Life is impermanence. Less than a year ago (going back to my last post), the Celtics were one defensive guard (Avery Bradley) from going to the finals. There was still hope, after the LBJ beat-down, that the next year, with Green and Bradley returning and key re-signs to anchor Boston’s veteran core, that next season looked bright.
Even when Jesus ShuttlesWorth took his talents to Long Beach, it seemed alright. Boston did the smart thing and let KG and PP take it easy on their knees, put roll players around Rondo and let El Generalissimo coordinate the attack. After all, he is the “Engine that stirs the drink”…or at least he was.
Since then, the Celtics have gone 4 – 0 without “The Clinic” dishing out dimes and working the paint like he was a miniature version of Dr. J. While I’m happy to see them rebound, I have to face facts: they are clearly a better team with Rondo then without. Let’s not forget a 6 game losing streak proceeded their Rondo-less 4 game win streak. Do you believe in the almighty Law of Averages?
Losing Sullinger – Boston’s “too-good-to-be-true” rookie, rebounding stud who looked destined to wear Mean Green for a long time – just twisted the knife in further. But to be a Boston sports fan is to suffer. Adversity is our middle name. With a playoff berth still very much possible, the only question left to ask is: “Ok, so what next?”
I would like to believe that Fab Melo will step up and that Wilcox will be able to expand his role from glass clean up duty and fast break alley-oops, but to what end? Without KG on the floor our defense collapses. Now, without Paul Pierce our offense can only score on fast breaks. Even a C’s team that makes into the playoffs wont be able to beat the Heat at those role playing positions (where usually only 8 men get all the minutes). Their team, with the exception of Wade and Lebron ARE ALL roll players (sorry Bosh). How do we stop a super-star duo in the primes of their careers?
We turn to their aging predecessors and test to see if age beats beauty (still love the beard, Pierce!). We let the KG and Truth High Pick and Roll Show become a standard of their offense. KG is a mismatch nightmare. If you play him soft he’ll drain16-20 ft jumpers all day, if you play him to aggressively he’ll work you in the paint. Paul Pierce right now is seemingly the only Celtic starter that can create his own shot and thrives from the high guard spot either using the step-back three or his lefty fade.
In the past four games, I’ve seen a lot of this play as Pierce has been the primary ball handler, and KG has been Mr. Clutch in the 4th. So I say, turn them lose. You look at how valuable these two guys are to the C’s and you look at their contract situations and it’s a no brainer. It’s this year or never again. So with all this trade-deadline talk that will likely amount to nothing, I say give Pierce and KG their wishes. Let them have one more shot at the title and THEN let them retire as Celtics.
As a fan, I want to see this not only because of all these guys have given to the cause, but because secretly, I think that this Gruesome Twosome has a chance for just one last dance.