Colleague Peter May checks in with a look at how the Boston Celtics' deadline move to acquire Nate Robinson stacks up against what the rest of the league did to position themselves for a title run. Writes May:
Of greater concern to Celtics fans has to be that while they may have made a minor roster improvement, the Cavaliers, the team they are trying to catch, appear to have made a major upgrade with the addition of Antawn Jamison. He gives them another scorer, another rebounder, your prototype "stretch 4" in today's hoop parlance. And, if Zydrunas Ilgauskas returns as predicted, the cost of the deal will be only felt by owner Dan Gilbert, not coach Mike Brown. Everyone of import will be there come playoff time.
The Cavs can say they are a better team today -- and they were already better than anyone else in the East. Celtics boss Danny Ainge made a decision: he is going to try to win it with what he has, hoping that the 23-5 team he saw in the first two months of the season is the one that shows up in the postseason, not the one that is under .500 since Christmas. He believes that the Celtics of November-December are still there, somewhere.
But also there are all of the issues surrounding this team prior to the trading deadline. How can they be such a horrible rebounding team? Why can't they take care of the ball? When will Allen start making threes with his customary efficiency? Can Paul Pierce be the go-to guy he was in June 2008 on a regular basis? And, most important of all, can Kevin Garnett stop looking like Long John Silver on the floor and become anything close to what he was two years ago?
Those were all legitimate questions up to 3 p.m. Thursday, and they still are. In the meantime, the Cavaliers improved, which does not make the Celtics' short-term outlook any rosier. And so many Eastern Conference teams will have cap room next summer (the Bulls expertly cleared cap room with two deals) that the long-term outlook doesn't look a whole lot better, either.
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