I definitely respect the opinions posted but I'm kind of surprised by the level of negativity and the lack of confidence in this team to do anything but absolutely "suck" for the rest of the year.
My optimism has nothing to do with a win against Miami or a six game winning streak - those things mean nothing.
My optimism is based on the following:
1. I think this team is way more talented than what it has played so far.
2. When the playoffs start, I think it's a mistake to underestimate Pierce and KG and any Celtics team's heart under the guidance of Doc - say what you will about his rotations or whatever.
* But I also thought last year's team was special - before the all star break.
3. I have a lot of confidence in the mental and physical tenacity of a lineup with KG, Sully, Pierce, Lee and Bradley in it - those guys all play "hard". There's no quit in any of them.
4. Our bench is also still decent.
But there are other reasons for optimism as well -
1. Rondo is a ball dominant point - and he's great at that. But he has weaknesses as well.
* I think he's often lazy defensively and it causes us a lot of dribble drive issues.
* I think our offense stagnates sometimes with him pounding the ball too much
* I think Rondo is such a dominant player and personality that other guys defer too much to him sometimes. They may now feel freer to be more individually aggressive rather than waiting for Rondo to 'set them up" all the time.
* We may have better flow on offense and better overall team D.
This isn't a knock on Rondo and I would much rather have him playing but just because we now will be a different team without Rondo does not guarantee that we will be a worse one.
What are we, 11-16 with him over the last 27 games?
Yet another reason for optimism is that our options are now more wide open than before.
* If we choose to blow it up there is more of a legit reason to really pursue that path.
I like this team and as far as KG and pierce go I would rather stand pat and ride it out with them this year.
But if "they" wanted a trade, there are plenty of teams who would want them, in a heart beat.
KG or Pierce on the LAC, Denver, Golden State, Memphis, OKC or Dallas would exponentially increase those teams chances of a ring this year - KG because of his defense and Pierce because of his all around game and just their veteran leadership.
How'd you like to play a Memphis team with a front line of Gasol, Randolph and Pierce or a Clipper's team with a front line of Jordan, Griffen and Pierce?
Or an OKC team with a font line of Perkins, Ibaka, KG and Durant or a Golden State team with a front line of Bogut, Lee and KG?
And both of those guys contracts are reasonable for what they bring - Pierce has only one year left.
This Celtics team is "going" to rebuild one way or another. So we're in a great spot if we want to start that now and get some decent chips that we can add to our current crop - or we can stand pat, which is what I'd probably do. And I probably wouldn't trade KG or Pierce unless they wanted it.
We won't get superstars back but we could get a Rudy Gay type player back for Pierce - put him on the wings with Jeff Green, for example.
You'd have to find the right trade for KG - maybe to Denver for Javale McGee and Quincy Miller, try to turn MCGee into a defensive center.
You';d have to find the right deals...those are just top of the head random thoughts.
If no major trades, I expect to see this team make serious noise in the playoffs if they stay together.
I doubt very much that they are crying in their milk in the locker room. I think they're probably preparing for Sacramento.
Even Pierce acknowledged the injury but then immediately said guys are going to have to step up, period.
They're competitors, not babies.
Don't count this team, as is, out - and if we make big trades with KG and Pierce, it just means we're on the way to rebuilding sooner than we expected but it was coming anyway - why not be positive about the transition?
Would it be better to stick our head in the sand and just throw up the white flag?