Thing is, the two old guys, KG and Pierce, are playing pretty well. It's the rest of the roster that sucks. They are missing Avery Bradley. Bass has regressed. Courtney Lee hasn't fit in. Green isn't earning his money (part of it is of course rust, but frankly he never was that effective even in OKC). Hell, they don't even have someone to really replace Stiemsma.
The question is what they now do about it. I remember hearing that Ainge came close to (or at least considered) blowing it up for a complete rebuild in each of the last couple seasons. Is this year finally the time he does it? A lot depends on what happens between now the the trade deadline.
The other question is what would a "rebuild' mean. I assume KG and Pierce would be gone. What about Rondo? Do they keep him as the new center piece or do they start from scratch by trading Rondo for a draft pick or an even younger player?
Finally, James Harden's defense matches his drapes.
Like you, I think the celtics have vastly underperformed. A team that has been known in the past as a defensive minded team has fallen apart. This Is largely because when KG comes out all hell breaks lose. Honestly they need a shot blocking tall bigman to man the paint when KG is out or in. They could either make a trade or test the waters with a cheap big an free agent or Dleague prospect (like Stiensma last year)
Granted, Avery Bradley, arguably one of the best on ball defenders in the league has not played yet this season and is slated to return on January 2. We will see how the Celtics are then and if he can help the defense. One thing to note however is that the Celtics sucked last year too up to the Allstar break when they made a run. Should be exciting to see if they make a trade or stay with the core.
I don't know if they are coasting are not. If you're going to coast at least be a good team. Heat are coasting and still winning Celtics seem to play bad for stretches in the regular season the last few years and then turn it on come playoff team.
NBA title contention, for all its elusiveness, is depressingly simple...
FiveThirtyEight found that of the past 40 teams to make the Finals, their No. 1 player, on average, ranked in the 96th percentile in statistical plus/minus. The No. 2 player was 90th percentile; the No. 3, 79th. The real question is how to acquire them.
Their defense is doing great but their offense is questionable. They rely to much on Rondo; I believe attacking, scoring point guards are more valuable than 'pure' pgs like Rondo.
It depends on the other players on the floor. We saw how Lin and Harden didn't mesh so well until they started giving the ball more to Lin. Harden's tovs dropped because he isn't handling the ball as much, but he's still scoring at the same rate or better.
Someone like Kyrie Irving probably wouldn't give KG and Pierce enough touches during the game. You've got to have players that complement each other or at least players who wont let their egos get in the way of adjusting their game to win.
Although the Knick still have a good record, I wonder if Felton and Melo are really a good match in the long run. Rondo actually might do better on the Knicks.
I honestly think a PG should never be the first or 2nd scoring option on a team. Otherwise you just have the other 4 guys standing around a lot. It's be interesting to see how the Net's offense will change with a new coach.
set the d-league record for most blocks in a single game, with 14 or 16 blocks i believe....
by the way, just a side note, but rumor has it that the celtics are willing to trade for cousins "when and if he is available"
makes sense, they need size. They basically replaced Stiemsma/O'Neal with Sullinger. KG is a full time center now. Wilcox sucks as the backup center.
I think they'll be alright. They need to find some size with solid D, not necessarily someone of Cousins caliber. They need Bradley to get healthy. Their D isn't the same, and that's mainly a bench issue.
I didn't think they'd be the 2nd best in the East, I thought that's the Pacers. I thought the Celtics would be top 4 though. Maybe that's not happening, so far it feels like Miami, NY, Atlanta and Indiana will be top 4, but who knows.
g Penny Hardaway / Steve Nash
g Tracy McGrady / Dennis Johnson
f Kevin Durant
f Chris Webber / Rasheed Wallace
c Shaquille O'Neal
I never take an easy path. Easy paths are for quoters. - Donatas Motiejunas