From what I saw of the last Heat/Celtics game, I'm not sure that the Celtics are the favorite of the East anymore. At the beginning of the season, they seemed poised enough to prove to everyone why they're still an elite team in the east, but now it seems they're struggling to find their identity; after losing a key member like Kendrick Perkins. Which don't get me wrong, I understand why he was traded but at the same time, I don't see how trading away your proven big man that provides interior defense, and happens to be the best defensive center in the NBA, helps your team win a title. Now, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Heat beat them now in the playoffs, from the way they're playing. Hell, at this rate, I'm picking the Bulls and Lakers to be in the finals now, as i doubt the Celtics can win the Eastern Conference without Kendrick Perkins....
Ya I remember thinking "great move trade the best center you've had since uh uh uh lets say the past 10 years" then laughin because I knew it was the worst trade of the year!! O ya not a celtics fan and paul pierce is the most overrated shooter in nba history he makes houses!!!
I don't disagree about Pierce, as he kind of reminds me of Toni Kukoc in a lot of ways. Sure, they're both great players when you surround them with talent but if they have to carry the team by themselves, then they struggle. Now, before anyone says, "but steven, Paul Pierce was the leading scorer in the playoffs when they won their last title...blah blah blah." I'm aware of that, but why didn't he put on that type of clutch performance when he was making the playoffs with Antoine Walker a decade back, hmm? I'll tell you why. Because when Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett got there, they changed the identity of that team to where the only thing Pierce had to worry about is scoring and playing defense. The leadership role was no longer solely his, as that made his life easier to win a title.
plus, the ascension of Rajon Rondo didn't exactly hurt Pierce's game either.
his shooting % was so low it makes shaqs freethrow % look high!
you said it right worry about playing defence
No. I do not believe the Celtics are in trouble. The Celtics were a .500 team last season after the all-star break and ended up a quarter away from winning the title. This is an older team that coasts through the regular season, although I think they should have learned their lesson from losing game 7 of the NBA Finals on the road last year. Home-Court advantage in the playoffs is important.
This is also a team that has been very banged up the whole season. However, many point toward the loss of Kendrick Perkins to be the reason for their recent collapse as they finished the season 15-12 in their last 27 games. I do not think Perkins has much to do with it. Perkins was out the first three months of the season and the Celtics had the best record in the East by 3-4 games during that time despite the fact they had also endured so many other injuries during that time as well. That's why they believed they could get by without him.
I do think they will need the presence of ShaQ back in that lineup as the playoffs move on to enhance their chances of making the finals, but I think they can still make it without him. It will be interesting to see if Jermaine O'Neal will be able to stay on the court for more than a couple games at a time as well. He has really broken down as he has become older. Regardless, they will play Glen Davis down the stretch of games at center anyways, so the O'Neal's and their former center Perkins are not indispensable.
All things considered, I expect the Celtics to represent the East in the finals.
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