The Boston Celtics’ president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge spoke to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday. In his weekly interview with the radio show, Ainge talked about the Celtics’ quest to compete for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the focus on the long-term of the team’s lineup.
“I’m certainly aware of all of our competition around the East. It’s not from a lack of desire to want to do a trade, but as an organization, we have priorities and a plan,” Ainge told Toucher & Rich. “We’re not looking for Band-Aids and we’re not looking to give up future assets. We’re trying to build something more sustainable than a rent-a-player. Everyone knows the assets we have and the young players we have.”
Ainge spoke about the current weaknesses in the roster but argued that the current lineup can get the job done.
“We talked about this before the season started and our biggest weakness is defensive rebounding. Some games we get away with it and our guards get back in and get a lot of rebounds, but that’s been a team focus. But it’s also our greatest strength to play skilled players,” Ainge continued.
“When we have Kelly Olynyk and Al Horford on the court, and the floor is spread for Isaiah [Thomas] and three-point shooters at our big positions, that’s why [Isaiah is] having such a great year and we’re scoring at such a high clip this season. You can’t just put a rebounder that can’t shoot out on the court because it might provide some help on the rebounding end because it takes away from our strength on the offensive end.” Ainge said. “We know what our weaknesses are; we’d like rim protection and rebounding. At the same time, we do like skilled bigs to play around our guards.”
The Celtics are only two and a half games behind the number one seeded team in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boston will be looking to make a push for the number one spot after the All-Star break.