Boston Celtics Won't Win the East: Three Reasons
The Eastern Conference contenders of the previous season have all made colossal additions.
Vince Carter to Orlando, Shaq to Cleveland, and now Rasheed Wallace to Boston.
Many think that with the addition of Rasheed, the Celtics are favorites to win the Eastern Conference and get to the NBA Finals. But quite frankly, I just do not buy it.
Good 'Ol Father Time
So far, this is looking to be the Celtics starting five:
Rasheed Wallace, age 35
Kevin Garnett, age 33
Paul Pierce, age 32 (33 in October)
Ray Allen, age 34
And the youngest, Rajon Rondo, age 23.
The point is, these guys have passed their prime. Yes they are still magnificent players, but as fans we tend to overlook the fact that as players age, they become less significant.
In the past two seasons, Ray Allen has dropped 8.2 PPG off of his scoring average.
Paul Pierce averages less in every statistical category from two seasons ago, including 4.5 points per game.
Now you would say that since they play together on a better team, their stats would naturally go down, except assists. Every player on that starting roster, except Rajon Rondo, has seen their assists decrease season by season.
Kevin Garnett, arguably the Celtics captain, missed 25 games last year, along with every playoff game.
The new recruit, Rasheed Wallace, missed 19 starts and had three rehab games in which he played very little.
Although the other starters missed only a combined six games, that doesn't mean they are not prone to injury themselves.
We all remember the heroic finals moment in 2008 where Paul Pierce seemingly got injured and everyone thought he was done. He came back in the second half only to drain three balls on the entire Laker roster.
Next year, if he goes down again like that, what happens when he doesn't come back up?
The Role Players
In the 2007-2008 championship run, the Celtics not only got contributions from "The Big 3," they also got major contributions from guys like Eddie House, James Posey, Big Baby Davis, Leon Powe, Sam Cassell, Kendrick Perkins, and last but not least PJ Brown.
In '08-'09, they lost half of this list, and tried to replace it with guys like Stephon Marbury and Mikki Moore. This did not pan out as expected. Now Big Baby did improve his game a lot over the course of last season, but with Kevin Garnett going down he was just "The Ticket Stub."
The Celtics now believe with the signing of Rasheed Wallace, that they can just let guys like Big Baby and Powe go.
Rasheed Is Not the Answer
Danny Ainge (Above) has proven to be a great General Manager, but Wallace is again, 35. Now don't get me wrong he is a great player, but is he worth it? Would you rather have an aging loud mouth, or humble kids that hustle 24/7?