Terrible is the only word that comes to mind. The difference between the team up until this year was we knew they had the talent to turn it on, I'm not so sure they have what it takes to do that again.
No, the differene is effort.
People are saying that our guys are playing hard - that's garbage.
Look at guys like Hollins, Dooling, Marquis, E'Twaun, Stiemsma and Pietrus. Last season those guys were the definition of guys who make up for lack of talent by simply playing harder than the opposition. Every one of those guys bar maybe E'Twaun played with 110% effort every time on the court.
Now look at this year's team.
Right now we have Bradley, Sullinger, Garnett and Collins who give 100% effort every time on the court. These guys lay it on the line every night and play as if they are ready to take a bullet for their team if they have to.
Then we have Terry and Pierce who give between 80%-100% effort every time. Sometimes they may get a tad lethargic and they do struggle from time to time with their shot, but usually they are leaving everything out there.
Then we have Barbosa, Rondo, Lee, Bass and Green who all range from 20% effort to 100% effort depending on how they feel on the day. When they get motivated they are dominant, but far too often they are walking around taking their time like they are on a holiday.
Those guys are the problem.
Rondo is the only guy in that group who is talented enough that he can get away with half-effort and still dominate his opponent. The other guys in that group are all talented enough to dominate, but only if they put 100% effort in to it.
This is why we need to trade some of these guys for either of the following:
1. Guys who play with 100% effort every time
2. Guys who are talented enough that they can play with half effort and still dominate
Varejao fits from an effort perspective and Cousins fits from a talent perspective.
The NBA is just too talented these days, and the top teams are just too deep. You can't play with 50% effort and contend for a title - if you don't put in at least 80% effort every night you're not going to make the playoffs.