Expectations for Celtics? Keep that bar low
No one wants to be a sucker two straight seasons. Even a Celtics fan whose allegiance dates back to the twilight of the Bill Russell Dynasty finds it easier to turn the cynicism tap on high upon hearing how the Celtics really, truly have a chance to reach the NBA Finals.
Part of this rediscovered giddiness is rooted in the departure of Kyrie Irving. Talk about suckers; Irving high-tailed it to Brooklyn and would join his pal, Kevin Durant, to give the Nets instant credibility as a contender.
Durant then suffered a torn Achilles in the NBA Finals. He and Irving will have to wait a year to boost Brooklyn – if Durant is the same guy he was before the injury.
He could consult with Gordon Hayward on that hurdle.
At any rate, the Celtics are said to have added camaraderie by subtracting Irving from the equation. That may be true. Kemba Walker should offer some tangible benefit by making up at least a good chunk of the offense lost with Irving’s exit.
Unfortunately, the Celtics did little to strengthen their weakness on the other end of the floor. Al Horford left for Philadelphia, further reducing Boston’s ability to limit foes to one shot and to offer at least a modicum of resistance inside.
Enes Kanter is said to be an able replacement. Some go so far as to suggest he is an upgrade.
Anyone who nods in agreement with that notion can be dismissed as silly.
Realistically, this man’s goal for the Celtics is quite modest. It could be a fun team to watch, it may win between 45 and 50 games, and maybe even win a playoff round.
If the Celts can merely produce entertainment value for six months or so, they should claim success.
TIME TRAVEL: Oct. 17, 1949 – As reported by Frank Stawasz, Nashua High School topped Lawrence, 28-13, before a “small” gathering of 5,000 at Holman Stadium. Bobby Dobrowolski ran for three touchdowns and Buddy Harvey booted four point-afters, extending his streak to eight straight.
Harvey also assisted Dobrowolski and the other Purple Panther ball carriers from his full-time job at left tackle.
Also on this date, “Advance sale of tickets for the Nashua-Manchester Central game here Sunday afternoon gets underway tonight at two different locations, faculty manager Leonard Paquette announced this morning.
“Tickets, on which prices have been raised to $1 for this big game, can be purchased at the Boston Fruit and at Laton House. Unlike the Lowell game, wherein the entire grandstand was reserved for the game, only the usual two sections will be reserved for the game with Central. Also the East stands will be reserved for Central ticket holders.”
AND FINALLY: It took the star-crossed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and California little time to replace Brad Ausmus with a bona fide managerial giant. Joe Maddon, his time with the Cubs ending with the thud of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Reportedly, John Farrell was among a handful of other candidates who interviewed for the job.
That would indicate Maddon had no serious competition.
Contact Alan Greenwood at 594-1248, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_AlanG.com.