The 40-year-old Carter started in place of Allen in this series. Playing him heavy minutes and asking him to defend guys 15-plus years younger than them in today’s up-tempo, spread NBA is asking a lot.
Daniels would be an option if the Grizz don’t retain Allen — if Daniels could defend. (He can’t, though he’s young and surrounded by defensive greatness, so this is not necessarily a fixed trait.) There’s no one else on the roster able to plug in there.
In Z-Bo’s case, Green may be ready for a larger role if Memphis can afford to keep him. He’s not much of a scorer and is only a marginally more willing deep shooter than Randolph. But he plays Fizdale’s style: hard-nosed defense along with swift transition offense.
Green proved to be a good fit with Gasol and Conley all season, and Memphis can match any offer sheet he signs. Will another team go all out for Green? Maybe. We all remember the Solomon Hill contract from last summer, and Green has a stronger NBA track record. But keeping JaMychal seems like a serious priority for Memphis, even if it means losing Z-Bo.
Pierce had long been the team’s Captain, but now he was The Celtics Captain the way Havlicek served that role. As he climbed the ranks of the franchise’s leaderboard, he passed legends and Hall of Famers. Only John Havlicek and Bill Russell played more minutes in a Celtics’ uniform and only Hondo scored more points. No less an authority than Ryan called him the best pure scorer in Celtic history — which caused a considerable local stir — and placed him in his all-time Top Five.
We can argue about where Pierce ranks among the Celtic immortals, but no one can deny that in those 15 years in Boston, Pierce became family. There were genuine tears shed on Cheap Tigers Jerseys his first return to Boston in a visiting uniform and subsequent visits felt like catching up with an old friend.