Sunday, April 10, 2011
Get out the cole slaw and baked potatoes...
..cause the Boston Celtics are done.
The perplexing decision of trading Kenderick Perkins and Nate Robinson for Jeff Green and some stiff from Europe continues to reign down on a Boston team that seemed to have its way through the first 2/3 of the season.
Instead of having home court advantage for the entire playoffs, the C's have fallen back to the 3 seed in the East, being bullied by the Bulls and Heat in meaningful late season road games. The toughness that was the Boston Celtics now resides in Chicago. At this rate, Boston will be fortuante to even get out of the 1st round as they have struggled against New York and Philly during the season, two teams that are extremely hungry for post season success.
As for Danny Ainge, he went all in with the idea that Shaq would be healthy for the playoffs, but the decision has blown up. Perkins, while never being a dominant scorer, was the best low post defender in the East. It was just in 2009 that a Garnett-less Celtics squad beat Chicago in the 1st ROund and had a 3-2 series lead on Orlando before bowing out, which was a direct result of Perkins low post defense and rebounding on the Joakim Noah's and Dwight Howard's of the world. Now the trademark defense and team chemistry Boston has relied on is gone.
Let's hope Danny Ainge is not going Joe Dumars on us. Every move Dumars made for a time turned to gold, from acquiring the unknown Richard Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse, getting rid of Rick Carlisle for Larry Brown, pulling off the Rasheed Wallace deal looked great. But their was also Darko, Chancey and host of other bad decisions that have led to the demise of Detroit Basketball. Ainge made the C's relevent again after losing out on the Oden and Durant sweepstakes, instead acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and draft day trades making the C's and instant contender and thus winning the title in 2008. Boston could be two injuries away from a 3-Peat, but is now light years away from Banner 18.
There will be some who point to Boston's run last year, but the reality is that the C's shut it down some in the regular season, nusing injuries to the Big 3 while Rondo became the best player on the team. When April rolled around, Boston was healthy and knew that it would have to win on the road and did so, winning twice in Cleveland and Orlando, once in LA and Miami. That is not the case this year as the Big 3 and Rondo are playing heavy minutes and not getting the W's, especially on back to back games. Rondo is not the same player since his best friend Perkins is gone and niether is Glenn Davis since his running partner Nate Robinson has departed. The C's get virtually nothing from the second unit. The chemistry is not there, sadly niether is the toughness. As a result, it will be a short post season for the C's this April/May.