Eastern Conference scout on the Celtics' own mess:
"I thought they were starting to feel good about themselves, but I think I've decided they're just not quite good enough. Their bench has to be playing at the top of their abilities for them to win. And they don't have enough guys big-guy-wise that Doc [Rivers] is comfortable with.
"For them to win games, [Jared] Sullinger pretty much has to have a double-double. And we're talking about a 6-[foot-]7 center. The other big issue is that they've got no one making any 3s. The Jet [Jason Terry] hasn't been on the runway very often. And Avery Bradley, for all his defensive prowess, isn't shooting the ball well, either.
"Paul Pierce is still great in big games, but I think he's getting to that age -- like a lot of guys do -- where he paces himself. He gets up for the challenges of the Chicagos or the Miamis, but in some of these other games, he's not quite The Truth.
"[Rajon] Rondo can change the game when he's engaged, but ... let's just say he's always very aware of his stats. And it's very evident from where I sit that he's playing for steals and assists sometimes instead of making the winning play or the easier play or defending his guy like he should.
"Other people tried to talk me out of it, but I said [before the season] that they'd finish third in [the Atlantic] Division. They're depending too much on their young guys and their bench playing great. They don't have a knock-down shooter and, after six years, they still don't have a reliable backup for Rondo. But I think their 'mess' is what's gonna happen when Pierce is gone and Kevin Garnett is gone. Because there's nobody in the wings."
Ouch. Truth hurts.