-forward, even if it’s just to mix things up in the name of experimentation. I guess we’ll see what Brad Stevens has in store.
Page 2: Will the Celtics sign Chris Johnson?
The Celtics must soon decide if Johnson, whose second 10-day contract expires on midnight Thursday, will be signed for the remainder of the season. There’s certainly interest on Boston’s end given the way he’s performed, but the lingering trade deadline and a need to maintain roster and salary cap flexibility is working against Johnson.
The Celtics essentially have two open roster spots, but those could come in handy before Feb. 20. The bigger issue is leaving enough financial flexibility to navigate the deadline. By our rough calculations, the Celtics are currently hovering around $70.6 million committed in luxury tax calculations. That’s a little more than $1 million from the $71.75 million tax line that Boston has absolutely no desire to step over this season.
“We have not talked about it in finality or final details,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “But I do know it’ll be a decision of can we afford to do it from a cap management and all that stuff standpoint, but I don’t really understand the exact details of that. If we decide not to re-sign him, it won’t be because of anything that would be basketball related from the standpoint of his performance. I think every one of us would love to have him in the program for all that he’s meant at this point and time, just in the last 20 days. He’s been fantastic.”
ESPN Boston – Will C’s keep Johnson around?
The situation between Johnson and the Celtics’ management is becoming more and more of a bummer. To fans, it seems like a no-brainer t0 at least give him a contract for the second half of the season. A contract that small would likely still keep the team under the luxury tax, and would give them another 40 games to see what they’ve got. He can clearly play at the professional level, and it’d be a shame to see him sign with another team.
But unfortunately, the decision to sign Johnson goes beyond his game on the court, and his presence on the roster must be factored into things that cannot yet be predicted. Things like being able to take back contracts in a trade that hasn’t even been discussed yet, and needing the extra two roster spots in case something large pops up.
Then again, maybe Ainge has something up his sleeve for Johnson. Danny is surely smart enough to recognize when the talent is there, and if he’s trying to rebuild, it wouldn’t make a ton of sense to turn his head away from a young guy who plays a postion the Celtics desperately need assistance in.
The rest of the links: