My mistake…part II

Celtics, next up.  Some of the bigger story lines over the past few months:

*Doc–Hit the road Doc.  Love Doc Rivers as a personality in front of the camera…seems to be funny and a good dude and all that stuff.  But when did he become a legendary coach?  That’s what he is paid to do, right?  I don’t care if Belichick is surly and generally horrible to the press (and by extension, the fans, who would like more answers).  If he keeps winning games and going deep in the playoffs every year, he can be whatever he wants (sure I’d like him to finish off a couple of Super Bowls, but…).  But people forget that Doc’s first three years in Boston he was 102-144 and went from 45 wins in 2004-5 to 24 in 2006-7.  24 is pretty bad, even if Pierce missed 35 games, Tony Allen (!) missed over half the season as well (on the showboat dunk after the whistle, no less…but he was doing a lot of scoring after Pierce went down).  Sure the roster was filled with kids (Rondo, Perk, Jefferson, Green, Gomes, West, Powe) and stiffs (Scals, Kandi-Man, Wally, Telfair, Allan Ray (who?)).  But 24 wins?

One of Doc’s biggest problems was he couldn’t decide who to play.  Could never set a rotation.  The trades for KG and Ray changed that.  Then they only had a few guys that could actually play.  Plus having a roster of 3 Hall of Famers and a perennial All-Star out of those guys didn’t hurt either.  Then all of a sudden he’s a great coach?  Nope.  It’s all about the players.  As it likely is for 95% of the coaches out there.  Sure a team can catch lightning in a bottle for one year, despite not having the talent.  But it won’t be sustained.  This past year the players got old, hurt and tired.  Plus, Doc had that rotation problem again.  So back to 41 wins we go.  And don’t get me started on how announcers always rave about Doc’s incredible play calling at the end of quarters/halves/games.  What, give the ball to Pierce, back off and let him start the play too late and lose the ball, not get a shot off, or get and awkward one off?  And if he hits one of every ten, everyone only remembers the one.  Thankfully, that one is out of the playbook next year.  Bottom line:  First round pick for a coach?  Every time…

*KG and Paul–Yup, a tough one here.  But easier in KG’s case.  Just like Ray (Ray Allen, not Allan Ray!), these guys have been on other teams earlier in their career.  Though KG absolutely had an impact in Boston, no question.  But, he is 37.  And the C’s weren’t winning a championship this year if they brought the whole gang back again.  Time to move on.  Pierce is obviously tougher to take.  But he will be 36 in October, really shouldn’t be playing 40 minutes a game anymore (like Doc loved to do), so the C’s really had to see what they could get for him while he still had value.  Could they have kept him as a sort of mentor for the new guard?  I suppose.  But did he want to sit around and watch the team win like 30 games a year for a while?  And would he have restructured his deal (if even allowed) to help for cap purposes?  Or signed an extension for much less money he is used to making?  Not sure he was up for any of that.  Really going to be tough to see him in another uniform, but that’s the reality of sports these days.  Almost no one stays in the same uni for their entire career.  Sad, but true.  It’s almost as if Pierce HAD to move on based on all of the circumstances.

*Brad Stevens–Why not?  Like the move myself.  First off, they probably would have had trouble hiring an established coach due to the current state of the roster.  Who’d you want anyway, George Karl?  Aaaaah, no need for that now.  Take a chance on a young coach and hopefully he can grow as the roster keeps turning over and growing itself.  And hopefully he isn’t Pitino.  Although the contract they gave him was a little steep, I suppose it shows the players that the organization is committed to the coach for the long-term.  So that may help.  But Stevens seems level-headed, seems to be on the same page as Ainge (likely won’t force anyone to give up a VP title in the front office anytime soon, as Pitino did with Red), and had success at a mid-major at the college level.  So give him a chance and see what happens.  And hopefully a spat with Rondo doesn’t ensue and ruin everything…

*Overall team–If the roster stays similar to the one that is currently constituted, then the fans that hope they tank this year to try and get this Wiggins dude, or any of the supposed talent coming out next year, are going to be sorely disappointed.  There may be no superstars here (especially if Rondo misses half the year), but there is enough talent to win 30-35 games I would say.  Bass, Bradley, Brooks, Green, Lee, Rondo, Sullinger and Wallace all are capable players to varying degrees.  Crawford can score, Humphries can rebound, etc.  There is enough.  I think there are more moves to be made (and I am not counting the decision on Shavlik Randolph that is due on 8/1).  I, for one, would not be shocked if they move Rondo.  May not happen until the trade deadline or close to it, after he proves his health.  But if he gave Doc headaches, as has been said, imagine how he will be with a first time head coach in the NBA, on a rebuilding team.  Maybe he changes, now that he is the unofficial “leader” on this team.  I’m not sold.  Guys like Wallace, Bass & Humphries may have value to other teams as well.

