I have tried to remain quiet. I have tried to just give it time and trust the management that has lead this proud franchise to a resurgence that would make Donald Trump or the mythical Phoenix proud. I have tried but today my efforts will go in vein. To say the Boston Celtics are struggling would be like saying Lebron’s “The Decision” show this past summer was only a minor marketing blunder. The Celtics are lifeless! Losers in 5 of their last 9 games this team looks like a team still in mourning after the February trade deadline that tore the Celtic “family” to shreds. Quite frankly they look like strangers both to the naked eye of fans, and to themselves on the court.
To put it bluntly the Boston Celtics have lost their edge. They are “SOFT”, routinely getting out muscled, out hustled, and out rebounded. Soft! The same word they used to describe the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008 on their way to banner 17. Soft! Like cake, or twinkie fillings. This can’t be. This can’t continue.
I don’t know who this team is anymore and I don’t want to know them. I miss the Celtics of February 23, 2011. That team I knew, that team made sense to me. Management can site the fact that Kendrick Perkins is becoming injury prone and lacks offense, Marquis Daniels is injury prone, Semih Erden and Luke Harangody were rookies, and Nate Robinson just isn’t a very good basketball player (I don’t miss him at all). They can site all of those things and deem themselves “right” in their justification for trading them all away on one dismal Thursday afternoon. For all of those players shortcomings the one thing they were was Celtics. Green to the core and part of the family that believed in “Ubuntu”, remember that? It is not the fault of the new guys. This one is completely on Danny Ainge and the rest of the front office. Now it is on Doc to mend the fence on behalf of management’s not so subtle thinking.
I field questions seemingly every game like “What’s up with Boston?”, “How are you liking that trade?”, “Kristic huh?”, “Jeff Green is your future?” To which I give the same standard replies as I boil with dissatisfaction. When I watch this team and see Carlos Arroyo, Sasha Pavlovic, Jeff Green, Troy Murphy, and Nenad Kristic on the floor I just shake my head. It is clear they have no clue and it might be a while before they get any semblance of one. Pavlovic seems to just to be getting exercise running up and down the court doing absolutely nothing of note other than the occasional foul. Kristic, who did have a nice run a few weeks ago, is over thinking every offensive possession. Pump faking when there is nobody there, spinning wildly into the defense to get his shot blocked. He is having a terrible time finishing anything around the basket and the offensive edge he is suppose to have over Perk is not outweighing his miscues. And Murphy? Well Doc Rivers had just finished talking about Murphy fitting in when he said this a few weeks ago: “Some guys will fit in, some guys will not. All the guys we don’t need to fit, honestly. When we go to the playoffs were going to go to nine guys anyway, for the most part.” In essence Doc is saying Murphy may not even make the playoff roster. A team that lacks rebounding can’t use a guy who averages 8.4 rebounds for his career in the playoffs? Outstanding, that’s just great. If you have seen Murphy play you would know why Doc has that stance. It’s been brutal for Troy.
Then there is the Celtic offense which has become anemic with the sinking play and decision making of Rajon Rondo lately. Boston’s scoring is living in the 80′s to mid 90′s with less efficiency. The parts are not fitting. I have witnessed Rondo grow tired of the lack movement and decide he will hoist an errant 18 footer off the side of the rim one time to many. Seeing him to try win games on jumpers in the closing minutes of games is downright deplorable. Pass the ball sir…that is what you do best! The question remains unanswered regarding Rondo’s health. Maybe he is wearing down but so is the offense.
The unwavering fact is that Boston has to make it work with what they have now. Perkins is not going to come through the locker room all of a sudden donning that familar #43. He now wears #5 in Oklahoma in honor of KG, a fact that further digs the knife deeper. The O’neals are supposedly on their way back. Any day now! Delonte West is still getting his rhythm after his myriad of injuries and Von Wafer should regulate Pavlovic to a permanent seat at the end of the bench when he returns. So is there hope? Yes I guess so. The return of the aforementioned will have to be enough to vault this team to a championship otherwise what was the point of all those moves in February? Otherwise the mourning will continue and this glaze the team is in will become the norm forcing the team to a slow death in the playoffs. Arise Boston Celtics. I beg of you arise!
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com