BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics have been busy this offseason, and are still working.
The Celtics signed Amir Johnson, re-signed Jonas Jerebko and traded for David Lee and Perry Jones III in separate deals. The Lee trade hasn’t been announced yet as the C’s are trying to pull off more moves to utilize all of their available salary cap space.
The Celtics made a great run in the second half of the season last year, finishing 40-42 and claiming the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
While their offseason moves haven’t been the fireworks Celtics fans had hoped for, given their surge in the second half, many Celtics fans are still optimistic the team can make a run for the lowly Atlantic Division title.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Celtics play-by-play man Sean Grande joined Rich Keefe (filling in for Adam Jones) on Wednesday, and said the division will likely come down to Boston and Toronto.
“Toronto took some losses, so it’s going to be one of those laughing stock divisions,” said Grande. “But because of that, you can say ‘why not us?’ The Knicks will be a little better, but how much better can they realistically be? The Nets are going to be worse and Philadelphia is a mess. Toronto lost Amir Johnson. They made some swaps and got DeMarre Carroll, but I think it’s going to be Boston and Toronto.”
Grande also touched on a few other Celtics topics:
The Acquisition of Perry Jones III
“I hate to say it because everyone is going to jump on me, but I’ve always liked Perry Jones,” said Grande. “I loved him at Baylor and the NCAA tournament he had. It’s hard to say when you look at a young player who couldn’t become a rotational player on an elite team, you say is that the player of is he just on an elite team and can’t get minutes? I was wondering how the Danny bashers were going to spin getting a 23-year-old, 6-foot-10 legit prospect and a second-round pick for nothing, and see if they could spin that into a negative.
“He’s a great little asset,” Grande said of Jones.
Too Many Guys On The Roster?
“That’s what happened last year. You had a strange team with strange games with strange results. They had great success last year and were the second-best team in the Eastern Conference the second half of last year because six through nine on the roster was pretty much better than anybody else in the league,” said Grande, noting Boston’s bench success during a West Coast trip against some of the better teams in the Western Conference.
“You realized when you get to the second unit, the Celtics were just better,” said Grande, noting that success didn’t carry over into the playoffs when players six through nine didn’t decide games as much.
Grande also talked about his new job as play-by-play man for Bellator MMA: