Through the first ten games of the season. The Boston Celtics sit at a paltry 4-6. The team has been struggling to keep pace with teams on a nightly basis. The compressed 66-game schedule is already starting to show its wear on the club.
Teams can now either outrun or outmuscle the Celtics seemingly in control the entire game. The Celtics no longer strike fear in their opponents and need to rely on their supporting cast to keep them in games.
Kevin Garnett still plays hard and will give it his all, but that explosive burst is just no longer there. KG missed his first five shot attempts against the Bulls, but rallied to hit four of his last five.
KG used to be one of the most feared players in the NBA, the tenacity he played with allowed his reputation to exceed his hall of fame abilities. Teams no longer fear KG and are beginning to attack his inabilities with greater success than in previous seasons.
Over the last four games, the Celtics have averaged just 15 points in the first quarter. The number is alarming. Granted, as evidenced Friday against the Bulls, the Celtics are capable at any point to make a run getting them back into the game. This is a nice luxury that most teams just don’t have, but the aging Celtics club can ill afford to surrender any leads if the plan on making a legitimate run at the post season. Relying on a potential late game run is the “Bend, don’t break” style of play if not a recipe for success.
The team looks old. Experience and an above average basketball IQ can only do so much. The team is lacking an identity and needs to establish one quick or we’ll be kissing this season goodbye sooner than we had expected.
Rajon Rondo has been the spark plug that drives this offense. Take away Derrick Rose’s 12 fourth quarter points and Rondo would have been the best point guard on the floor. For most of the game, Rondo kept Rose in check. However, the Bulls are a deep club and simply found other ways to win. Something the Celtics have struggled to do this season.
Rondo can set the tone and keep pace with some of the league’s better guards. The loss of Keyon Dooling can be worse than previously expected. The Celtics are without a true backup point guard for the next couple of games and this is something opposing clubs can and will exploit
Said Paul Pierce following the game: “I have to play better for us to win ball games and I realize that. Right now we’re going through a little lull, and we’ve just got to get through it.”
Only time will tell if this is something that the Celtics can get through. The already grueling schedule deals the Celtics another crushing blow when the travel to Indy tonight then back home to host Oklahoma City on Monday.
Momma said there will be days like this, but she never told me I’d have to watch another Big Three get old.