FanPost

Identity Crisis

Much has been said recently about the Celtics having difficulty finding their identity. Considering the transition, it should be no real surprise. I am not talking about transition on the court, rather from a traditional team to a small ball team.

When I think of a traditional team, I think of a "true center." A guy who is 7' tall or more that wrestles for position on the blocks with most of the offense running through him, grinding it out in half court sets. Small ball on the other hand has no true center and instead uses three relatively tall, but super athletic forwards who can out quick a center making him ineffective. The latter is definitely the direction of the league.

Consider these tidbits: there are 30 teams - there are 34 players 7' or taller. Of these, only 10 teams start a 7 footer, only 10 more use a 7 footer as the 1st back up, and there are 8 teams that do not even have a 7 footer on their roster. The Spurs on many nights use DeJuan Blair as the starting center at 6'7".

The Celtics find themselves caught in kind of a no man's land. Sort of two teams in one. We don't have a "true" center to make the half court style suited to KG and PP work regularly. And we don't have an additional "true" PG to make the small ball with Green, Wilcox, and Lee filling the wings (a la Showtime) work. Can we really expect Rondo to run with these guys after he has already logged 6, 8, or more minutes with the starters?

With the original 5 year window in mind, Ainge was making the move toward small ball with the Green/ Perkins trade. Of course that got derailed/ postponed with the heart condition and combined with the lock out, he tried to muddle through a year. Now we seem to be, if not reversing course, at least putting the complete switch on hold. Consequently, Doc is forced to try rotations that don't best utilize certain talents (square pegs). Players are uncomfortable in roles. How do you trade until the goal is clarified? And a lack of identity will exist until the direction is resolved one way or the other.

Are there options? I have some recommendations that are kind of lengthy so I will leave them for another post.

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