I think the problem this season is the same as last season - Rondo and KG feel no sense of urgency to put in even 80% effort yet. We're going to keep coasting and float around a .500 record until they decide to play with 100% effort.Point # 1 - Quote from NBA.com Power Rankings"New bench, same old issues. The Celtics have allowed 99 points per 100 possessions with Kevin Garnett on the floor (86 minutes) and 116 with him on the bench (58 minutes)."Point # 2 - Per 36 minute statistics
16.3 Pts, 1.6 Ass, 9.7 Reb, 2.1 blk, 46% FG
13 Pts, 10.4 Ass, 4.6 Reb, 1.5 Stl, 2.3 TO, 56% FG, 40% 3PT
21.3 Pts, 3.5 Ass, 6.3 Reb, 40% FG, 47% 3PT, 94% FT
I agree that in parts it seems like the guys are putting in 80%-90% effort rather than the 150% effort they invest in the playoffs, looking at the numbers they are putting up can you really complain? I think they are more than likely still working themselves into game shape physically (especially KG) and I think after 10-15 games they will be back in aggressive mode.
Still I like what I see from our big 3 regardless:
- Rondo's 4.5 ASS:TO ratio is exceptional, his scoring is up, he's shooting at an excellent percentage from the field and from three
- KG is scoring and rebounding at a similar rate to last season, but has been more aggressive with his shot blocking
- Pierce has been scoring well (aside from a single bad game) and has been lights out from three and from the foul line
Trust me, the issue is not with our existing guys, the issue is with our new guys. Guys like Lee, Green, Terry and Barbosa who are new to the team and have yet to find their groove - this will pass.
Terry for example is second all-time in 3PT FG made, and he shot 70% from behind the Arc in the preseason. He's just hit a tough spot, but I assure you he will come out of that hole.
Green is green (no pun intended). He's not played for over a year, he's coming to a team with a group of guys he isn't used to playing with, and they also aren't used to playing with him. In the preseason the games didn't mean much, so he probably felt free to play with minimal pressure. Now the games count, so he's probably overthinking a little. Give him a few games to get his confidence and to get familiar with his teammates and before we know it he'll be back in preseason form. The Washington game was already a big improvement over the first two.
Barbosa is a streaky scorer - we all know this. He's quick like a bullet but he is more likely going to have on games and off games throughout the season. On the fast break he is going to be a killer.
Lee has been solid, his shot has just been a little off. I don't mind too much because he's doing a solid job in other areas and has been pretty fundamentally sound. He's not an elite scorer and shouldn't be expected to give us 15-20 PPG. He will give us 10-12 PPG much like Bradley did, and much like he did in similar minutes with Houston.
Sully is a rookie and obviously will take a bit of time to get going full force, but I've always liked a lot of things I've seen from him and I thought he did really well in the first quarter against WAS in the last game. I felt a big part of our sucess in the first quarter was the Sully + KG combination, because those two guys were defending the post nicely and eating up rebounds.
Darko would be nice...if he actually got a chance to play. I'm still seeing too much Bass/Sully at center for my liking. Regardless the issues right now is simply chemistry, confidence and familiarity. Once the guys get a handle on those things we will be a really good team, us as fans just need to be patient.