I'm wondering just how much pressure KG is feeling at the moment. The tenuous status of his knee and the ugly collapse by his teammates in his absence have led to a situation where, short of Ainge pulling a rabbit out of a hat by trade, the only light at the end of the tunnel is his triumphant return.
No, I don't excuse the team for the apathetic play of late. Laying down like lambs to inferior talent and routinely blowing 3rd quarter leads is really difficult to watch. KG, or no KG, the effort just isn't there. I had though that Pierce, Ray, Doc or someone - ANYONE - would be able to step up and be a leader, but I think this team is searching for the shadow of KG's presence. His imminent return has only made the effort worse.
Right or wrong, the team seems to have hinged its ability to flick the switch to "ON" when KG comes back. Clearly the "ON" switch just isn't there right at their disposal right now. Cruise control is more their modus operandi...auto pilot...snoozeville...whatever you want to cool.
Whether KG will be the waje up call this team needs and instantly cure all of what ails them is yet to be seen. We can debate this til we turn blue, but right now it's the best hope we have - and really it's not a bad one to hang our hats on.
I know KG won't crack under the pressure - it's his knee I'm worried about.