When the Ping-Pong balls didn’t bounce the Celtics’ way on Tuesday night, many in Celtics Nation felt a familiar wave of anger, rage, and perhaps some nausea take over their bodies.
The Celtics obviously had high hopes for the draft lottery in 1997, when they ended up with the No. 3 pick instead of Tim Duncan. And they had even higher hopes for the Greg Oden-Kevin Durant draft in 2007, when the C’s ended up with the No. 5 pick.
Those were soul-crushing moments for the Celtics and their fans. But radio play-by-play man Sean Grande said it’s just not the same this time around.
“There’s a way people lean. Today, everyone is leaning as if this is a horrific gut shot the Celtics took in the lottery last night,” Grande said on Gresh & Zo. “It is nothing like ’97. It is nothing like 2007. It’s not remotely close.”
He added: “This is a year where, OK, you had a small chance of moving up. You didn’t, but the drop-off from the top three to 4-8 isn’t that large, so it isn’t that big a deal.”
Grande mentioned a blog he wrote in April, in which he made an offhand comment about a super trio of Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love leading the Celtics to a championship in 2016. He made the comment somewhat in jest, but he said he made such a comment with good reason.
“[I wrote that] not because it was terribly realistic, but hey, getting the No. 1 pick wasn’t realistic. So just to open people’s eyes and minds to the possibility that it exists. It’s there again.”
Grande said Rajon Rondo can be one of three guys that can get the Celtics to a championship level. And if Danny Ainge can swing a deal to start that building process now, then it’s good. If he does not swing a deal to start the process, the Celtics’ assets only grow.
“The difference between  and now is that the Celtics have better assets,” Grande said. “The hand that Danny is sitting with — now, trade deadline, next summer — is just going to grow bigger and bigger and bigger.”
Listen to Grande’s entire talk with Gresh & Zo below: