Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics aren’t very good right now
Celtics fans everywhere keep waiting for the Boston Celtics run, the run that will take them back to the top of the Atlantic Division and into the higher seeds in the Eastern Conference. They did it last year just after the all-star break. It seems as if they should be able to do it this year.
These Boston Celtics, however, are not last year’s Boston Celtics. Last year’s was a desperate team, running on the fumes of an eight to nine man rotation and zero practice choosing “flight” in their flight or fight response. In 2012, the Celtics have a “deep” bench that they can’t figure out a rotation for. Night in and night out, the Celtics have no idea who is going to play well if anyone. In 2011-12, they were streaky. This year, they are Inconsistent. There is a big difference there. Where they would streak last year but sometimes still play well enough to win, they no longer do that this year.
What is consistent is the type of teams and players that beat this team. Take last night’s winner Milwaukee. They have Larry Sanders, a long, athletic big man who works hard on the blocks and creates second chance buckets. He has been a huge part in their three wins over the Celtics this year, as well as volume scorer’s Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. The Boston Celtics currently have no answer to those type of players. Those last few players will be slowed down when Avery Bradley returns to the Celtics lineup as the Boston Celtics have yet to decide who should play in the back-court with Rajon Rondo. Courtney Lee hasn’t played as well as advertised and Jason Terry was supposed to the sixth man considering he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “defense”. I guess that is part of the inconsistency.
They can’t decide a front-court and pivot either. Brandon Bass hasn’t played well this season, especially considering how good he was in the playoffs last year. It has forced Doc Rivers to start rookie Jared Sullinger at the four spot, move Kevin Garnett back to the four and start Jason Collins and tinker and tinker until he finds something that clicks. It hasn’t. More inconsistency from the Celtics.
And that’s why this team isn’t very good and keeps slugging along. They are inconsistent. When Paul Pierce put up 40 points on Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls, it was a nice surprise and also a needed one. The extra scoring from the rest of the team wasn’t coming like it should have and Paul Pierce put the team on his back. That shouldn’t have to happen. On paper, this is the deepest team the Boston Celtics have had since their championship season in 2007-2008. When healthy, they have a tenacious back court of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley who can disrupt any offensive player. They have a veteran pivot in Kevin Garnett as well as intelligent post-scorers in Brandon Bass and Jarred Sullinger. Looking for scoring? This team should have enough in some combination of Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Jeff Green and even Courtney Lee in spurts. Maybe they do need another rim protector, but big men are hard to come by in the NBA. This team should work. So far it isn’t.
Maybe we just have to wait for Bradley to come back for everything to click. Then Doc Rivers can play the rotation that he wants to play and not have to juggle it around. For now, the Celtics aren’t a good basketball team and they have to become a good one before something drastic has to be done.