It’s somewhat fitting that the Celtics will play their first post-deadline game tonight in Phoenix, against Marcin Gortat and the Suns. After all, for the last few months, Gortat (aka The Polish Hammer) was rumored to be on the Celtics radar. At the very least he was a player — seven-feet tall, strong, physical, with postseason experience — who could fill a major void, and was also thought to be available.
But with the deadline in the rearview, the Polish Hammer still calls Phoenix home, and — with Jason Collins now eating up space for the Wizards — Boston’s big man void is more glaring than ever.
On that note: Will anyone be shocked if Gortat goes for 20 and 20 tonight?
Isn’t that the way these things usually work?
Followed by Twitter exploding with Green rage and some local columnist filing the city’s first “Fire Ainge!” column?
But before we get there, let me just say that there has to be a plan.
Despite the impulse to blow up over Ainge’s lack of deadline activity, I’m positive that he, Mike Zarren and company were/are aware that the Celtics need size. I’m positive that the fact that they didn’t trade for size means that there was nothing on the table, or nothing that was in the best long term interest of this team.
And anyway, would the addition of someone like Gortat (who was pretty much the best option “available”) have made the Celtics a title contender? If the Hammer was wearing green tonight instead of white, purple and orange, would anyone be thinking: Look out Miami! Here we come OKC!
I don’t think so. He might make Boston a better team for now, but if that “better” still isn’t good enough to win a title, then at this point “better” = “worse.”
To that you might say: Well, if that’s the case, then why didn’t Ainge trade Pierce and KG? Why didn’t he blow the whole thing up and make it ALL about the future instead of picking and choosing and floating somewhere in between today and tomorrow?
Answer: Because that wasn’t Ainge’s decision to make.
Kevin Garnett didn’t want to be traded. That was his choice, and there’s nothing anyone — not Ainge, not Chris Paul, not Chauncey Billups — could do about it.
To that you might say: So then why did Ainge give KG that no-trade clause to begin with? Why did he even put the C's in this position?!
Answer: You weren’t saying that in July, so you’re not allowed to start now.
To that you might say: Well, then what about Paul?! Why not Paul?!
Answer: Giving up your captain — regardless of age — for one of the most disliked players in the league (Kris Humphries) is never good for business, and other than Brooklyn, who else was seriously interested in the Truth?
Listen, I know this isn’t a perfect situation right now for the Celtics. I know it’s easy to get frustrated, angry and even vindictive over the current state of their roster. But the truth is that there was no quick fix at the deadline, and thanks to KG, there was no reset button either. The Celtics were stuck. And instead of panicking and making things worse — aka chasing an immediate future that already belongs to LeBron — they stayed the course. They didn’t do anything stupid. And while that might hurt them now, it will look better in the end.
Keep that in mind during tonight’s impending Polish Hammer Show.
And either way, if it’s anywhere as entertaining as this, it might not be so bad.