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Don't Sleep On Toronto & Some Trade Deadline Thoughts

It's time for a shift in focus in Boston. This whole season has been dedicated to worrying about whether or not the Celtics will finish ahead of the Cavs in the East for home court advantage, when in reality, the focus needs to be on our northern rival Toronto. It has become a two team race in the East over these last few weeks, with the Celtics leading the Raptors by 2 games, next closest is Cleveland and Washington at 7.5 games back. The Raptors are for real folks. They come into tonight's big match-up with the C's with a 36-16 record and an impressive 21-4 home record. As cliche as it sounds, the Celtics will need a full team effort to pick up the W and expand the division and conference lead to 3. Getting Kyrie back will clearly make a huge difference and it allows Terry Rozier, who has looked like Kyrie Jr as of late, to come off the bench again and help out the 2nd team's scoring woes. No matter what happens tonight, Toronto needs to continue to be considered Boston's biggest threat at snatching the number 1 seed from them.

As far as the trade deadline goes, it sure feels like the Celtics are gearing up to make a run at the title. They know they have the pieces in the starting core to compete and now they are pursuing options off the bench to keep it going. They have already signed Greg Monroe to a 1 year 5 million dollar deal, adding much needed depth to the forwards. It appears that Marcus Smart will be dealt by the deadline Thursday. As good as Smart is defensively, the offensive liability continues to be a problem. That just so happens to be the main problem on this C's team, bench scoring. I'd like to see the Celtics deal Smart at the deadline and turn it into someone who can score. My first option is Lou Williams. He'd become a veteran leader off the bench at 31 years old and compliment Terry Rozier's scoring ability perfectly. Williams averages 23 points and 5 assists per game in 32 minutes of play. Barring a surprise trade by Danny Ainge, it appears Tyreke Evans is one of the only other players the Celtics are in on. He is 3 years younger than Lou Williams and puts up similar numbers. Assuming similar trade offers, both would be good fits off the bench for the C's. With that being said, bring me Lou.

Potential Lineups after trade deadline:

Starters:                           2nd Team:             

Kyrie Irving                       Terry Rozier           
Jaylen Brown                     Lou Williams          
Jayson Tatum                    Semi Ojeleye         
Al Horford                         Marcus Morris        
Aron Baynes                     Greg Monroe

For more, follow Ricky on twitter: @RickyG43_BSoT

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