Ok, hard core Celtics fans. That time has finally arrived. Danny's formula of surrounding our famous core of players with a hand-selected mix of role players and journeymen is no longer a successful one. The numbers tell the story (particularly wins and losses) and so does the "stink test." If it stinks, it's rotten. Worst of all this team simply is not developing a winning attitude. What has happened and what sort of action is called for? Let's have a look at the two components of Danny's formula: The core and the surrounding cast.
Concerning the core, it's just finally that time. If Paul Pierce were a turkey his plastic popper thing would have told us that he was done last year. It was truly a miracle that we did what we did last year in the playoffs. The old guys brought out some old-school magic. That said, those grueling playoffs were Paul's last hurrah as a star player and it's obvious by watching him now, regardless of any short-term scoring outbursts that he may have. Paul Pierce is nearing the end rapidly and his very-recent attitude is showing the first signs of complacency. [Physical Note: I am the guy who shared a common foot doctor with Pierce. According to this guy last year, Pierce has inoperable bone spurs in both feet that tremendously limit his athleticism, speed and quickness. He cannot push off his big toes any more. The dude is worn out.] Garnett? He continues to temporarily defy the odds and remain productive. That leaves one of the "big 3" still in-town and producing. Our core, in my opinion, is now Rondo and an incredibly old Garnett. That folks, sentimentality aside, is a losing core.
Role players? There's Avery Bradley. Oft-injured but awesome. Put him in the "keep" column. Jason Terry is a flat-out bust. He was a flawed signing. It's clear that Terry got his clear looks when defenses collapsed on Dirk in Dallas. That does not happen here. When he does get looks they simply don't go in often enough. His PR man, bs personality is not remotely amusing on a .500 team. Courtney Lee, despite looking like an active perimeter defender, was let go by the smartest GM in the league for a reason. He is a low-impact player. He, too, does not shoot very well. His athleticism is a tease and not much more. Speaking of that, Jeff Green is a low impact player too. I wish that we still had the facial expression psychologist on our payroll because Jeff Green looks like he is about to cry 50% of the time and like he needs a hug 40% of the time, with 10% of "I'm trying to dunk on someone" thrown in for good measure. Yes, he is a nice young man but this guy is not coming around. Attitude and effort are skills, not temporary conditions. Leandro Barbosa is skilled, still in his prime, and effective. Doc does not play him. Why? You tell me.
Who else is even on this team? Ah yes, Brandon Bass. Did I mention that Attitude and Effort are Skills, not Temporary Conditions. That leaves Sullinger. The first good rebounder that we have had in 15 years besides Rondo. He gets us all excited because he is the first good rebounder that we have had in 15 years besides our point guard (did I say that yet?). He also has a good attitude. That makes him a role player with a good attitude. Great -- keep him.
This team is done, folks. We're very low on skill, particularly the skills of attitude and effort. But don't forget shooting and rebounding. We're losing our adopted hometown hero, my favorite player, Paul Pierce, at a rapid pace. That means the end for this era and the beginning for a new one. It is too late to avoid a pretty major crash -- Danny needed to blow this up two years ago for that -- but there is still time to avoid the worst-case scenario. Let's do that.
Be respectful and keep it clean. Thanks.