Danny Ainge

Despite Celtics struggles, GM Ainge is standing pat. For now.


Boston is struggling. The Celtics have lost four in a row and eight out of their last 10. They look like a team that is going to have to fight just to make the playoffs. It’s a big disappointment.

What is Celtics GM Danny Ainge going to do about it?

Nothing. For now. That’s what he said, via CSNNE.com.

“Well I think our team is not playing well, obviously, but I see some good signs,” Ainge told WEEI on Thursday. “I thought (the Wednesday night loss to Memphis) was a step forward. We don’t have moral victories, but I thought our effort was better. We’re still out of sync offensively. I think defensively has been the biggest problem throughout the course of the year, but last night I think our problems came more with the halfcourt offense.”

So, it’s a step forward when you’re bad on only one end of the court? I guess.

But Ainge is not looking to shake up the roster just to shake up the roster. He wants to be patient.

“We’re just looking at what we’re capable of becoming,” Ainge said. “I think we haven’t found the right pieces. I think that Doc is probably going to tweak the lineup again and try to do some things different. We’ll just try to be patient with this team as long as we can.”

A panic move is almost never a smart move. If Boston is going to make a trade they need to find the right one so being patient is the right strategy.

Maybe with the return of Avery Bradley it will take some defensive pressure off Rajon Rondo, which will improve Rondo’s offensive play and things will start to look better. But even with that, this team looks a long way away from the level of play we saw from Boston in the playoffs last year, and it’s not clear if this roster can ever get back to that level.

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.