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The Celtics return home with a less than stellar performance form their five game western road trip. They ended with a 2 out of 5 record that shows the very real perilous position that they are in.  The trade deadline saw no significant changes to a team that still finds itself overburdened and underwhelming with the names that are currently on the roster.

In order for the Celtics to compensate for the loss of Rajon Rondo they have had to employ a platoon of players to do what only Rondo can do.  The results at home have been fabulous, but the road has been a rocky one to say the least.  The post all-star break Celtics have found that life outside the confines of Causeway Street and the upcoming post-season calls for a more cerebral approach to the game.

This recent road trip saw them play four playoff teams and one destined for the lottery.  It doesn't take much to beat the hapless Phoenix Suns or the Al Jefferson led Utah Jazz. Because Al has never beaten the Celtics since leaving Green Nation.  A more tell-tale example of where they stand may be the mental errors that occurred in their loss to the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trailblazers. I'm excluding the Los Angeles Lakers because it was played shortly after the death of the creator of the "Lake Show" Jerry Buss.

If you ask yourself what the aforementioned losses had in common, is the presence of a top flight point guard.  Avery Bradley, the Celtics "pit bull' defensive stopper, could not put the kibosh on Ty Lawson, rookie of the year favorite Damian Lillard and the ageless wonder Andre Miller. Let us not forget the tweet he sent out and has since deleted earlier in the season after an embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

His remarks came across as a slight dig on Rondo's defensive efforts against Kyrie Irving.  For those of you with short-term memory loss; AB tweeted that no one would ever drop 40 on him.  That may be true, but his inability to run the team has forced Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to exert an enormous amount of energy.

It took a heroic effort by Pierce and KG insisting that Brandon Bass not replace him in the lineup to come out on top in their overtime win over the Jazz. In spite of Avery's 18 points,  serviceable players like Alex Burks broke him down and Earl Watson made critical plays over him with Boston holding a slim lead in the fourth quarter.  His track record against the elite point guards has also been less then stellar. This small sampling of his play against top-notch guards will rear its ugly head during the postseason.

He has been thrust into a starting role because his defense was better than Ray Allen's, and as the lead guard because of Rondo's injury. AB is a great change of pace guy who is better suited to come off the bench.  The very thing he is touted for being does not mask the fact that he cannot run the team when they need to get into their sets.  His court-vision is suspect when he misses Chris Wilcox and Brandon Bass (when he feels like it) on cuts to the hoop.

He is talented enough to play, but I think it is sacrilegious to mention him with the Bruce Bowens and the player formerly known as Ron Artest when it comes to making a defensive stop at critical junctures when the game is on the line.

Frances 2/26/2013 05:01:00 PM Edit
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