Sometimes it is hard to remember last year. So much has happened since then that it seems like such a long time ago. Obviously last year's team featured the Big 4, but look at the rest of the playoff roster. Nobody else from that team is currently playing for us. The next 4 leading scorers were Jeff Green, Delonte West, Jermaine O'Neal, and Glen Davis. They've been replaced by Brandon Bass (outscoring Ray Allen thus far), Pietrus, Daniels, and Dooling.
On paper that doesn't actually look like much of an upgrade. But the pieces just seem to fit together better according to Doc.
"Because I see them every day in practice, every day together,’’ Rivers said Monday of why he has confidence in his team. "Last year’s team would have been out of the playoffs already. It wasn’t the same team. This team is very close, it’s competitive. I think they understand [Rajon] Rondo’s the leader of the team, Kevin [Garnett] is a great player, Paul [Pierce] is a great scorer. They’ve gotten out of the way with each other’s roles. And the new guys have added a competitive energy to the team.
There's that "they know their roles" thing again. It is hard not to poke fun at Big Baby for his comments of not knowing (or probably more accurately not accepting) his role. This team just works well together and it starts from the top. I really think that Rajon Rondo has taken an extra step to the front of the team to be the star and focal point. And as proud as they are, the other stars have accepted that leadership. It is good to see and I hope this formula keeps working.