February 25, 2011 Leave a Comment
While Celtics nation may be enraged after losing their big man in a blockbuster deadline deal with the Thunder, the Celtics managed to load up for the playoffs and the future all in one swoop. Celtics fans who clicked the link to Chad Ford’s analysis on the deal, should be cheering, as Chad Ford cannot understand why the Celtics would do this deal, and thinks it’s a perplexing move. Ford, while an entertaining writer and a quality analyst, predicted that Darko Milicic and Nikoloz Tskitsisvili were once in a generation superstars.
The Celtics give up Perkins, who was the a big factor to the team’s stifling defense during their spectacular three year run, since the team assembled the real big three. Fans may be upset that Perk is gone, especially since the Celtics lost without their big man in game 7 of this past year’s finals, mainly due to the absence of Perk’s presence in the paint. However, any way you look at it, this trade was a big win for the Celtics.
After Marquis Daniels went down with a spinal injury that will likely cost him the season, the Celtics knew they needed to make a move for a backup wing. Jeff Green, who the Celtics drafted fifth in 2007 and immediately traded, along with Delonte West and Wally Szecrbiak, for Ray Allen, will add a level of versatility that makes the Celtics an incredibly dangerous team. Similar to Lakers forward Lamar Odom, Green, a combo forward, brings a lot of different skills to the table on the floor, without taking much away from his teammates. After running with stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Green likely won’t have a hard time adjusting to running with Celtics stars KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.
While there is concern that the absence of Perkins will become a liability in the playoffs, the reality is, aside from Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, there aren’t any big men the Celtics should have trouble matching up against. Even after the trade, the Celtics still have a dominant front court in KG, Shaq, JO, Big Baby and newly acquired Nenad Krstic.
Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal were both acquired to help the Celtics match up against Dwight Howard and the Lakers front court, so now, in the absence of Perkins, the C’s veterans will be under more pressure to earn their keep. The surprising effectiveness of Big Baby against Howard and Bynum, should prove vital after the trade. While the team may lose some of the beef with Perk, they gain a new advantage in the added versatility of Green.
As Larry Bird’s career reached its twighlight years, many wondered whether the old big three would have been able to pull out a few more titles had a younger talent come in to take some of the regular season burden off the aging stars. Unfortunately, due to one of the most devastating events in the history of the NBA, Celtics fans can only be left to ask, what if? After today’s trade, Celtics president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, acquired the young talent who can help ease the old legs of Garnett, Pierce and Allen in regular season situations. With the incredible longevity being shown by the stars of the 90′s, it is not unreasonable to think this move can add another year or two to the Celtics title window.
Prior to Perkins return from injury, the Celtics held the best record in the Eastern conference. The team walked all over the Heat twice (and squeaked by them once), without Perk there in the paint to defend the wanna-be three. Had the Celtics not picked up Krstic in the deal, the loss of depth at center may have been a concern, but as constructed, this deal makes the Celtics better now and in the future. All emotions aside, Green is simply a better player than Perkins, and should prove to be an excellent fit in Boston.
The trade thrusts the Thunder into the thick of the Western conference title race. Prior to the trade, the Thunder were a bit of a weak defensive team in the post, and sorely lacked a wide body to protect the paint. As any casual basketball fan would know from these last three playoffs, there are few centers who can protect the paint like Perk. Aside from acquiring Perk, the Thunder also acquired Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed. Mohammed was acquired in a separate deal with Charlotte, in exchange for the expiring contract of Mo Peterson and forward D.J. White. All three players provide finals experience, with Boston and San Antonio respectively, that will prove valuable to the young Thunder squad in the playoffs.
While the Thunder may risk breaking the strong bond the team has developed in Oklahoma City, their need for size made this trade difficult to pass up. Green may have been a vital piece for the Thunder, however, the presence of Durant and up and coming big man, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison, should plug in the gaps left by Green. The Thunder now have the size in the middle to compete with the likes of San Antonio, Dallas and LA.
While many pundits are calling this trade a huge win for the Thunder, and subsequently a big loss for the Celtics, I think both teams should receive a good grade for this trade. This trade, in my humble opinion, improves both teams in both the short and long term. Besides, any time I have a chance to post a link to this video, everyone’s a winner.
In other news, it appears the Semih Erden/ Luke Harangody era is over.