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Your Morning Dump… Where the season (as well as the Pierce and KG Era) is on the brink

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.


With the Boston Celtics on the brink of playoff elimination, allow this to serve as your annual reminder to savor what could possibly be the final time Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett share the Garden floor together.I know, I know. We’ve been here before in each of the past few seasons. But last year we saw the end of the Big Three era when Ray Allen defected to rival Miami and, with each passing season, it seems the likelihood of a potentially larger roster overhaul grows. Maybe more so this season given that these Celtics are on the verge of being swept out of the first round of the playoffs after a season plagued by injuries and inconsistencies.Antennas are further heightened after Garnett and Pierce, along with Rajon Rondo, huddled in the shower area inside the team’s locker room at TD Garden for a lengthy confab after a Game 3 loss to the New York Knicks on Friday night put Boston in a 0-3 hole to the New York Knicks.

Was it a gabfest about how the Celtics could pull off the biggest comeback in NBA history? Or was it a trip down memory lane for a championship trio that knew it might never share that sort of moment again?Neither Pierce nor Garnett were available to the media during Saturday’s offday availability. Both did speak after Game 3 and weren’t overly maudlin, keeping the focus on what went wrong and how to reverse the momentum of the series in Sunday’s Game 4.

For the first time in the Kevin Garnett Era, the Celtics find themselves staring at an 0-3 NBA Playoff First Round abyss.  After playing relatively well in the first half of both Games 1 and 2 at MSG, the C’s returned home to a raucous crowd, ready to make the roof pop off.  Instead, the Celtics played as if they were ready for vacation.  This shouldn’t be a huge surprise, since there were signs along the way for weeks.  Since March 8th, they’ve won two games against a team above .500, both times against the Atlanta Hawks, once without Al Horford.  There was lackluster play, disinterested efforts and worst of all, mounting losses.

Sure, it could be written off as resting for the playoffs but the playoffs are here and well, they’re almost over as quick as they began.  These aren’t the KG/Pierce Era Celtics that we’re all used to and in some cases it seems like they’ve checked out mentally.  In Chris Forsberg’s piece above, he sums up the brutal reality staring them straight in the face.  Late last night, news broke of J.R. Smith’s Game 4 suspension for elbowing Jason Terry.  Obviously, a Knicks team without the 6th Man of the Year is an easier one to defeat and maybe this is a spark the C’s need to stave off an embarrassing sweep at home.

It would be good for the team and the Boston fans to see them take at least one win in this series, especially if it’s at home.  Mainly because as Forsberg points out, it could very well be the last time we see Pierce and KG in a Celtics uniform at home, or at all for that matter.  KG has been doing his thing for 17 years, and unlike most players that come and go, the preparation he takes before 82+ games per year is getting more and more taxing by the game.  Pierce could continue to play but would it be here?  He’s always said he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuilding team again and who could blame him?  He was loyal and patient to this franchise for nearly a decade before they were able to reciprocate and provide him with teammates and a situation that was basketball paradise.  Unfortunately, it can’t last forever and it didn’t last long enough.  We’re also seeing some crazy things in these playoff games with all of the unforced turnovers by bobbling easy passes and inability to make easy plays.  It’s not the same team it was even a year ago.  Time is not on their side in this series or in the immediate future with KG and Pierce.  I love these guys to death for all of the Celtic happiness they brought back here.  It truly has been basketball and Celtic paradise.  But unfortunately, even the sun sets in paradise.  Let’s hope the sun stays up for at least one last game.

 

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  • http://twitter.com/REDSLOVECHILD RED`S LOVE CHILD

    Barring the unforeseeable, KG & PP will not be teammates after today.

    After 10 years, it`s time for Ainge to “leave the building” as well. He inherited a terrible team {except for PP] in the summer of 2003…and put together a title team by the summer of 2007. You can`t say he did poorly.

    On the flip side, he “accidentally” blew up the team in his Feb., 2011 trade with OKC. That was the moment the Celtics instantly went from being “feared” to “also-rans”. For more than 2 years they have taken the court without having a semblance of a “paint presence”, which is the equivalent of full surrender.

    He has had to overpay dramatically just to attract any free agent to come here, and they have mostly been washed-up relics chasing a final paycheck, or simply mediocre talent…Sheed, JO, Terry, Lee

    • Bleedgreen.

      Danny is very good at getting talent through the draft and trades. Green. Allen bros. Bradley. Perk. Rondo. Kg. sully lee(sign and trade) but he is a terrible judge of chemistry. Perk trade. Letting the Allen bros walk. And he won’t keep the same team together for more than 1 year. He doesn’t give a team enough time to develop chemistry. If he hasent completely stared over each year we might’ve had another ring. Yea he’s made some mistakes. Signing jet over OJ mayo. Not trading ray for mayo or anyone for that matter. He has assembled some amazing teams. 07-08. 10-11. And 12-13 only to have the last two detailed by injuries to key guys like JO shaq bosa rondo

      • kg215

        I agree Danny is one of those GMs that will make ANY move if it feels it will help the team 1%. But it hurts the chemistry when there is a lot of turnover and it can affect a player during the season. Rondo does a good job ignoring the rumors but he is still human. Same with when Ray was here. Can’t blame Danny for Mayo, Danny wanted him but Mayo didn’t want to sign here. Looks like both Jet and Mayo are useless now though.

