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Is the Celtic Presence in the East Finally Over?

Hello basketball fans, Jack writing,

It’s the off-season, the playoffs are over, the draft is over, and its this time of year that coaches, Brasses, and the NBA fans look over and re-evaluate their teams, and look at their prospects for the coming year ahead. So naturally, for my first real post on this blog, I am doing a post on the future prospects of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics are the most successful team in all of American sporting history, having won 17 championships in their time. There has never really been a time where they have been substandard, and have always performed well and done Boston proud. But they have none-the-less had their ups and downs, and I fear the next few years could be the start of their down.

Lets look at their core 3, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce. They are all showing signs of aging, especially Garnett, who is now 36, after a 17 year career in the NBA. Garnett has had a great career, but in the conference championships against Miami, he showed his age. He just didn’t has the same ability to cut-in that he used to have, was wearing out quickly, and didn’t have the same strength.
Paul Pierce is, at times, showing what a great player he is, and giving glimpses of his athleticism, but is starting to fade, and is coming towards the end of the peak of his career. He will still continue to be an above-average player, and will play well for the rest of his career, but he will never have what he used to have, and needs to focus more on his thinking and being a good play-caller if he wants to survive in the NBA.
Rajon Rondo is the only player of the 3 which is at his peak. He is at the start of a prosperous career and is already putting up good numbers and performances, with great plays throughout the off-season. However, he has done all of this with 2 great players at his side, in Garnett and Pierce. He will struggle to perform as well as he did without Garnett and Pierce always giving him good returns on his assists. Rondo will probably end up being Boston’s best player, but will not be able to convert that into wins without superstars with him. This may result in him looking for a new team, but either way Rondo and Boston will not be the great success it has been before.

Ray Allen, while not being part of the once-illustrious core 3, has been an important part of Boston’s success. Whether it is his amazing Jump-shot, his ability to draw fouls and shoot 89% from the line or his consistent 40% 3-point shooting, Ray Allen has always been present on the Boston line-up. But current trade rumors are suggesting that he will probably go to South Beach, with the possibility of going to the Clippers. So his 20 PPG career average will be sorely missed.
Even if he does stay, he has lost what it takes to take Boston through the playoffs. In the 2011-12 regular season, Allen scored 14.2 PPG, whereas in the playoffs he scored only 10.7. While shooting 45.3% from behind the 3-point line in the regular season, Allen only shot 30.4% during the post-season. This kind of playoff slump can only be attributed to a lack of ability to perform under pressure situations, which he used to be good at. It’s true for the rest of team as well.

In game 7 against the Miami Heat in the conference Championships, Boston went into half-time with an 11-point lead, which was completely thrown away and resulted in a 13-point win to the Heat (who are not known as a particularly clutch team). This game symbolizes their present and future in the NBA, they have had astounding careers, and have been a very successful team, but it won’t be long before all the wheels fall of the cart, when Garnett, Rondo and Pierce loose the touch they had when they were young, and when/if Ray Allen is traded away, it will be the end of a dynasty, the end of an era. And we will go into a stage where Boston in no longer in contention for the East.

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About Jack Neubecker

Jack Neubecker is a Science/Mathematics student with a fascination for how analytics and statistics informs decision-making in professional sports. In an abusive relationship with the Los Angeles Clippers, deals with the pain through an affair with the Dallas Mavericks and Kristaps Porzingis. Host, producer and writer for the Point Forward NBA Podcast. When playing games of pickup, Jack can post you up before looking for the fadeaway or the dream-shake, size you up on the perimeter or facilitate in a pinch. Think a combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Rudy Gay. Thing-Doer. Inventor of the computer, penicillin, lying and irony. Twitter: @jackneubecker

One comment on “Is the Celtic Presence in the East Finally Over?

  1. elliott03
    July 7, 2012

    Thank you for your comment, means a lot

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