This year may not be a “tanking” year, but it is absolutely a year in transition.  I think most fans are ok with it, as long as a plan is in place and people can at least somewhat see it.  It’s going to take time, but I think changing things up are better than most other plans.  I saw a plan earlier this offseason in which one scribe suggested they keep 12 of the 15 on the roster at the end of the year (losing only Wilcox, DJ White and Terry…huh?!) and add a couple of vets and a pick and go from there.  Atrocious plan, can’t believe a guy covering the team actually wrote this.  That crew wasn’t winning a championship.  Neither is this current one.  But with youth and picks and roster flexibility, I would have to say the future looks brighter under this scenario.  We’ll see…

Next:  Red Sox

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About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on July 27, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Yo. Good stuff here Blowhard. But, two things I might disagree with…on Doc. Sure, during the lean years he wasn’t great, but who is with players like that? And I do agree on his rotations, though truth be told Danny never gave him a Center to work with after Perk. KG needed help and it never happened. A huge mistake. I think they could have won in 2012. I mean shit. They took the Heat to game 7 in ECF. All that was needed was some help. And Doc’s greatest gift is his ability to motivate. Much more so than that stiff Belicek. Doc is an amazing motivator, and collaborator with his talent. Maybe the best I have ever seen. He is a true leader, one that i think could translate in any medium. But, as for draft pick for him. Yeah, why not, is right. it was time. Though, which story to believe is a difficult one. Sad to see PP go, but even more so that KG has to go. Players like him with that tenacity and drive come along once in a generation. He is the most underrated superstar of his generation, the most unselfish, and the biggest heart of anyone I have seen play basketball in the NBA.

    • Thanks for the comment and the props Kid. I did say at one point in the post that it’s all about the players for about 95% of the coaches out there. So, no argument there of course. Can’t be a great coach if your players stink. And I am not saying Danny is blameless all around, because ultimately it is he (probably with some input from a coach like Doc) who is picking the players. I don’t believe they had a real chance to win in 2012 though. Hell of an effort, and KG certainly turned back the clock during the playoff run. But they faced some fortunate circumstances during that run…Atlanta largely without Horford. A truly putrid Philadelphia team really. And no Bosh for most of the Miami series (regardless on anyone’s thoughts about him as a player). Not to mention avoiding Chicago, who of course did not have Rose. And my feelings on Perk may be a whole ‘nutha post. Always thought his value was overrated. Great fit for how the team was constituted at the time. But that is all. Should’ve been easily replaceable, and maybe we can point the finger at Danny for that specifically, as you say. Certainly valid points on the rest as well. Still have to say Pierce’s departure is more sad, based on tenure pretty much.

  2. Yeah, good points. But, what I meant (besides those unfortunate circumstances) they still had Miami on the ropes. Getting past the Thunder may have been to big of task, but man they played fantastic. KG, PP and Ray certainly had a chemistry that allowed for all of their best traits to show, and when Rondo was under control that team could take anyone to the brink. And even last year KG was averaging 17 rebounds a game in the playoffs. But, that team was just weak without Rondo and Pierce just looked damned tired. Anyway, great stuff here…have you ever been on Olbermann’s baseball blog? Yours kind of reminds me of it. All substance, which is a good thing. Baseball Nerd. Check it out. He keeps his politics in check on it…though of course I love his politics! My blog is called the rebellious life and it is on word press too. I haven’t done a lot with it lately…

    • I know…and you play the teams on the schedule, despite who is injured or who has been upset…I know. They did play well together. And KG was immense that year, no question. Thanks for the props…I’ll have to check KO’s blog out…never seen it. As your your blog Kid…yes, I am officially following it now…so you can officially follow mine whenever you are ready…haha!!

  3. I mean fortunate circumstances! In that Rose went down and Philly and Bosh. BTW – I thought last year’s playoffs were a bit of a letdown. Except for the Spurs Heat series. No Rondo, no Rose, no Westbrook, et. al. Ick. Keep writing!

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