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Celtics Mailbag: Are they this bad?

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  November 20, 2013 07:58 AM

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Where do you see Jordan Crawford fitting into the lineup after Rondo returns?
Kenyatta, Clinton, Miss.

He's earned some minutes with this team with surprisingly good play (he'd be next up in terms of biggest surprises). Phil Pressey stands to lose more time with Rondo's return than Crawford. Jordan's passing has been something of a revelation, but we all know he can score. That's a skill that's really lacking on this team. He may not see 26 minutes like he's seeing now, but 15 to 20 sound about right.

Is Danny's motivation to make the team better THIS year (Personally, I would like to see a Bass and Lee trade for Asik) or is it to remain one of the league's worst teams, collect more pieces for the future, and to position the C's for the lottery?
Todd, Hamilton

Can't imagine any scenario in which Ainge wants this team to hang around the 7th or 8th seed and contend. If Ainge did make that kind of trade – Bass and Lee for Asik – it would be because the deal would help the team in seasons to come. You're right about those players potentially being shopped. Bass has been steady, and both he and Lee could help a contender. But as far as contending this year, Chad Finn and I did our best to spell out just how bad the Celtics are going to be earlier this week.

It's funny because it's the Knicks, but I'm not one of those people who thinks that trading Rondo at some point is an impossibility. Rondo has been shopped before, most notably for Chris Paul. The Celtics can keep Rondo as one of their key building blocks, but if the right offer presents itself, Ainge will move him, despite all of his denials to this point.

That's an interesting question. Before the season started Brad Stevens said that he typically does not name captains. Still, Rondo seems like the obvious choice. It would not be surprising if he is formally designated when he returns to the court.

What's with Bradley's sub-Bassian assist numbers? I realize he's not the primary ballhandler, but 3 assists in the last 5 games is ridiculous. Is he a reluctant passer, an unskilled one, or both? (As opposed to Crawford, who seems less willing but infinitely more able.)
Will, Cambridge

Make that three assists in the last six games after putting up a zero vs. the Rockets. It's concerning. The Celtics are clearly better with Bradley playing off the ball, but you'd think he'd find someone with a backdoor cut every once in a while. During a game earlier this season, Tommy Heinsohn yelled "Come on!" when Bradley missed Kelly Olynyk wide open cutting to the basket. Bradley plays off the ball a lot now, but he's also got to look for his teammates more. If he doesn't, and teams key in on that, he becomes a limited threat.

Thanks for all the great questions, everyone. See you next time.

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