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Celtics can’t just stand and watch Pierce try to fly this bucket of bolts

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) April 21, 2013 Celtics News, Paul Pierce 9 Comments

The script wasn’t supposed to go like this.

Jeff Green and Avery Bradley weren’t supposed to lead the Celtics into the locker room as the team’s two leading scorers at halftime yesterday.  They were supposed to be the sidebar to the main feature:  Paul Pierce eating up the Madison Square Garden hate and spitting it back at the crowd with dagger after dagger.  They were supposed to be the outlet for Kevin Garnett when the Knicks had no choice but to double-team him.

Yet, there they were.  Leading the second-seeded Knicks in their place with Pierce and Garnett reduced to secondary roles as passers and decoys.

When the ad-libbing from the script stopped and folks stuck to their lines, the third quarter gave us the ugly muck of a game most of us had expected.  The Celtics saw their lead dwindling.

“They’re getting closer”

The Celtics did what the Celtics do in those situations.  They gave the ball to Paul Pierce and said “here you go, captain… do your thing.”   It was like Han Solo pulling the lever on the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive.

“Oh yeah?  Watch this.”

“watch what?”
“I think we’re in trouble”

The Celtics, in many ways, ARE the NBA’s Millennium Falcon.  They’re an old bucket of bolts that might not look like much, but they’ve still got it where it counts.  And while we’re not quite sure they can make the playoff run in 12 parsecs anymore, they’re still dangerous.

Except every once in a while, they reach for they hyperdrive and it’s not there.

“We wanted Paul to win for us,”  Doc said after the game. “We stood around and watched him play. You can’t win like that.”

Not these Celtics.  Not anymore.

It’s hard to tell whether what we witnessed yesterday was a turning point in Celtics history, or just a thing that happened.  Paul Pierce had been there for us so many times before, pushing the Celtics into light speed and safely away from other teams in key situations.  When it didn’t happen yesterday, we all, including the Celtics on the floor, were a bit shocked.

And that’s not to say Pierce played terribly.  A 21 point, 7 assist, 5 rebound game is hardly terrible.  But 4 of his 6 turnovers came when the Celtics were struggling through a 25 point second half.  The days of Pierce doing it by himself may well be gone.  And he knows it.

“We’ve got to look at the box score and see 5 or 6 or 7 guys in double-figures,” Pierce said after today’s morning practice.  He’ll never come out and say “hey guys, I need more help than ever,” but that’s basically what he’s saying.

This ship needs everything to be working to be effective.  A great pilot just isn’t enough anymore.  The Celtics know that.  They’ve known it for some time.

But we’ve heard talk from the Celtics before.  In fact, the Celtics may talk the best game in the league.  It’s the action that is necessary at this point.  Everyone on the Celtics acknowledges how poorly they played yesterday.  Everyone will step up and admit “I need to do more.”

Do we trust them to do it?  Or will be we sitting there in the fourth quarter sounding like Lando Calrissian?

“They told me they fixed it!  I trusted them to fix it!!”

I trusted the Celtics to break out of this habit in the playoffs, at New York, under the brightest of spotlights.  If they don’t, I’ll be wrong about the Celtics in six.

I trusted them to fix it.

It’s not my fault!

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  • Mike Ely

    That’s why every NBA team needs a PG to orchestrate the offense. That is what the C’s are missing. I think we can agree this was going to happen especially in playoffs and despite the Knicks being a not so good defense team. The reality is Pierce has the ability to run the PG, but doesn’t have the mobility. That’s Rondo’s job, but he’s done for the season. Bradley is no Rondo. Bradley operates better when Rondo is creating offense for him and others. I just hope this team can mentally recover, adjust and orchestrate better in game 2. Anyone watching game 1 saw that the C’s let the game go or in my personal opinion the C’s handed over the game.

    The C’s can beat the Knicks without Rondo I truly believe. The Knicks are a good team, but they’re no Heat, Thunder, Spurs or Nuggets. If the east wasn’t depleted with injuries the Knicks probably wouldn’t be 2nd in the east.

    • http://twitter.com/frankaziza1 FrankAziza

      Danny Ainge could have gotten Delonte West and Kenyon Martin. We would win this series if we had those two. I think we worry to much about a bad egg in the locker room. Martin is just happy to be in the NBA and D West is fine with the celtics. Instead we have three guys from China that won’t play.

      • http://twitter.com/MatthewWilding Matthew Wilding

        I certainly agree regarding Kenyon Martin. I don’t get why we wouldn’t have signed that guy if we had the chance. We had no bigs, there are barely any on the market. Why not sign him? Now he’s killing us out there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jake.gruber.7 Jake Gruber

      Agree they need a PG, disagree that that point guard has to be Rondo. If you mean to tell me the Celtics have not struggled in the 4th quarter to produce points in playoff games you are incredibly mistaken. Look no harder than Game 7 against the lakers the year they lost. Rondos inability to consistently hit a jumper negated his effectiveness as a ball handler. We saw this a number of times, so I just don’t agree with that.

      Aside from a guy who can create his own shot (like Jamal Crawford or JR smith), the celtics sorely miss Ray Allen. Make no mistake, they would still struggle to get good shots late, but at least Ray could always be counted on to potentially and consistently hit a big shot. Not to mention how much that effects the oppositions ability to clog the paint.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jake.gruber.7 Jake Gruber

        Finally, as you said, a point guard would help, but a point guard that can get a team into an offense and hit shots (I.e. a Nate Robinson type)

  • http://twitter.com/Jester00 Jester00

    Great read I agree nice photo shop as well

  • http://twitter.com/frankaziza1 FrankAziza

    Since when did Jason Terry become a scared little mouse? At least when Rat Allen used to struggle he would keep looking to shoot. I rather see one of the best shooters go 1-12 then 0-3. We need at least 24 points from our bench to win. Crawford Lee and Terry have to score, Crawford and Terry don’t play good defense so if they don’t score maybe it’s time to use Williams, his bigger body may help on dee. My Rat Allen was a typo but I didn’t change it. Lol

    • eddysamson

      At this point Twills is a better defender and a better shot than Terry. He doesnt attempt the 3 much but he usually makes it and you wont see kmart blocking his dunk like Terry yesterday.

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