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Talk about being a step slow and looking long in the tooth, the Celtics tonight were horrendous.  ESPN announcer Doris Burke mentioned the Celtics looking a step slow on more than one occasion.  She also talked about the famous expression "the mind saying to do something but the body not being able to do it."  You can sum up this frustrating and overly-unfulfilling season with those statements.

It's not so much that I predicted the Celtics to win 70 games (I thought it was definitely possible) and the championship (I did think they'd win that too).  It's not even trying to grapple with how it's possible guys like Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Paul Pierce, and to a lesser extent Ray Allen, have all dropped so dramatically in their production over the course of one summer.  It's about pride.  More specifically, Celtics pride, or the lack thereof. 

There's no showing of it at all.  Trailing by 13 points midway through the 4th quarter to Elvin Hayes, a young Hakeem Olajuwon and Dominique Wilkins would be understandable.  But Andray Blatche (23 and 9), JaValle McGee (13 points and 5 blocks), and Al Thornton (24 and 11) are not those aforementioned 3 guys.  You could've fooled me with that performance tonight.

Instead of sugar-coating their pathetic win, I feel it needs to be explained just what's wrong with this team:
  • They have no athletic big men.  That's right folks, amongst Garnett and Wallace (past their primes) and Perkins and Davis (physical players, not leapers) there's not one guy that can defend a guy who has some semblance of athleticism.  That wasn't Elvin Hayes out there tonight (it was Andray Blatche) but I couldn't tell the difference.
  • The Celtics Big 3 have regressed and the younger 2 (Rajon Rondo and Kendrick "1 for 2" Perkins) don't have the skillset to compensate.  Can you expect Rondo to make a big shot down the stretch?  With his hesitation offensively?  I think not.  Pierce doesn't have the lift, KG doesn't have the mobility (nor did he ever have much of a post game) and Ray's been far too inconsistent.  Call me crazy but I feel like I have more confidence when Marquis has the ball in his hands that a basket will follow than any of the Big 3.
  • They turn the ball over too much, shoot too poorly from the free throw line and are a terrible rebounding team.  They got away with turning the ball over too much the year they won the title.  But their defense isn't nearly as formidable as it was 2 seasons ago, and they can't hang their hats on it expecting to come up with the big stops when needed.  Not when Blatche and Thornton look like Hayes and Dominique.
The 3 game winning streak was totally overrated.  The needed a come from behind win to narrowly beat Detroit and basically played slightly better than Philadelphia.  They were impressive in the Charlotte game but the Pistons and 76ers suck.  And none of this should allow people to forget the loss to the Nets.  In my 23 years as a Celtics fan, I don't think I've been quite so humiliated by a performance as that one.  The Nets in my opinion are without question the worst team in NBA history (regardless if they break the record or not) since no team in today's parity-laden, overexpanded league should ever be so lousy.

I've said it over the past 2 months and I'll say it again: This team will not win a championship unless Kevin Garnett returns to 100% of his form from 2008 or Rajon Rondo can become Isiah Thomas from 1988-1990 on the offensive end.  This lackluster win further proves that.

Lastly, they won this game, but please don't let the "hype" of this 4 game winning streak convince you otherwise.  The Celtics were the first team to 20 wins this season and are the tenth team to win 40 games.  Need I say more?

tb727 3/07/2010 11:16:00 PM Edit
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9 Responses so far.

  1. The Celtics should change their name to the Patheceltics.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'm happy with the WIN!

  3. JR says:

    Imagine TB's recap if we lost. ;)

    Until the end of the game, such a lousy performance by the C's. I thought they looked lousy for most of the Philly game as well. Let's hope that switch people say they'll flip come playoff time is rather powerful.

    Must give credit where credit is due. Ray really came up big in the end

  4. Karl says:

    Good recap. I think they showed a lot coming back from 13 down and remember teams get up to play the Celtics. I think the Celtics play down to their competition a lot. Not as bad a game as people think but the Celtics have about a 5% chance of winning the title. Regardless I love watching Rondo and Garnett play every night.

  5. Jenda says:

    Guys, guys. Do you remember the time just before trade deadline? I still do. Many voices said Ray is over, he can't shoot anymore, defend, run. And now he's the only veteran still playing? He did not flip the switch to play better, he might just have had a few bad games. It can be the same situation with the others. I'm not saying I can see the title coming but it's not lost! Chin up!

  6. Anonymous says:

    its hard to read your articles youre the most negative guy out there..but tomorrow youll write an article that says you believe in this team and you never thought otherwise. I simply dont understand you and honestly dont think youre qualified to be writing for a celtics site.

  7. tb727 says:

    Why am I not qualified anonymous? You won't be seeing any articles from me for the rest of this season that says I believe in this team. The Nets game was the final nail in the coffin for me. Let me know the last NBA champion that won a title after losing to the worst team in the league on their homecourt in the regular season. Good luck finding that out.

    Unless you're one of those Celtics fans that takes pleasure out of Atlantic Division title and 2nd round eliminations. Then perhaps you're qualified to write.

  8. Anonymous says:

    tb....(this is another anonymous, not the one u responded to)...i see where you are coming from, but lets have some team spirit! we are still celtics fans right!?!?

  9. tb727 says:

    2nd Anonymous, I'm the biggest Celtics fan you'll meet which is why it kills me that this team has performed this way. I was venting on how upset I am as a fan and disappointed with this group. I picked them to win it all going into the year and felt I looked like a genius those first 6 games. It's been frustrating as hell.

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