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I love retrospective analyses because they don't mean much but are fun to read. However, if you use such analysis to cast a verdict upon the present, then my sympathy fades away. If your analysis is full of obvious bias, then my love turns into hate.

An opinion piece on Green Street by Jerry Spar dissects Ainge's helm, giving him credit for 2007-08 season but naming him "the problem" (well, he adds a question mark to the end Foxnews style so that he doesn't say it) for the rest. He goes through the trades, the draft picks and his judgment always comes down to "Well, Celtics didn't win, so he didn't do enough." (paraphrased)

Talk to this, @#$%.
I'm not pro-Ainge necessarily, and I can count one mistake per season (some being huge, some not so much), but reading too much into things is unfair. For example, it's one thing to say that Ainge made a mistake in drafting Giddens, but it's another to compare him to Asik, Jordan or Pekovic and say "Look what could have been." There's no guarantee that these players would develop as a Celtic as they did in their current teams. Would any of them get the chance to play as much as they did behind Perkins/Garnett/MLEs? I don't think so.

Spar also accuses Ainge of not building a strong supporting cast for many of the seasons, but he mentions neither Garnett's nor Perkins' injury. What supporting cast member could have filled Garnett's spot in 2009? That Garnettless team overachieved, without a doubt, and Garnett's absence gave us present-time Rondo. If we're playing what ifs, then let's play the whole thing. Also, in 2010, what should Ainge have done? Sign someone in case our starting Center gets injured in Game 6? Let's not forget Wallace did his best, and Game 7 was as close as it gets. Let's also not forget that Wallace hung out outside the ref's locker room wanting to "just talk to them" for reasons known by all Celtic fans. Saying "Ainge didn’t do enough to surround the Big Three in only their third season together" is absurd.

Now, you can criticize Ainge for the 2010-11 season all you want. It starts with his decision to not re-sign Tony Allen, which lead to C's needing a perimeter defender/Pierce backup, which led to Ainge putting all his eggs into Shaq's huge bassket [not a spelling error] and we all know what happened.

However, saying Ainge didn't do a great job last year is also unfair. Celtics had two important bench players gone for the season (one with terrible timing) with life threatening injuries. That's not Ainge's fault, that's life. To top that, a great find in Pietrus suffered a concussion and was never himself again. To top that, another great find in Bradley lost two shoulders. Just add Bradley to the team, who makes double teams on Wade completely unnecessary, and Celtics could have been the ones with the Trophy. You can criticize Ainge for his decision to waive Green's rights that made us pay him a slightly absurd amount this year, but not for the roster he built.

Yes, Ainge could have signed this better player and picked that better one, but the nitpicking doesn't mean much most of the time for players who would have contributed 10 minutes or less. Moreover, the players Spar belittles won us games in playoffs. Robinson did . Post-concussion Pietrus did.

The team was within 12 minutes of finals in 2008-09 and 2011-12. They were 3 minutes within another trophy in 2009-10. Again yes, Ainge made mistakes, that's for sure, but implying that he's the problem is not right at all. He's not the best GM in the league, yet he's definitely competent and then some.

semioticus (shelbyl) 12/07/2012 10:25:00 AM Edit
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