FanPost

Why the "new Celtics" will win

Before Rondo's injury, the Celtics were a new team.

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Ray Allen is in Miami and the new starting two guard(s) is not the same player/scorer.Pierce can no longer explode to the basket. Over the last 20 games, his foul attempts per games are off by 20% from last year. He is still the Celtics “scorer”, but he does it differently than in the past. He now positions himself very effectively for rebounds and has contributed there.

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Kevin plays fewer minutes, but, is still one of the top bigs in the game. He is, however, a different player this year. The number of jumpers has grown which has again, changed how the new Celtics score.

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Bass has had a poor first half. In the past, Bass was the beneficiary, along with Rondo, of having two of the greatest scorers in the history of NBA playing with him. His position on the court then was different than it has been this season and he has lost effectiveness.

Doc Rivers has played his team, like last year. Rivers always slips towards playing Pierce and Garnett more. His team has changed, but, his coaching tactics have not evolved to the “new Celtics.” This relates to his ferocious loyalty to his veteran players. A double edged sword that this year, has hurt his team.

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Rondo has struggled with the new Celtics. Rondo, the top big game point guard in the game, needs weapons. His last 20 games have left him with too few options. Too many unfamiliar, “unintegrated” new team mates. Too many shooting slumps. He responded by trying to carry the team offensively which, historically, results in losses. It's like Brady scrambling for 6 yards and instead of hitting Hernandez for the 40 yard TD. Rondo needs to pass to scorers and that has been the big three era. When Rondo scores big the Celtics are under .500. There isn't a head coach in the NBA who isn't happy to let “Rondo shoot.” Chicago's Thibodeau admitted this only last week.

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Will the new Celtics be better with Rondo watching from home?

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As above, the Celtics are a different team this year and the first 40+ games have made this clear. Unless the coaching and floor leadership adapt, they will be the 8th seed.

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The loss of Rondo may be helpful as it will force Rivers to adapt.

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The Miami game was a superb defensive battle. The Boston Celtic's best game of the year. Lee, Green and Bradley's brilliant defense were responsible for James and Wades' late game ineffectiveness. They were, quite simply gassed missing shot after shot in the 4th and OT periods. To those of you who would rather study stats than actually watching the games, the Miami Heat had more shot clock violations on Sunday than in any game this season. Was it the Celtic's defense of old? No, it was the new Celtics. Jeff Green fighting Lebron on every possession, Lee running the court and forcing one poor shot or pass after another. Avery Bradley inspiring his team mates while dominating Dwayne Wade, one on the NBA's top ten players. Jason Terry, one of the weakest offensive players on the team for the first 40 games, is now an important scoring option for the new Celtics further opening up the floor for Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and others.

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Ainge and Rivers have made their living on “defense for offense.” The new Celtics must employ their best defensive players to attain this goal. The Kings game showed the new Celtics decimating a badly over matched Kings team on defense and creating transition opportunities not yet seen this year.

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The New Celtics will succeed because the Head coach must now adapt and he has. The Kings' game yielded a nine man rotation. Fresh legs expending the necessary extra energy on defense that creates the transition opportunities that lead to wins.

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Yes, the new Celtics will win because they have been forced to let go of being the old Celtics. There isn't a back court player in the NBA who wants to play against Bradley. Courtney Lee, inspired by Bradley's play, and has been dominant. Jeff Green will now get more minutes and will start demanding double teams, further opening up the floor for the new Celtics. Pierce and Garnett have a chance to settle into their new roles as Jason Terry flies down the court for more points in transition.

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As spring draws near, which eastern conference team wants to play the new Celtics in the playoffs?

I'm waiting.

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