I guess Luol Deng and Rudy Gay have gotten old too, because neither of them is playing any better.
Your point is? I am not worried about Luol Deng or Rudy Gay. Neither of whom was ever as good as Pierce and as I wrote, I have desire to trade Paul, simply let him be the sixth man and play between twenty and thirty minutes a game rather than the thirty five a game he is playing now.
My point is that despite looking so "old" and "declining" so much, Pierce is still one of the best at his position in the league, behind only LeBron, Durant, and Melo.
All of the other guys who have been productive at the position this year are hybrid forwards who don't score nearly as much as Pierce does, or carry nearly as much of a burden offensively as he has to.
Pierce looked pretty cooked at the start of last season, too. Barring any significant injuries to his knees or ankles, I think Paul will be fine when it matters. I don't think that starting Jeff Green is by any stretch a good solution. Green has never been nor will he likely ever be as productive as Paul Pierce on a per-minute basis. That's just not who he is.
Green absolutely could NOT step in and be our #1 offensive option, which Pierce unquestionably is.
Now -- the fact that Paul still has the responsibility of being our #1 option at his age is definitely an issue, and part of the reason that our team is not among the elite anymore. Ideally, Paul would be the #2 or #3 option on a truly great team. With him as the #1 and KG as the #2, it's not a surprise that our offense struggles.
But again, starting Jeff Green won't solve that problem.
I have been saying that is our problem. The issue is not KG OR PP it is the fact that they are our elite players, and they are much too old for that.
Yes, just to expand on the point a little bit -- take a look at all of the top teams in the league. What do they have in common?
Top scoring options:
OKC - Durant / Westbrook
Miami - LeBron / Wade
NY - Melo
SA - Parker
Memphis - Randolph / Gay
LAC - Griffin / Crawford / Paul
GS - Curry / Lee
ATL - Smith / Horford
Not all of those teams are elite, but those are the top two tiers of teams in the league so far this season.
Every last one of them depends on top scoring options who are, at most, 30-32 years old. In most cases one of their primary options is 27-29.
The Celtics are not an "old" team in the sense that many of their key players are not that old. But they are very old in the sense that 3 of their top 4 scoring options are 35+. That's a major part of the explanation for their inconsistency.
While Rondo is the Cs central and best player, and he is not yet 27, most of the time he operates as the 3rd or 4th option in our offense. That's fine -- it's the best role for him -- but it means we need to surround him with guys who can carry that load every night.