Yes the Boston Celtics lack a guy in the middle that can protect the rim. They do have one of the best young rebounding big men in Jared Sullinger though. Is Sully the center of the future? I don't think so, he lacks height, length to get the job done. His wide body on the other hand is worthy of a center, but he's often scored over against opposing centers. Stevens wants a guy who can protect the paint, and that guy won't be Sullinger.
"I haven't thought a ton about it," Stevens said at the time. "I think, certainly, in an ideal situation, what you're looking for are certain qualities as a team. A rim protector, whether it's a 7-footer or not, is extremely important in this league. A guy that really protects the rim from the dotted line in."
If he wasn't thinking about it much then, Stevens is thinking about it now. Amid Boston's recent defensive regression, Stevens admitted Saturday that he thinks about possible lineup combinations "every minute of every day." What's more, he wondered out loud if his team's performance this season might be different if it employed a serviceable rim protector.
"I'd be really curious to know, or to see from a defensive standpoint systematically, plugging one guy in there, what that might do to our numbers being where we are in a lot of different areas," said Stevens.
In this era, it's unclear if the Celtics need a guy protecting the rim to win. Perkins wasn't a guy who was going to block your shot each time down the floor. He was more of a force. A guy that intimidated you. KG was also a guy who wasn't a big shot blocker, but he was a guy that bothered you inside. Sullinger is neither of those things for Boston. I don't know how the Celtics will fix this problem. Who's out there that they can get? I don't know, you tell me.