Friday, May 23, 2008

Fixing the Boston Celtics

posted by Jon Williams

Can the Boston Celtics be any more disappointing than they have been throughout the playoffs? I thought the series against the Atlanta Hawks was just a fluke but I no longer believe that to be the case. The symptoms of the problem have been present the entire season and particularly in the playoffs against not just the Hawks but also against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons. Doc Rivers must be replaced. Here are the three primary symptoms that have led me to this conclusion:

  1. The Offense is Unorganized - This is actually putting it quite nicely. They almost never call plays when they hold the ball everything is pure chaos. Schoolyard teams take better shots than the Celtics do. Even worse when the Celtics are trailing they get worse not better. You would think that when they fell behind the team would take smarter shots in order to cut into the leads they are trying to overcome. I blame this on overconfidence - knowing they have players the caliber of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen makes this team believe they can score from anywhere on the court at any moment. It may even be true if only the other team doesn't utilize defense against them. Calling the occasional play is necessary in the playoffs.
  2. The Substitutions Have No Rhyme or Reason - Try to figure out what Rivers means to accomplish with his substitutions especially in the playoffs. Sam Cassell plays twenty minutes one night and five the next and over thirty the next. Glen "Big Baby" Davis is used frequently throughout the season as was Leon Powe and we've barely heard a peep from them in the playoffs. The bench played a major role in winning 66 games this season and they've been relegated to garbage time and brief breathers.
  3. They Can't Win on the Road - The best team in basketball this season the Celtics should have cruised relatively unscathed through the first two rounds of the playoffs. I don't mean to disrespect the Hawks or LeBron James with this statement but those teams shouldn't have posed a major challenge. Instead the Celtics got through both these series because they had a massive talent advantage. This is called winnig in spite of Doc Rivers not with or because of him.

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