The Celtics May Have Found Their Missing Pieces

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After starting 25-25 last season, the Boston Celtics became the NBA’s hottest team in the second half of the game and much of America fell head over heels for them.

The love fest only got stronger in the playoffs as they defeated the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks and outlasted the Miami Heat to reach the NBA Finals.

Boston lost the world championship to the Golden State Warriors in six games, and it became clear they needed more offensive firepower, a better bench, and a true point guard and floor general.

On Friday, the Celtics might have fixed all of those shortcomings with a few clever moves.

They signed free agent forward Danilo Gallinari, then traded for Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon without giving up too much.

Boston now has a team that looks like a real championship contender and has no real weaknesses.

Even though the Milwaukee Bucks are still the favorite from the Eastern Conference next season, the Celtics need to be considered right there.

Gallinari will give Boston some pop off the bench

During the NBA Finals, the Celtics got very little performance from their bench and that was a factor in their loss.

Their top reserve in the series, Derrick White, averaged 9.8 points in 26.5 minutes per game, but he shot a paltry 32.7 percent from the field.

Though Boston’s starting lineup shot well from 3-point range against the Warriors, his off-white bench gave him next to nothing in that department.

Gallinari can solve both problems.

He has a career average of 15.6 points in 29.9 minutes per game, as well as a career accuracy of 38.2 percent from 3-point land.

He can come off the bench and regularly light it from the outside while defending pays off for keying on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Gallinari’s marksmanship can also open up opportunities for Tatum and Brown to attack the basket more often.

Last season, Boston had to settle for Grant Williams as a backup 4, but he’s only 6ft 6 and while he’s a precise outside shooter, he’s not really any sort of offensive threat.

Gallinari can help keep the Celtics ahead with Tatum on the bench.

Brogdon is a big takeover

Throughout the postseason, it became increasingly apparent that the Celtics lacked a truly quality point guard who could not only be a floor general but also be a legitimate scoring threat.

Brogdon seems to be the answer, even if he’s imperfect.

He has averaged 15.5 points in 30.2 minutes per game during his six-year career, including 19.1 points per game this season, and he also has a career average of 4.8 assists per contest.

Brogdon’s 3-point shooting has fluctuated from year to year, but he has made at least 38.5 percent of his attempts outside the arc in four of his six seasons.

The concern with him is his durability – he has only played once in at least 70 games in a season and played in 36 competitions in 2022, which was low in his career.

But if he’s healthy, he can just throw the Celtics overboard.

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