NBA Playoffs 2012: Boston Celtics and Old Teams That Have No Shot

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  (L-R) Kevin Garnett #5, Jermaine O'Neal #7, Ray Allen #20 and Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics look on against the New York Knicks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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The start of the 2012 NBA playoffs means that there are 16 teams still competing for a championship. But there are a few that should stay home.

This year's condensed regular-season schedule was exciting for fans, but it took a toll on a lot of older teams.

Short turnarounds and constant traveling have already worn out players as the postseason now prepares to commence.

The Spurs were able to stay on top of the Western Conference thanks to increased production from younger players, but these teams are not as fortunate Greg Popovich and Co.

 

Boston Celtics

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are all over 34, and the mileage is starting to haunt them.

Guard Avery Bradley has been a welcome addition, but the rest of the bench does not provide enough production to allow sufficient rest for the key players.

The Celtics are weak up front, and they will not be able to stay with a team that has big men that can run the floor.

 

Dallas Mavericks

The defending NBA champions seem to be headed to an early exit this time around.

Delonte West is the only starter under 32, but the man who gets more minutes at his position, Jason Terry, is 34.

In the first round, they will be facing a younger, quicker team in the OKC Thunder that should be able to score at will.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks drives on Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 112-108 Laker overtime win at Staples Center on April 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackn
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James Harden is ready and raring to go, and considering the Mavericks' struggles away from home, it is tough to see them winning in Oklahoma City and the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

 

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have a lot of talented young players, but the age of a few key players will ruin the team's chance at a title.

First, Metta World Peace will not be the shutdown defender he once was when he returns from suspension, which is something the team will need against tougher opponents.

Second, Los Angeles has survived many playoff rounds over the past decade by deferring to Kobe Bryant and letting him take over a game. While he almost won the scoring title, the perennial All-Star had his lowest shooting percentage since his second year in the league.

It is not in the best interest of the team anymore for Kobe to keep shooting when things get tough, but he still will anyway. This will cost the Lakers any chance at winning it all this season.