. . . some will say, “It is what it is”, and utter this nonsense with a look of profundity on their face. The most over used cliché to enter the vernacular in a long time, in fact it has become the cliché of cliché’s:
“It is what it is” was designed to be the be-all, end-all of any discussion. Yet intelligent people want to know how it got to be what it is and what could have been done differently to achieve a different outcome.
This season’s assemblage of players seemed star-crossed from the very beginning. The Celtics added Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal, and Delonte West as the most prominent additions. But the injuries began to pile up very early on, and it is not my intention to list each and every one, but Delonte went down early, then Jermaine, Marquis Daniels suffered the recurrence of a freak neck injury, and Shaq hardly made it past Christmas. KG missed games as did Rondo and other players.
Doc was forced to play the starters more minutes instead of following his plan to limit the minutes of Rondo and The Big Three. For example, Ray Allen, at 35 years old, ended up with a career high in minutes played. The long minutes of the starters led to fatigue and tired legs down the stretch and into the playoffs. Guts, determination, pride and adrenaline could not overcome the fatigue factor, the tired legs, not to mention the mental fatigue of the grind brought on by playing too many minutes.
What’s a Doc to do? That’s an expression I made up as the season went along, watching those minutes pile up on Ray’s 35 year old legs as he curled around pick after pick, endlessly, game after game, a man in perpetual motion.
Doc didn’t have much choice.
- Excerpted from, No Dead Horse Beatin’ Round Here