|Posted by shawn cassidy on September 7, 2011 at 4:05 AM|
Will never hear the end of it,and it's been the biggest area of concern for the Celtics,and Celtics fans for the past three seasons. We're talking about the age of the big three. I really prefer to keep an open mind about the Celtics title hopes. Until the big three break up,or however this ride stops I won't give up on this team. Until I see a major drop in their games. Despite losing to the Heat in the 2nd round. Two factors killed the Celtics. The injury of Rondo,and trading Perk without a solid back-up option at center after the trade. The age of the Celtics really didn't play a part in the series lose.
In the late 90's all the title hopeful teams were past their prime,but they still could play at a high level. Let's look at the 1997-98 Jazz. How old were the big three of the Jazz? Malone was 34.Hornacek 34,and Stockton 35. Malone played 36 minutes per game,and he was coming off an MVP season. Stockton,and Hornacek played around 30 minutes per game. How could two key players play only 30 minutes per game,and their team still makes it to the finals? The Jazz played like a team,and it sounds simple,but it's true. Stockton even in the playoffs played 30 minutes per game. The Jazz lost in the finals,but the team they lost to had an old core as well. Jordan was 35,and Pippen was 33,and Rodman was 60 years old. No he wasn't that old,but he was old at that time,and Ron Harper was in his mid 30's as well.
The young teams of that generation couldn't beat the veteran clubs. The Lakers finally go there day when the Bulls broke up,and the Jazz finally had their legs catch up with them. The one key element that those veteran clubs didn't have? They didn't have a start point guard,and he's young as well. Rondo can take so much of the load,and the big three can continue to take a step back,but we still need high performances from them. Will also need a center of course. I love the Celtics chances. This crew has been detoured from unforseen injuries,and back luck. The injuries in the past two seasons haven't hurt the Celtics in a sense of a ton of players out. Yes that has happen during stretches,but I'm talking about key parts of the team going down at the wrong time. KG out for the playoffs,and then Perk in game 6 of the finals,and this year Rondo in the Miami series. If we get some luck without any hick-ups then the Celtics have a good chance. The Celtics need a center,and they need production from the bench big three. West,Green,Davis need to perform at a high level as they should. If we get some luck,and if the Celtics play like a team. Like they always do,and then will be just fine.
I have touched on two of the topics before today from ESPN's 5-on-5. Here is what they say about the Celtics title hopes.
5. Fact or Fiction: The Celtics' title window has closed.
Hayes Davenport, Celtics Hub: Fiction. For next year? Yeah, probably. They aren't going to improve, and a lot of teams are going to get better around them. But the prospect of rebuilding with one of the league's best distributors, an aging star or two, and an otherwise vacant roster is actually pretty exciting. Ryan DeGama, Celtics Hub: Fact. In the past, Boston could count on going deep in the playoffs even with a few things going wrong. Now, they need everything to go right for that same result. X factor: Ainge's bench construction. A batch of young, athletic bigs and wings would give Boston a decent chance at making the Finals one more time.
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston: Fiction. Health is key, and age makes that more difficult, but with the right moves in building a supporting cast around the Big Four, the Celtics are in the mix, especially in a shortened season.
Brendan Jackson, Celtics Hub: Fiction. There is no doubt the road to the Finals goes through Miami or Chicago, but the Celtics will still be the third-best team in the East. Ainge will have to get creative in reloading the roster, but if the Big Three can still play at a high level, the Celtics still have a chance.
Brian Robb, Celtics Hub: Fiction. There have been numerous injuries that have hampered Boston's playoff runs since 2008. Excuses are excuses, but the fact of the matter is this team still has four All-Stars capable of playing at elite levels along with a top-notch coach. The window is closing, but there is still a wide enough crack to see through for one more year.