BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics and their fans are still trying to shake the news of Ray Allen joining the Miami Heat.
SI’s Ian Thomsen joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The D.A. Show Monday night, and said Miami not only improved themselves by getting Ray, but hurt the Celtics in a big way.
“There is no way the Celtics are as good without him,” Thomsen said of Allen’s departure. “When you think about what they could have had if they had been able to keep him; the wealth of talent on the wing going against Miami, which is a perimeter team. It would have been really interesting next year, but it’s one of those deals like a Yankees-Red Sox kind of thing. The Yankees get better and the Red Sox get worse.”
Felger & Mazz: Wyc ‘Not Upset’ With Allen Leaving
“(The Celtics) wanted him. They didn’t want to pay him what he was making before, and surely they wanted him to understand his role was not going to be as pronounced as it had been. But they definitely wanted to keep him, there is no doubt about that,” Thomsen said of the two-year, $12 million deal Boston tried to entice Allen with. “When you take into account their competition was Miami, if they had any doubts that they wanted to keep him – which I don’t think they did – those doubts were erased with the thoughts of him going to Miami. Now next year when they play Miami and it’s the end of a tight game, Miami’s fourth option is Ray Allen. If they had any doubts about wanting to keep him, they would have kept him to keep him out of Miami.”
Allen took less money from the Heat, so does that speak volumes as to how unhappy he was near the end of his days in green?
“I wouldn’t want to put words in his mouth, but you have to think for a guy as proud as him and as hard as he works, that it had to bother him he was in trade rumors the last three years… that had to bother him,” said Thomsen.
Now with Allen gone, the Celtics are setting their sights on Courtney Lee, although it will be tough to pull off a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets to acquire him. They did add veteran swingman Jason Terry, but is Boston doing enough this off-season to stay relevant?
“It isn’t enough. You think about if they had Ray, and Miami didn’t, then you could say they made strides. They would have had all sorts of insurance that they didn’t have last year,” he said. “If everyone is healthy, which is a big IF with three older players, they definitely are better than they were in the playoffs this year.”
“The gamble on investing in older players is you cannot count on them being healthy,” said Thomsen. “You can’t have it both ways: you can’t have the benefit of experience without taking the risk. It’s the opposite if you develop around young players: you can count on them being healthy but you can’t count on the experience.”
Follow: NBA Free Agency Tracker
“If they are healthy, they are better than last year without a doubt. Having Jeff Green; if Avery Bradley comes back ok; these other guys are able to play absolutely they are better. But nothing is static with old players,” said Thomsen.
What about the rest of the NBA? Does Steve Nash on Lakers make them more competitive or more exciting…. or both? And what is the latest with Dwight Howard to Brooklyn? SI’s Ian Thomsen breaks it all down on The D.A. Show!