I am a concerned and devoted fan of the green team. They have fought, struggled, won, but ultimately it has all led to this. Every team has their ups and downs, but this is just bewildering. After a near flawless start of 27-2, the Celtics have been 2-7 in their last 9 games. I have looked everywhere and anywhere for answers to the question: Why? I don't want to blame the team or the organization. Time and time again, the Celtics have proved themselves...remember the playoffs last year where they struggled in every round (especially with the young, naive Hawks). This has probably been the lowest the team has been since the arrival of the Big 3. Here I will try to explain potential reasons why...
Team Chemistry - Well, I was reading the article Wojnarowski wrote, and he really hits the nail when he mentions KG's overbearing nature. Obviously, I have tremendous respect for the Big Ticket. The guy is more focused than a fat kid eating his chocolate cake. Out of the Big 3, this is always how I've viewed them in terms of leadership.
Pierce - Well, Paul Pierce is just Paul Pierce. All my Laker buddies hate him to death. Well, screw you (sorry about that). Pierce has been with the Celtics since day one and has seen this organization in the pits and on the hills of glory. He understands the team, the organization, the coaches better than anyone else. His tendency to go the rim is not a sign of weakness, but a strategy, well, that apparently works. He's KG's number one man. Out of the Big Three - Pierce and KG share the closest relationship.
Ray Allen - Both KG and Pierce have admitted that in hairy situations, Allen is their go to guy. However, Allen's inconsistencies on the court (esp. from the 3PT line) have hurt the team this year. One game he went 0-9 from beyond the arc. Another game he was burning hot. He is sort of the third wheel in this superstar lineup. There's not much to say about Allen other than his presence as a veteran and semi-consistent shooting patterns.
Anyways, Rondo and Perkins are both young and talented but are not all-star or superstar caliber players. Part of the frustration lies within the veteran's inability to rely on the bench and fellow starters. At first, the team's trip to Europe was a great bonding experience. The championship run made the team as tight as a Boy Scout knot. The Laker game (quite a psychological game) has something to do with the team's failing to score and play defense.
Fatigue - Celtics have to be freakishly tired. The tremendous win streak must've was quite a toll on the team. The pressure to keep the fire going has led to a deterioration in the team's playing. December was a pinnacle for the team (until the LA game). Points, assists, steals, and rebounds have all gone down in this last month. Losing has a psychological effect on people. Relentless play from the Celtics in the last year or so have only compounded this cold streak by weakening them physically and mentally. (Click the link)
Effects of Winning and Losing
No more Irish Luck - The Irish luck disappeared. The magic. The love. The fight. All gone in the course of 2 weeks. Lucky green? This team was meant to repeat. I'm not giving up...the Celtics are being lead by bloodthirsty hound(s). KG wants another ring - no doubt. I expect sometime by the end of this month for him and his team to get back on track even though they face a couple tough teams including the Magic, Suns, Detroit. Anyways, they're out of luck and it's time for the team to use some serious willpower and light up the basketball court like the olden days.
Bench - Bench sucks. Sorry, but an overeliance on Eddie House and Tony Allen (injured) is a primary reason the Celtics cannot trust the bench. Rivers has to exercise his options with O' Bryant and Pruitt. Pierce, Garnett, and Allen are all playing more this season. The abundance of pressure and stress is taking a toll on the oldies.
Anyways, enough blabbering.
You better get your head out of the dumps. Start playing like you did in the beginning of the year. Ray Allen shoot 3's like you did with the Bucks and Sonics. Pierce keep getting fouls and playing like a stud. Garnett, relax a little, the team won't thrive under your constant eye. Rondo, you have some serious potential with your passing abilities - play hard. Perkins, learn from Garnett and play with that passion. House, T. Allen, Powe, and the others on the bench, you guys need to step it up for the starters.
P.S. I love you.
Listen to Jump Around - House Of Pain written by a true Irish.