      • http://twitter.com/REDSLOVECHILD RED`S LOVE CHILD

        Ainge is a good judge of young talent…I`d have no quarrel if they made him the “director of scouting”. I just want someone else putting the roster together.

        The way he underestimates the necessity of chemistry is stunning and unexpected. He should understand, he played on 2 championship teams!

        Immediately after getting Allen & KG, Ainge acquired “Mr. Team Chemistry” himself {Posey}. How do you let Posey get away…then make no real effort to replace him?

        How do you remove Perk from a dominant team in mid-season {after being a Celt for 7 years}…and think Krstic will serve as a sufficient replacement on the court and in the locker-room?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.gerarde Chris Gerarde

    The KG/Pierce era celtics really made me the person I am today. I’m an eighteen year old high school senior who has followed the celtics forever (my four older brothers are all die hards), but I never was able to really notice and appreciate the little things done by the C’s until 7th grade or the beginning of the KG era. It was inspiring to see how hard these teams played. My father would always relate how the celtics played as to how I should live my life. As a thirteen year old it was tough to see the connection, but now I have a better understanding. The celtics took nothing for granted, they grind throughout the season much like my school year. They would start hot, fade during the doldrums of the and get hot and make a push for the playoffs (exams). I’ve dealt with people leaving me during the past six years. I’ve had a grandfather die, and all of my brothers have gone to college and now live hundreds of miles away where I’m relegated to seeing them only on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Each time a beloved Celtic player leaves the team (Perkins, Allen boys) it feels like one of my brothers had left the house. I know these celtics. I love these celtics. Now with the way this celtics season is ending it kind of seems like I’m being sent a message. The stalwarts of the era (KG and Pierce) are on their way out. The people who defined the era that shaped my childhood are going to be gone soon. It reminds me that I’m doing the same thing. In a few short months, I’m going to be going to college over 800 miles away from where I live. I take the ending of the era as a sign that it’s time for me to make it on my own. The celtics have always been there and always will be. They’ve shown me the right way to live life and now as this era ends, much like my childhood, it is time for me to start my new era, on my own, using my celtic values and celtic pride to guide me through what will undoubtedly be a significant adjustment period. I’m not quite sure where this point was supposed to go but I kind of just said whatever I felt. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that as much as I love this celtics era, and my easy worry free childhood, it is time for both to end and start something new. But it sure was a hell of a run. One more time, Let’s go Celtics!

    • http://twitter.com/frankaziza1 FrankAziza

      Good for you kid. I’m 48, trust me, being a Celtics fan is special. When your my age you’ll even appreciate it more. Lets get this series to game 6. That’s two lousy wins in a row and we can be one home victory away from a game 7.

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

      You’re wise beyond your age, man. Being 23, I’ve had a very similar experience, only I’m not sure i could have learned to love this team for the reasons you noted when I was 18. Nice post.

  • gOERY

    I’m willing to accept today could possibly be the end of the Pierce and Garnett era. All good things eventually come to an end. It just blows that a Carmelo lead, New York Knicks team could end the era. Like most people I truly believe the Knicks aren’t that good it’s just the C’s lack depth outside of KG and PP.

  • http://twitter.com/frankaziza1 FrankAziza

    The KG era should have won 3, possibly 4 titles but ever since 08 season ended they have been snake bitten. The KG knee in 09 , Perkins in game 6 in 2010 , shaq and rondos arm in 2011 and last year Jeff Green and Avery Bradly could have helped beat Miami. But I will still take the last 6 years, it brought Celtics pride back in my life. I just hope this time it doesn’t take twenty years to put together a contender again.

    • Bledgreen

      Yea also this year we lost bosa rondo sully. And the infamous perk trade will help us in the coming years but it derailed a season with so much potential. We also should’ve beat Miami last year if it we had Avery and half decent officialating. We’ve just had bad luck

    • http://www.facebook.com/graham.brunell Graham Brunell

      I’d say Marquis going down in 11 was more crucial than Shaq or Rondo. If he doesn’t go down then we keep Perk and we’re the best team in the east. Maybe even in the league. And Rondo likely would not have been in that situation to dislocate his elbow.

  • Lee in Oregon

    Last game in green for KG & Pierce? I doubt it. Unless he retires, KG is far & away the best big man the C’s have, and can u imagine how weak they’d be without him? Paul Pierce, the captain, isn’t going anywhere either. Ainge will, as usual, try to reconstruct a bench, and in afew months, we’ll be reading about how much “deeper they are this year”.

    • Bledgreen

      I think the key is the draft. If they stay the. We should get dieng. He is a great backup for garnett

  • JB

    Just one win please so as not to be a total sweep by the Knicks

  • Raoul

    It’s halftime. KG has 3 fouls. Doc, please start the 3rd with Randolph. Maybe evem Lee for Pierce. Smart rotations. Not go got broke.