Brandon Bass is not responsible for the Celtic's .500 record even though fans are calling for his head.
The two principal points are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. They play the most minutes, they are the team leaders and that is that. For those who do not watch the games and rely on stat lines, you can stop reading now. Paul and Kevin's numbers are aok and they certainly have important roles on the team. The point is they are different players now. Watch how they play. If you think nothing has changed be my guest. The win loss total is on my side.
Their weaker play is effecting every aspect of the team, most importantly, Rondo. The 24/7 lynch mob looking for Rondo has walked past the guilty party. The team is designed around Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and they have become secondary players. These two hall of famers along with Ray Allen and Rondo carried Brandon Bass and a non existent bench to the ECF last season.
They are coached by the most loyal player coach in the league. Is Doc Rivers the guy who is going to tell Pierce he's coming off the bench now? Paul can't elevate anymore. Do you think this limits his effectiveness? He is not the same player. Stop acting like he is unless getting swept by the Pistons is the plan.
Garnett at 70% is still one of the top bigs in the league but this year is different. Why? No Ray Allen and a less effective Pierce. Why is this a particularly big issue this year? If you watch the games Garnett has had to endure more double teams than ever before. Pierce draws less from a defense, Ray Allen is in Miami. Rondo has half the choices. The team plays slow down half court literally because Pierce and Garnett need more time to get up the court. A slow offense severely limits Rajon Rondo's effectiveness. No news here.
In the six game streak who were the talk of the town? Sully, Bradley, Geen and Lee. Paul and Kevin were not part of the discussion for a reason. The hardworking physical young defenders listed above were responsible for much, not all, of the Celtic's success in that streak...obviously.
Can a starting lineup of Rondo, Bradley, Green, Sullinger and Garnett with Pierce, Lee and a big off the bench win some games? Yes, but, this is a team in transition. The team is still composed as Kevin and Paul's team. If it is no longer their team who is going to step up and how do they take the team away from Paul and Kevin and make it theirs?