Boston Celtics: Three Ways Team Must Alter Playing Style to Succeed
Naturally, it is easy to point fingers at the Kendrick Perkins trade.
I'm not going to attempt to argue that The Trade wasn't a major factor in the demise of Boston's 2010-11 season, but I will prove that there was a lot more to it than that.
With Dwyane Wade and LeBron James only one year into what should be several seasons of Finals' runs, the Celtics will need to make some significant changes in order to have a shot at tampering with Miami's plans (no, Bulls fans, you have not been forgotten).
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It feels like years ago that Shaquille and Jermaine O'Neal were strategically acquired to weather the storm until Kendrick Perkins returned from the injury that cost the Celtics the 2010 Finals.
The Celtics looked like the team to beat for much of the first half of the season, and then everything began to crumble.
The Trade was an organizational move for the future, rather than the present. Although Jeff Green filled the gap left by Marquis Daniels, the Celtics had suddenly become reliant on Shaq.
We all know where this story goes.
Shaq fell at the most inopportune time (literally, on ice), and JO did his best to pick up the pieces.
With Shaq now retired, JO has decided to come back for another $6.5 million. Big surprise, right?
With JO providing minutes in the low 20's, Nenad Krstic on his way to Russia, and Glen Davis an overpriced free-agent, the Celtics are in dire need of big men.
The odds that a savior will come with the 25th pick in the draft is quite slim, considering that solid big men are extremely rare as it is.
As for free agents, DeAndre Jordan, Aaron Gray, Chris Wilcox, and Chuck Hayes all seem to be reasonably priced options for the summer.
As with the rest of our alterations, explaining the holes is a lot easier than filling them.
The Need for Speed
Does anyone remember Tony Allen?
All because the Celtics weren't willing to give Allen three years instead of two.
While the Grizzlies made it as far as the Celtics this postseason, Allen's youthful team has adopted the quickness that Boston has lost.
Along with Marquis Daniels' heartbreaking injury, the Celtics have managed to lose much of their defensive speed over the last year.
With Jeff Green and Delonte West hopefully looking at a full year of chemistry building, the Celtics have an opportunity to get some of that off-the-bench energy back.
Still, the loss of an elite defensive player like Allen is something that tends to be overlooked after all the Perkins hysteria (and on a side note, I greatly miss Nate Robinson, who should have the Nate Robinson Award for Outstanding Sideline Support created in his name upon retirement).
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It may appear as if I am reciting the winning formula that brought the Celtics so much success in the past few years.
I suppose that's because I am.
Despite being an aging team, the Celtics had the kind of rounded squad that brought the Dallas Mavericks a title this season.
A team in every sense of the word, the Celtics didn't need to rely on the Big Three to win to the degree that they did this season.
Four Names: Nenad Krstic, Troy Murphy, Sasha Pavlovic and Carlos Arroyo.
Are these players that are going to come into the game, and provide the kind of scrappy physicality that Boston has displayed in the past?
The Celtics betrayed their winning formula in almost every possible aspect over the course of the past season, but as I have asserted before, the loss or Marquis Daniels was detrimental.
Without a suitable backup to Paul Pierce, the Celtics were left scrambling. How influential the loss was on the Perkins trade will never be known, but I believe it had somewhat of an impact.
As the decisions of Danny Ainge fall more into question, the safest bet for the organization is to surround the Celtics stars with the type of gritty, and aggressive players that have helped them in the past.
Doc Rivers has always found a way to utilize these types of players to the best of their ability.