Bob Cousy criticizes Celtics: “It doesn’t look like we’re going to be hanging the # 18 banner anytime soon”


Let us go back the clocks a few years back. In 2019, the Boston Celtics won the most championships in NBA history, leading the Los Angeles Lakers 17-16. With Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in place, they looked set to increase their lead. This was especially true when Anthony Davis entered the commercial market. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge had been racking up assets in hopes of trading for the Pelicans star for years, and his patience seemed to be about to pay off. A new Celtic dynasty seemed almost inevitable. And then it all fell apart.

Davis insisted on a trade with the Lakers, who tied the Celtics with their 17th championship in 2020. Irving and Hayward both walked in free agency. Brown and Tatum remain, but real questions about their suitability as two scoring wings that don’t focus on the game emerge. In 39 games this season, the Celtics are just 18-21, and one of the legends who helped them win those 17 titles is not so confident in their ability to break the tie with the Lakers.

“They should be a lot better than they are,” former Celtics point guard Bob Cousy told Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy. “It doesn’t look like we’re going to be hanging Banner # 18 anytime soon.” The problem, in Cousy’s eyes, is the position of leader.

“I hate to bring him back to a point guard but… you don’t have that control. When we had a 6-8 point lead, that’s when I brought him home. I didn’t. just didn’t want to allow us to lose the lead. “

“They had one in Kyrie [Irving], but it was a headache. They potentially had one in Kemba [Walker], although Kemba was more of a point guard than a point guard, ”Cousy said. “You need a penetrating point guard at this point that’s a threat, and then he goes to the [Jayson] Tatums and the [Jaylen] chestnuts.”

The Celtics have landed Dennis Schroder at a bargain this offseason hoping he could fill that void. Most of it hasn’t. Boston ranks 11th in the NBA for assists per game, but 21st for assists, suggesting that while they move the ball more than most believe, they don’t do it so effectively. In late-game situations, the movement of the ball stops.

The Celtics have had Hall of Fame leaders for most of their championships. Cousy led Jo Jo White, followed by Dennis Johnson and then Rajon Rondo. They don’t have that kind of playmaker now, and even Cousy recognizes that. If Boston is going to change this season, it probably depends on adding play somehow. Otherwise, the Lakers will have a real chance to hoist the No.18 banner ahead of the Celtics.

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