There are those who think that Boston’s core players are too old, and that Danny Ainge should have traded them and started the rebuilding process. It is very hard to argue with the results that they have produced.
Aside from the injury bug, that has been ravaging the starting five this team could arguably be looking at their third title. But reality and their inability to get consistent effort from the bench has hampered them.
Who would have thought that the James Posey factor would still be haunting them? Boston has been unable to find another long, gritty defender who could duplicate the things he did.
Tony Allen proudly claimed that he was a better player than Posey, but his inconsistencies made him a maddening prospect. In the span of five minutes you could go from praising Allen to wanting to choke him.
Allen always professed his love for the Celtics, but the prospect of making more green with the Memphis Grizzlies drove him away from wearing the green.
Boston must now take a different approach to assembling their 2010-11 bench. It is hard to fathom why Danny Ainge waits so late in the season to make the necessary adjustments to his bench.
Most of his major bench acquisitions have come close to the trade deadline. That isn't so bad if you are getting players who are flexible and understand a supporting role.
Sam Cassell and Stephon Marbury were unable to adjust to being bit players. Cassell pounded the ball into submission, thereby gumming up the works. Marbury was nabbed for fraud; he forgot his game and began assimilating to Rondo's style of play.
Something that did not bode well for him as well as his well publicized bizarre Vaseline eating incident.
Rasheed Wallace marched to the beat of his own drum, no matter how out of step it was with the team philosophy.
The good news is that Ainge got it right with Nate Robinson last year. Nate didn't show very well in the regular season, but by the middle of the playoffs he was able to do what Sam and Stephon couldn't do. He was able to make a meaningful contribution and he can actually play defense.
Robinson started to actually show he had basketball skills outside the three ring circus of Mike D'Antoni's run and gun offense.
News on the circuit is that the Celtics and Nate are close to a three-year agreement. The only other move that they have made to bolster the bench is to sign Jermaine O'Neal.
They still have not addressed the need for a defensive wing player for the bench. There are rumors that they are looking into repairing their relationship with Marquis Daniels. That is a questionable move, especially since he didn't seem to enjoy his time with the team.
Celtics brass has been sighted at an Adam Morrison workout, a player who has two championship rings, but has done nothing to earn them.
Morrison was at one time talked about in the same breath as the immortal Larry Bird. Injury and his lack of athleticism have relegated him to journeyman status and a possible trek to the European league.
Don't get desperate Danny!
All is not lost though; there are still players worthy of the moniker "defensive stopper" on the market. Players like:
1 . Matt Barnes
2 . Ronnie Brewer
3 . Ricky Davis,
4 . Jarvis Hayes
5 . Rasul Butler
6 . Maybe a Gerald Greene redux (KG would scare him into getting with the program, and Ray would be the voice of reason and professionalism, assuring him that KG isn't the boogie man).
These are players who can come at a reasonable price and will not hamper their cap space in the future.
The new contingent in Miami does make it more challenging to get back to the NBA Finals. Miami is the IT team and everyone knows it; for the Celtics the disrespect factor is old news to them.
Next season may be Boston’s only chance to bring banner 18 to Boston, while Wade and company adjust to their new surroundings.
The Celtics have been dismissed for the sexier, glamorous kids on the block and they don't care because they understand that the game is played on the court and not on paper.