“I imagine being the sixth man, being a key player coming off the bench,” he said last week. “That’s what it really is, being a vet who can slow down the game, control the pace, and help this team finish matches.”
Brogdon and Smart share court often, of course, and Brogdon is optimistic that they can thrive together.
“I think we have different strengths,” he said. “He’s our best defensive player and defensive player of the year, and he’s great in that aspect, but I also think he’s contributing offensively. I’ve seen his game grow and I’ve seen him being able to drop shots and create teammates.
“And we can both play on and off the ball. That is our beauty. We are smart, we have high IQs, and we are not selfish, so I think it would do well.”
▪ Danilo Gallinari likely ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament at the end of the season Suffering while playing for Italy in the World Cup qualifiers is unfortunate, but he hardly crushes the Celtics. Gallinari, 34, is likely to play about 20 minutes per game. His size and 3-point shot could have helped, but he’s a limited defender.
Yes, that leaves the front court somewhat thin. But last season, Series Three player Daniel Theiss was knocked out of the rotation anyway, and the Celtics will have plenty of little ball options off the bench as they add Brogdon and get a full season off Derek White.
Some have been calling for the Celtics to quickly replace Gallinari with a veteran free agent like Carmelo Anthony, but there is no urgent need. I was told they would rather see what they have in their 6-foot-8-inch bowler Sam Hauser, give a few extra minutes to the younger players, and see how some of the training fights in the camps unfold.
If it turns out that there is still a clear need, there will always be veteran free agents available, or opportunities to obtain one through trade.
▪ When players suffer serious injuries during the summer, there are questions as to why they are not wrapped in bubble wrap until the start of the season. But Gallinari wasn’t exactly swimming through a shark tank with a friend attached to his feet. He was only playing basketball for his national team. Injuries occur.
▪ Well, this has been a fun month as everyone worked around a potential deal for Kevin Durant. On behalf of my fellow NBA journalists, we appreciate Durant and The Nets for providing the fodder during what is usually the quietest month of the year.
But there was much ado about nothing. League sources have insisted for weeks that the Nets had no intention of actually trading Durant, as evidenced by some outrageous pricing that provided at least some good laughs. Boston, for example, has never been so close to the Durant deal. onwards.
The Celtics got some praise in ESPN’s annual poll of 15 CEOs, coaches and scouts.
The Celtics and Bucks each received seven votes to win the Eastern Conference, and the Celtics were selected to win the NBA title on four ballots.
Six team members said the Celtics had the best of the season, and one described the acquisition of Brogdon as the most surprising move of the summer. Two also said Celtics star Jason Tatum would be the NBA’s best player in five years.
▪ A tribute to longtime Herald writer Mark Murphy, who announced his retirement on Monday after more than 34 years in the newspaper. Murphy was the last remaining Rhythm member to cover the team during the Larry Bird era, and he’s one of the real good guys in the industry, even if he’s working in competition.
Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed.