Jackie MacMullan: Celtics Look Old, Slow, and Sloppy

Boston Sportswriter Jackie MacMullan, who has been covering sports in Beantown for as long as I can remember, wrote an interesting piece for ESPN Boston this morning in which she said the Celtics "look old, slow, and sloppy." And as much as I hate to say admit it, I completely agree with her.

Jackie points out that both she and Doc Rivers (and I am sure most Celtics fans) have cause for concern  as the Celtics dropped to under .500 last night. We have a glaring issue on the boards. Jackie cited the "outrageous 17-0 deficit on second-chance points in addition to a lopsided 20-9 disparity on points off turnovers."

"So that's 37 points before you start the game, against the team that won the title last year," Rivers said. "It's very difficult."

Yes, Celtics fans have been in this place before with the original Big 3 -- Bird, McHale, and Parish. Jackie recalls that "it was excruciating to watch Larry Bird and Kevin McHale break down physically as the cohesiveness that once made them champions unraveled. Amidst the crumbling of that dynasty, Robert Parish played the role of Ray Allen, the ageless wonder who went on to win another title in a different uniform."

But Ray Allen insists that "there's no concern that we can't turn it around... We've been here before."

The lone bright spot of last night was Rajon Rondo. "Rondo continues to assault opponents as though they were to blame for the trade rumors that tainted his preseason. While the point guard's teammates slogged through another listless performance, he was electric with 24 points (including 8 free throws), 7 assists and 3 steals in 38 minutes."

Jackie re-affirms what we all have seen coming -- "This is Rondo's team now. He is driving a new Maserati while his cohorts are chugging along behind in a beat-up jalopy. There's evidence to suggest this is a permanent trend, not a temporary solution while his elders find a way to get up to speed."

To read the complete article on Jackie's thoughts, visit ESPN Boston. It's a good read.

So what do you think, Celtics fans? Can we turn it around? I am hoping our slow start is a result of the lockout and lack of a pre-season to get in shape and develop team chemistry with new members of the roster. But we need to make some changes, and make them soon if we want to continue to be considered an elite team.