The slumping Celtics have dropped three straight games against top tier teams. With the loss column growing, so are the questions. The Celtics are at times looking confused, frustrated, and worst of all, old. Here are some random tidbits that have been running through my mind over the course of the week.
It all starts with KG's health: Kevin Garnett has just rejoined the team this week and has already made a positive impact on how the Celtics play defense. They are playing with more aggression and tenacity than without him. However, KG still has a ways to go before he's back to full strength. He is still finding his shot and he looks timid in the paint, usually passing up the shot to Kendrick Perkins or kicking it out. KG is having trouble running the floor, sometimes hopping in spots as if his knee is bothering him.
The biggest concern for KG is his defense. Yes, his presence has helped the team on a whole, but he's nowhere near the player we've come to expect at the defensive end. Rashard Lewis had no trouble running by KG to bank in the game winning lay up on Thursday night. Atlanta's Zaza Pachulia played aggressive ball against KG and seemed to have his way with him at times. In time, KG will be back to full strength, but for now the Celtics to pick up the slack and give KG better help defense while he's working back to game shape.
Marquis Daniels can't come back soon enough: Marquis Daniels is on track to rejoin the Celtics after the All Star Break. His return can't come soon enough. His scoring ability and energy off the bench is sorely missed and is a major reason why the Celtics are slumping. Hopefully he gets back into game shape quickly so he can contribute immediately because the Celtics bench needs it.
Awful bench play is an understatement: There is no question that the bench really needs to step it up if the Celtics have any chance of righting the ship. Glen "Uno Uno" Davis (don't even get me started on that awful new name) has been playing inconsistent ball an is letting his frustrations get the best of him, culminating in a fine for yelling obscenities at a Detroit Pistons fan. Eddie House is having trouble hitting shots beyond the arc. When he is hitting them, he can't seem to set his feet behind the line. Tony Allen is still a ball handling nightmare, and Rasheed Wallace...where do we even begin with 'Sheed?
'Sheed needs to keep his mouth shut and start playing basketball. He leads the league with 13 technical fouls and is one of the most inconsistent players on the Celtics. 'Sheed is looking out of shape and frustrated. He's shooting too many three pointers that aren't falling and his defense has been lacking as of late. As the major offseason acquisition for the Celtics, he really needs to pick up his game if the Celtics have any chance of going deep in the playoffs.
I had a conversation with my girlfriend the other day about Glen Davis' recent fine. Davis was her favorite player on the Celtics until his recent injury and maturity woes. As she put it "Big Baby needs to grow up and become a man. I don't think I like him anymore. Besides, Rasheed is fatter and I like fat B-ball men."
Lord help us...