No one expected the Celtics to accomplish much of anything this season. They were pegged as bottom dwellers from the day Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were shipped to Brooklyn.
As it stands, the C's have just about met expectations. They're 11th in the conference with the Cavs, Sixers, Magic and Bucks behind them. They had some good stretches early in the season, but lately (especially in January) they've settled (or crashed) into a downward trajectory.
On Friday, the Celtics sat Rajon Rondo (rest) against the Kings, causing some to ask if the Celtics are tanking. In any situation when it's clear a team isn't going to contend, the debate always creeps up - Should teams tank and try to get a better draft pick?
Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay discuss the issue on Arbella Early Edition.
"It is not in your best interest to win basketball games now," says Minihane. "You don’t want to trade two months of watching Rondo play and having some fun for what could be ten years of [Andrew] Wiggins or ten years of [Jabari] Parker, or ten years of whoever."
The 2014 Draft Class has some notable names at the top - franchise altering names - and if the Celtics endure a horrible season and don't snag one of the top guys, it could be a major setback.
"You get a draft class like this, what, once every five years," says Tanguay. "It is essential for the Celtics to get a Top Five pick, because if it doesn't happen, it could set them back five years."
Minihane agrees that there's a sense of urgency to secure an early pick.
"You don’t have to get the first pick," says Minihane, "just be bad enough that you can get a top four or five pick."
And what about the issue of tanking itself? It doesn't bother Minihane, but Tanguay suggests a way to eliminate tanking from the game.
"You take all the teams, you throw their names in a hat at the end of the year and you just pick out the order," says Tanguay "You take all of the teams - champion to the worst. You put them in a hat and you pick them out."
Whether or not you believe the Celtics are trying to lose games, they have unquestionably put themselves in position for a monster offseason with the acquisition of draft picks and a possible lottery pick waiting in the wings.