Look closely and you can see the worn treads on the Boston Celtics sneakers. Take an even closer look and you will see the sneaker marks of the opposing teams on their backs while corralling a rebound.
Most diehard Celtic fans may say, "Aww come on they didn't have Paul Pierce." I beg to differ. This malaise would have been there even if he did play.
Doc Rivers once again showed that he does not trust his bench players. It has become evident that Glen Davis' lack of height has hurt the team. His lack of explosion around the rim hurts them, because we all know that Rasheed Wallace is not getting the job done. Meanwhile, Shelden Williams' energy and length is wasted on the bench.
Today's NBA player is decidedly more athletic and to some accounts less skilled than before. This evolution started with the likes of Dominic Wilkins and has continued with the emergence of LeBron James and Josh Smith. LeBron is blessed with the rare combination of both.
They have become the prototype for the new generation. Both are powerful and blessed with amazing quickness and make explosive forays to the rim. The Celtics do not have anyone that even resembles that.
The Celtics are a tired bunch, especially Rajon Rondo. He has become the Alpha and the Omega of the team on the court. Everything begins and ends with him in the first half of games.
At crunch time the ball seems to get stuck in the likes of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen et al. Paul Pierce pounds the ball and Ray Allen always seems to want to make a jump pass.
The Celtics pet play is to have their bigs man the high post and set single or double picks for Pierce or Allen. They exhaust this play throughout the second half of games. This helps the opposing teams by neutralizes Rondo's game and forcing him to direct traffic without the ball in his hands.
Nate Robinson was brought in to prevent this from happening, yet last night most of his playing time came after Cleveland pummeled Boston in the fourth quarter.
The Celtic coaching staff has been outcoached consistently in the second half of most games. When other teams are trusting their bench the Celtics are loading up the minutes of the starters. The staff has somehow managed to channel their inner K.C. Jones, employing a low-key high volume approach with the veterans.
K.C. Jones did win two championships something I believe Doc Rivers still might be able to do. However, like Jones he relies to much on his starters and not enough on his bench.