Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics
12:30 p.m. PST
January 19, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
Where is the love, Celtics fans?!
1. True or false: Danny Ainge has overtaken Sam Hinkie as the Rebuild King.
Roscoe Whalan, (@RoscoeWhalan7): False although Danny Ainge has been a busy man. He’s made nine trades since draft day and stockpiled 27 draft picks over the next three years. Meanwhile, Joel Embiid’s reportedly ballooned his way to 300 pounds. Ainge has got the momentum right now but, in the race to proving starting again was worth it, both teams still have years to go.
Law Murray, (@LawMurrayTheNU): Ainge has made some nice deals to set his team up for the future. Great moves – allows for great job security for himself and another head coach who can do no wrong for the foreseeable future in Brad Stevens. No one is a rebuild king until they win a championship, and you don’t draft your way to one – you acquire difference-making veterans via trade or free agency. Until Ainge and/or Hinkie do that, let’s not crown them just yet.
J.D. Evans: Not yet. To take the crown, he needs to start drafting players who might not play for the Celtics in the foreseeable future, whether due to injury, overseas contracts, or what have you. Ainge, on the other hand, seems intent on having his draft picks actually play for him. Folly.
2. How does Marcus Smart’s season stack up against his fellow rookies thus far?
Whalan: He’s put it together on one end of the floor but still has plenty work to do offensively. The expectations for Marcus Smart were probably that he would be more NBA-ready than the likes of Elfrid Payton and Dante Exum because of his body and tenacity. However, like most rookie point guards tend to discover, the transition to the pros is always an adjustment.
Murray: I liked Marcus Smart at Oklahoma State because he’s a big-bodied guard who could defend and get to the free throw line at an exceptional rate. He hasn’t shown the ability to score as a pro yet, with only six double-digit scoring games through Sunday (same number as Dante Exum). Smart is a much better shooter than fellow lottery pick Elfrid Payton, but Payton has twice as many double-digit scoring games and three double-digit dime games.
Evans: Not great, but then, he hasn’t had so many minutes. Since Rondo left, he’s played more and shot better; if he can keep it up after the all-star break, he’ll look much better than he does right now.
3. Is Tayshaun Prince the answer to the Clippers’ wing-depth problems?
Whalan: Jared Dudley, Reggie Bullock, Stephen Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu, Danny Granger, Sasha Vujacic. Did I miss anyone? Oh great, Tayshaun Prince. Absolutely not the answer but absolutely suited to the revolving door of has-beens (or haven’t ever quite beens) on this team.
Murray: Tayshaun Prince has been in a precipitous decline for five years now. If he wasn’t the “answer” to Memphis’ wing issues, then he wouldn’t be the answer in Los Angeles either. He’d be a poor man’s Matt Barnes.