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Forgive me for the lame pun in the title, but I have to sugarcoat my frustration with the latest developments, i.e. losses. We're losing by not showing up, we're losing by blowing up huge leads, we're losing by making terrible decisions, we're losing by losing composure... Yes, most of this is on the players' lack of effort and concentration and, if you want to maintain your optimism, luck, but some of this is on Doc.

There are a couple of issues that this team has run into this season, and I don't want to be unfair, but I don't see Doc trying to take any action towards settling those issues. I have written about the Terry question multiple times, so I'm not going to bore you any more, but that's still item #1. What has bothered me even more recently, though, is the Pierce question. Doc has always been reluctant to change his star players' roles, and this reluctance might be costing us again.

Let's rewind a little bit. Case #1: Doc wanted Allen to come from the bench since the beginning of last season, but he never did it. Then Allen was injured, Bradley was inserted into the starting lineup, things improved greatly and everyone called for Allen's relegation to the bench. Yet Allen started as soon as he got better, and he was finally made into the 6th men when 99.9% of Celtics nation was asking for it out loud. We all know how it ended.

Case #2: When the Celtics made a move for David West, Doc had mentioned starting KG as a Center as a solution. That move failed, and we saw JO start for a lot of games. It wasn't until he was injured and KG had to start at number 5 that Doc got what he wanted from the beginning. That move led to the resurgence of the Cs as we all now.

See, that puzzles me. Doc is the coach most players want to play for in the league. Yet doesn't that give him the authority to convince his players of changes he wants to make? Why did it take him so long to convince KG and Allen, when he knew those changes would make the team better?

This season we have the not-so-curious case of Paul Pierce at hand. I hate to admit this, but his shot is looking really ugly. No arc whatsoever, and he keeps front-rimming them. That means one thing: no lift in his legs/arms/knees, you name it. Maybe it's old age, maybe he's nursing an injury, but his minutes need to be limited. It's also possible that a more drastic measure is needed, like him taking some games off or becoming the 6th man or something. Yet Doc has not done anything about it.

Even worse is the way we try to close games. Doc, once known as a brilliant coach at drawing sets, has time and again relied on Pierce and Rondo ISOs (seriously) to close games. They've mostly failed (well, except for that one time against the Knicks who have some sort of a mysterious effect on Pierce). Remember this one play? We all shouted and clapped in awe when it happened.



Where are the likes of this? What's going on? Why is it going on?

The last item on the list is rotations. Doc is quite the systematic coach when it comes to rotations, it takes him a lot of games to be convinced of a change, and whomever is playing well on the court, his trust is almost always with the starters. But in times like these when the starters are clearly struggling, he needs to get creative. Pierce's shots don't fall? Give Green more playing time against the Hawks. Team needs energy and a scoring punch? Give Barbosa more playing time against the Hornets.

It's obvious that this team has issues. Maybe a trade or trades even will fix it. Maybe a player-only meeting is what we need. Maybe they will turn it on after All-Star weekend.

Yet one thing is sure. Doc needs to write a prescription soon. He's observed the patient for too long now.

semioticus (shelbyl) 1/26/2013 02:39:00 PM Edit
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