Celtics not good now, but future still fine

Sam Amico

It may be time for the Boston Celtics to start focusing on that No. 1 draft pick. Actually, the Celtics are indeed paying close attention to the pick -- and that's a good thing.

After all, they're sure not getting anywhere in the Eastern Conference finals.

The latest example came Friday night in Game 2, when the Celtics trailed the Cleveland Cavaliers by as many as 50 points. They lost by 44 (130-86).

Remember, each of the first two games were at home. Remember, neither was close and the Celtics trail the series, 2-0.

And remember, the next two games are in Cleveland.

Oh, and if that weren't bad enough, the Celtics' best player, Isaiah Thomas, missed the second half of Game 2 with a hip injury.

Other than all that, for the Celtics, things are great.

Seriously, things really aren't as awful as they look. They did nab the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They do have lots of talent with the likes of Thomas, Avery Bradley and Al Horford.

They are armed with the No. 1 pick in a draft that's considered very good, if not totally fantaboulous.

And while they're saying all the right things about the pick, they can draft a player, and trade him, and bring in immediate help. (Anyone remember Andrew Wiggins in summer league with the Cavs?)

Could the pick garner the Celtics a tried-and-true star -- such as the Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin or Indiana Pacers' Paul George? It's worth exploring.

Anyway, the draft is for president Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics basketball staff. The conference finals are about the players currently on the team. And right now, those players are trying to save face a little.

"It was obviously just embarrassing,” Bradley told reporters of Game 2. “They not only came out playing harder, but they knocked down shots and that made it that much worse. Credit to those guys."

But the Cavs still need to win four to advance, and the Celtics have plenty of time to think about that top pick.

“We’ll see what kind of team we are in how we respond," Bradley said. "I’m excited about Game 3. I know I’m going to bring it. I’ve been going to war with these guys all year, and I know they’re going to have their A-games as well, no matter what the outcome is.”