Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Explaining My Hatred of the 2007-2008 Celtics

I realize that in my NBA Playoff preview, I really avoided talking about the Celtics. Not only that, I've actually avoided them all season. I feel as though the time has come to explain my utter hatred and rage over these Boston Celtics. I've always been a fan of KG, but not really a fan of the older versions of Paul Pierce or Ray Allen. Just because you team all these guys together does not get me excited, and I just became even more annoyed as most of America hopped on their bandwagon almost immediately. Moreover, I felt like this plan was flawed due to the rest of the bench. While some of my initial concerns with the Celtics, described in my NBA season preview were defense and point guard play, the Celtics certainly proved me wrong during the season, as they played great defense and Rondo was a great defensive asset. Plus, the Celtics added Sam Cassell for additional offensive punch (and because they really had no depth at PG). The Celtics proved me wrong during the season, but I could not escape my hatred from growing as they became even more successful throughout the season.

Nonetheless, my other concern with the Celtics still remains- Doc Rivers is the coach. Here is a man who already lost four playoff series (including once with Boston)- including blowing a 3-1 lead once (albeit to a young Pistons team w/ Billups, Rip, and a healthy Ben Wallace). What's bothered me to no end this entire season as the Celtics continued to win was the simple fact: would it even matter who the coach was? At this point, I think it's safe to say it does matter. In high school, you could possibly get by on all talent, but not in professional basketball.

Currently, for those not aware, the Celtics-Hawks series, is now TIED AT 2 games a piece. Even if the Celtics do somehow end up winning in 6, I still feel like that this shows, at least one some level, that coach Doc Rivers' ineptitude could eventually cause the Celtics to have an earlier exit than anticipated.

Kelly Dwyer, a former Sports Illustrated contributor, documents Doc Rivers' latest faux pas - leaving the older, slower Ray Allen on Joe Johnson, as Joe Johnson proceeds to score 20 points in the 4th quarter. As Dwyer alludes to, Coach Phil Jackson (and probably most other championship coaches) would never let the situation continue - especially when there were other defensive options on the Celtics roster... and even on the floor for the Celtics (Pierce? Posey?)

I also must say that I think it is entirely possible that Kevin Garnett may actually be the coach of the Celtics. By coach, I mean "motivator." If Garnett yells at someone to do something, or to learn how to help out on defense, the player probably will do it, or face the Wrath of Garnett. However, even if Garnett is somehow influencing the Celtics' play like a coach... Garnett can't possibly help out with the rotation, the time each player is on the floor, and even having someone else guard Joe Johnson. So, even if the Celtics can survive the 1st round, their exit before the NBA Finals is still an eventuality in my mind, not a possibility. And you know what? Despite the fact that I've always rooted for KG since his days in Minnesota, Boston's eventual early exit is something I am rooting for, as it will restore my faith in the theory that NBA Coaching does indeed have an effect on the outcome, especially when a complete moron is at the helm.

On a related note, I also would like to address the Cleveland Cavaliers' coach, Mike Brown. I have complained a lot about Mike Brown over the years, for the main reason that he has no offensive system. While this is dumb in my mind, Mike Brown does coach defense and coaches it well. I realize the Celtics did well defensively during the season, but I can't honestly say that the success at either end of the floor has anything to do with Doc Rivers.

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