The fact remains the Celts must count on their more senior citizens to get them through this. Specifically, if Paul Pierce [stats] and Kevin Garnett don't begin playing better, then every other discussion is moot.
Considering these two have had physical issues this season, this is where the talk of Celtics problems veers into the "unable." Garnett and his right knee have looked much better since the All-Star break, but Pierce has been wildly inconsistent dealing with multiple maladies.
Rivers said late Wednesday night he's deciding whether to rest them more or let them play themselves back to their needed levels. And the coach knows he has to get this one right or the Celtics will be a snowball when the playoffs get warm.
Peter May offers his own (perhaps harsh) two cents as well.
It also makes it difficult when the two players on whom you most depend, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, are mere shells of themselves right now. The company line is that they will get better as the season winds down and the playoffs begin. Watching them play night in and night out, particularly Garnett, one wonders how that is ever going to be the case.
KG has been back for almost two months and still looks hobbled. Guys blow past him -- and over him -- with impunity. In Milwaukee on Tuesday night, he bit on an upfake from Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova, came down on his back and tumbled to the ground as Ilyasova made the basket (and the free throw). You can be sure a photo of that play is on every storefront in Istanbul.
Garnett has to be right for it all to work. It may be too severe to say he has irretrievably broken down, but he looks old and tired and, well, broken down out there. Pierce gets a little slack because he is still working his way back from his most recent injury (sprained right thumb).
I think that these guys have a point. We can talk all day long about rotations and rebounds and the finer points of the game, but it boils down to how far the Big 3 can take us. Ray Allen has stepped up as of late. Pierce and Garnett have been inconsistent. Some days they are there, some days not so much.
Here's hoping that they can get back on track soon. If they can somehow "get right" on the court, I still believe in this team. If they can't, ...well, not so much.