Warriors: Q&A with Boston’s Hardwood Houdini

Dec 11, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) throws a behind the back pass past Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) throws a behind the back pass past Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Golden State Warriors’ quest for history will depend on how they finish at home, where they haven’t lost a game in a very long time. The Boston Celtics roll into Oracle Arena tonight, hoping to help their own cause and play spoiler to Stephen Curry and the Dubs.

Boston, who has planted themselves in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, doesn’t get talked about a lot. Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Warriors and their historic season. Simply put, the Warriors are distracting everyone from what’s actually going on in the NBA.

We don’t know that much about the Boston Celtics. We know that they are well-coached by Brad Stevens and have been lead by the very talented Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder. BlueManHoop had the pleasure of doing a brief Q&A with one of our sister sites on the FanSided network, Hardwood Hodini, so we can get a little more insight into the Celtics.

BMH: Why didn’t David Lee work out in Boston?

The Celtics are one of the deepest teams in the league so with their deep frontcourt it left Lee the odd man out. He also struggled shooting this season (45.3 percent from the field) and that left the door open for Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson. He actually was a starter at the beginning of the season, however, that didn’t last long after he missed a couple of games and Sullinger and Johnson started to break out.

BMH: While the Celtics don’t have a superstar, they feature one of the deepest rosters in the entire league. Outside of Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, who are Boston’s most important contributors?

Evan Turner is definitely up there. A lot of people associate him as being a bust but he’s really turned his career around these past two seasons with Boston. He does a little of everything for the team and whenever his three ball is dropping, he’s one of the best players on the team. Turner is the Celtics version of a point-forward and can play from the shooting guard to power forward position. He always gets, what Celtics fans like to call, a small triple-double.

BMH: Do the Celtics value Jae Crowder more than or over any other power forward given the nature of the current play in the league?

I think when Boston puts Crowder in as a power forward it opens a lot of options up for the team. Obviously he’s not at Draymond Green’s level but he’s always guarding the opposing team’s best player, rebounds well, creates for his teammates, and shoots a nice outside shot. Especially, like you mentioned, the way the league is going, there’s no doubt that having his athleticism as a power forward is something the Celtics value when wanting to speed up the game. It does mean Boston lacks size, however, they’re short all the way around and are use to playing small ball. His two-way ability really sets him apart from a lot of other players in the league.

BMH: Thomas is a player that seems to always give the Warriors trouble, regardless of what uniform he’s wearing. This season it looks like he’s really put it together (his All-Star selection confirms that). What has clicked and how do the Warriors slow it down?

He’s finally gotten the green light. When he was with Sacramento, and averaged 30+ minutes a night, he averaged 20/6 a night, now he’s up to 22/6 in two minutes fewer with Boston. The biggest thing though is he’s finally being a playmaker. It’s kind of gone away with the absence of Crowder, but when Thomas is creating for his teammates it’s really hard to stop his shot, driving ability, and passing ability because he is so good with shot selection and finishes at the rim as good as anyone. To slow him down, you really can only hope he’s having an off night. He’s one of those players who will find ways to score, but it depends on how many shots it takes him. Putting a body on him right away and closing in when he drives helps as well, considering his size, but it’s really hard to stop Thomas.

BMH: Besides Simmons and Ingram, who would Boston target with the Nets’ pick?

I’ve been hearing a lot of Buddy Hield out of Oklahoma or Dragan Bender out of Croatia. A player I think is being overlooked though is Jamal Murray out of Kentucky. He is a more than efficient shooter, plays solid defense, and has a good build. The Celtics really need a true shooter and a solid big man. I like Hield but his size worries me and Bender will take a couple of years to develop. When it comes down to it, it’s such a crapshoot of who the Celtics will take. Heck, they may trade the pick and more for someone like Jimmy Butler or Jahlil Okafor on draft night.

BMH: Prediction for the game?

The Celtics played Golden State hard early in the season which gives me a little hope. I think the Celtics need Crowder to have a chance, although he’s expected to play against Portland and playing a back-to-back isn’t the best when coming off an injury. Golden State knows the type of team Boston is this year and will be ready for them. I think Boston will be able to keep it close for a little but Golden State will run away with it. The Celtics aren’t at 100 percent right now and surely aren’t playing their best basketball.