Ainge has done a spectacular job over the past 6 years.
He's put us in position to contend every year.
08 - Championship
09 - 60+ wins, KG, Powe, TA hurt - second round up 3-2; 2 young bigs; great 1st rnd
10 - magnificent run, 2 possessions short of a championship, KG (one leg), no Perk
11 - best team through mid-year; just Shaq short (and Rondo's arm) of challenging Dallas
12 - could've/should've beaten eventual champion (against all odds) - no Bradley, Green/Wilcox out; 6 guys - absolutely no bench: fantastic result
I'm excited to see how this team develops. Imagine this group with Sullinger, Rondo and another contributing big.
Solid second round team with upside potential.
Better to keep Garnett Pierce always. It's a franchise legacy thing. That's why we're not Atlanta. We're Russell, Havlicek, Bird et. al. Garnett and Pierce need to train the next group -- for that alone, they should retire here.
Who are the great GMs in the league (besides Ainge)? Spurs? OKC? right?
We've outperformed the Spurs through the playoffs every year (in spite of them having their championship core). If you're going to measure by Championships and Finals, they've come up shorter than we have the past 6 years. OKC? They got Perk to challenge LA and the league completely shifted on them. They were a better team last year. (Imagine a small lineup with Ibaka, Durant, Green, Westbrook and Harden.) They overthought and overtraded.
I think Ainge has done nearly everything in his power the last six years to give Doc a team that could contend. Perk wasn't coming back. He got Perk a lifetime deal in OKC -- very, very humane. This was an act of extreme generosity and shows how much they cared about him as a person. Perk (that year) wouldn't have gotten us any farther. Only a healthy Shaq would have gotten us a 50-50 shot at Dallas (see 1st 25 games of that season). TA wanted a bigger role. I don't think they could have retained him. That oversight of attention is possibly the only error I see.
Draft picks? That's like choosing 2 stocks from 100 and later finding that one of the 98 you didn't pick actually performed a little better. You make a thorough and rational choice based on the info (and needs) you have and live with the consequences. It isn't possible (or even necessary) to make a perfect decision in such situations (and failing to do so doesn't diminish a person's accomplishments).
So now Doc is learning the Innovator's Dilemma. Success becomes the trap that prevents constructive change. We're moving from a scripted half-court team and strict man-to-man D to something else. The personnel have changed. The old lions are only part of the whole.
The questions for me are: who starts? where? what's the rotation? what are the roles? and how good can this team be?
Ainge is right. This is an interesting team. Thank goodness we're not Miami or OKC.
We are and always will be Celtics. So stand up straight, clean yourselves up, and make sure in your daily lives you live up to the same high standards you expect from this great group of warriors.