|Posted by paul on March 7, 2012 at 10:40 PM|
I felt shellshocked after the loss tonight. I guess I was expecting a hard fought game, it being our most important game of the season, since the opening day game. Now I don't feel so bad about it. I know that a lot of teams have suffered big losses this season, presumably because of the lockout schedule, with it's no training camp, games crammed together, and so on. These difficulties seem to hit the Celtics harder, because they are an older team, and because the Celtics' lack of size forces them to be an 'energy' team. To be an older 'energy' team is a bit of contradiction to begin with, and then you are trying to be an older energy team on the second day of a back-to-back, on the road, after a hard fought overtime game. So what to make of it, if anything?
My first thought, now that I've calmed down a little (thankyou CTT peers for helping with that!) is that the last two games point to the wrong-headedness of Doc's proudly announced decision to 'set' the rotation at 9. To me, it sounded like Doc once again trying to set back the clock to 2008 in his head, refusing to recognize that the Big Three, while still capable and quite often brilliant, are unquestionably OLD. It's been clear since last year that they are pretty much hopeless on the second nights of back-to-backs (on the road at least). It's also been clear this year that we can expect more inconsistency from the Big Three, that in general they need a lot of help, that they simply can't carry the load they once could. We HAVE to use a deeper rotation, mixing people in and out of the lineup, especially on a night like tonight. I understand Doc's thinking that as we get into the crunchtime part of the season, rookie mistakes hurt more. But setting the rotation, and at just 9, just doesn't make sense for this team.
It's not just that we need to have more young legs in the mix, which means that we need a larger mix. It's also that we need to keep throwing new looks at other teams. When we become predictable, we become easy to beat. With Turner going off, shouldn't Pietrus have seen more PT, or maybe he should have started, considering how tired Allen seemed to be? Should Garnett always play the five? Why can't Bass play there too? Garnett seems to get pushed around by physical centers, doesn't he?
I don't really so much blame the Big Three for having tired legs. I blame Doc for being so dogmatic about his rotation.
And I blame Doc for the fact that once again we seemed to revert to the 2008 offense, where Rondo happily plays the role of the kid bro who hands the ball off to his betters, so they can shoot Js haplessly all night. This isn't 2008, Doc. Rondo is the key to this offense, even when he isn't hitting. He is still one of the best penetrators in the league, and we need to establish his aggressive penetrating offense early in every single game. We cannot continue to revert to the whole idea of establishing everyone else first and then letting Rondo pick up the leftovers. I get SOOO sick of seeing this. It was what hurt us earlier in the season.
In the end we lost to a very good team, that was very fired up, and that was lifted by a breakout game from a young player, and all this happened on a very bad night for us. It's not the end of the world. But what is truly frustrating is to see the same old mistakes coming back again, such as Doc's dogmatic rotation, Doc's tendency to sit on the bench, and Doc's tendency to sit on Rondo. I just think that this whole team keeps getting stuck in a 2008 time warp, and keeps forgetting that we actually have a lot of talent now, starting with one of the best young players in the league in Rondo. It's not 2008, but 2012 could be pretty good...