We're complaining about a lot of things around here lately. Rasheed Wallace is a disappointment… We've got a lot of injuries… the guys look disinterested. There are those and a million more if you read through all the comments. But SI's Ian Thomsen is taking a simpler approach:
But any issue that doesn't involve Garnett, Pierce and Allen is a decoy that isn't worth mentioning. If the complaint is that Rasheed Wallace
takes too many threes and earns too many T's, well, what do you expect?
He's a 35 year old who has been playing far too many minutes and too
large a role in place of Garnett.
For those who think
23-year-old Rondo can offset the difficulties of the Big Three, take a
look at the stats: The Celtics are asking too much of Rondo. He is
averaging almost as many shots as Allen and Pierce, and he is shooting
more often per game than Garnett. Which means that the Celtics have
turned into — and surely played Sunday as if they are — a perimeter
The hierarchy won't make sense unless Garnett regains
his legs, because at the moment he is an extended jump shooter who is
being outrebounded by Amare Stoudemire (who is averaging 8.2 per game, by the way).
Thomsen brings up the possibility of trading for someone like Kirk Hinrich as a way to take pressure off the Big 3.
But the Celtics, as I've been saying, are already making a sort of deadline deal by getting Marquis Daniels back. And I might even suggest… sigh… that Tony Allen is going to be a very big part of making this team better.
Yeah, I shuddered too.
But there was no doubt that Tony was a key factor in being aggressive in that impressive second quarter. He defended Kobe Bryant pretty well and, aside from a couple of moments where he dribbled too much, he was a catalyst offensively.
Let's face it. He's quicker than Paul Pierce or Ray Allen right now. Maybe Doc should re-think his rotation a little and stop playing Paul Pierce for the entire first quarter and give Tony Allen a few more minutes. Or have him come in for Ray a little sooner. As much as I've been on Doc Rivers' side… I don't like the way he manages minutes. Only Kevin Garnett is significantly below his career minutes average ( 30.9 this season vs. 37.4 career). Pierce (35.9 vs. 37.5) and Ray (36.6 vs. 37.2) are still getting way too many minutes.
And I know the response is "well, with all the injuries we need to play them more." But the Celtics are struggling and losing… and Ray is struggling mightily. I know he's in great shape, but still, it's too much. It's time to look down your bench and come up with some creative solutions.
Thomsen is right… it all comes down to the Big 3. Even Rondo's emergence won't change that. The only thing that will is putting them in a position to perform at their best. A fully healthy bench is one part… and a fully rested Big 3 is another.
Until both of those things happen, we're going to be in for a lot more disappointments around here.
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