The Boston Celtics now find themselves in a 5-game losing streak after a 100-85 stomping from the New York Knicks. Not having Kevin Garnett on the floor has pretty much ripped the guts from out of the Celtics’ psyche, but that shouldn’t be all they are worried about — there are a lot of interesting dynamics running through the core of this team.
Firstly, it’s time — Jeff Green is the most capable and versatile player the Celtics have right right now, and that shouldn’t be overshadowed by ”veteran presence.”
Paul Pierce is at the end of his career and it’s really looking like what he has left in the tank is fading fast. There should be no reason why Pierce is still getting priority over Green at this stage. He’s still a perfectly capable scorer and captain yes, but he honestly looks as if he’d have trouble defending D-League players right now. His turnovers are sky-high and the torch simply needs to be passed.
It’s come to the point where Doc Rivers coaching decisions have become questionable at best. The fact that Pierce is still playing over 30 minutes even with a depleted line up when a perfectly capable 27-year old Green is blossoming just seems like a waste of time. What does running Pierce in the ground do for the Celtics’ future?
Also, Rivers continues to play with a defense-first mentality that simply isn’t working. The Celtics should be thinking about nothing but points and that’s why Avery Bradley shouldn’t be getting anywhere near 11 shots per game. In fact, it’s looking more like Bradley shouldn’t be touching a basketball unless he stole it.
Jordan Crawford sure takes a ton of criticism, but he’s actually exactly what the Celtics need right now because he is fearless and effective on the offensive end. Bradley is a specialty type of player who simply shouldn’t be in the starting line up and should only be played as a defensive specialist.
Bradley is 16-53 from the floor in his last five games. Crawford’s numbers aren’t much better, but his offensive prowess is 100 times more promising — Bradley still has trouble making layups.
Boston remains a city that is simply loyal to a fault. Sure, the Celtics’ are about as thin as it gets in terms of depth, but relying on a 35-year old Pierce in isolation situations should be a last-choice option.
On Tuesday, Pierce played a brutal 36 minutes and still managed to put up 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting. However he finished with a -14 and six old-man-like turnovers. Green finally got more minutes and more shots than Pierce, and finished with a decent 19 points while also grabbing 10 boards and dishing out six assists.
Yes, they were both needed in this particular circumstance, but Rivers simply needs to swallow his loyalty and look toward tomorrow, however impossible it may seem.
The next two weeks are going to be a bumpy ride for the reeling Celtics, but it’s time to start thinking about tomorrow. Rivers is letting them play while going down swinging with nothing but pure Celtics’ pride. The only problem is at this point it seems unfair to the future of the team.
For a coach who’s decisions are rarely questioned, there doesn’t seem to be much of a logical plan in order right now.
Eric St. Cyr Covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow Him on Twitter @ericJsaint