Why I no longer believe...
posted at 4/2/2011 12:03 PM EDT
Assuming we make it to the finals again, I don't think we have a prayer of defeating the Lakers, who are without a doubt going to be waiting for us there.
The Lakers had their mid-season slump and looked like chumps for a while. They could've made trades and shaken the whole thing up but they stayed still and waited out the storm. Now they look like world-beaters, an efficient machine ready to destroy anything that crosses their path. For the first time in the Gasol-era the Lakers are suddenly being looked at as even more than a super-talented finess team. Now they're being called tough, and toughness was always the thing we had over them.
Ainge took a gamble and changed enough of the Celtics roster that it looks like chemistry and mental toughness may be a giant issue for us going into the playoffs. I can't see a team still trying to make its pieces fit together with only a handful of games left in the stretch run beating the Lakers-machine whose pieces have been tested, knocked around and bruised TOGETHER. I think it's clear that the adversity LA faced before the All Star break has galvanized them. On the C's Jeff Green looks tentative, Troy Muprhy is a joke, Krstic may never play for the team again, etc. We still have the Big 4, but besides Master of Excuses Jermaine O'Neal, broken down 39-year-old Shaq, injury prone Delontee, the rest is a hodgepodge and a bust. We can't win with that type of internal softness.
Now, I don't blame Danny for making the trade. I think injuries became such a prolem he had to do something. And in terms of trade-able pieces Perk makes perfect sense. But it was something I'm sure he didn't want to do because it was a contingency plan based on unfortunate circumstances like Daniels going down, and contingency plans are just that, plan b, the thing you hope you don't have to resort to.
I really hope we can win the title this year but it looks like the Big 3 era may one day be looked at more in terms of a 'woulda-shoulda-coulda' dynasty that never quite lived up to its promise. Ever since '08-'09 and KG's injury we have just never been able to catch a break and stay healthy. The only thing that held this team back from 2, 3 or 4 championships was health and it sucks. I hate the idea but the writing's on the wall. Living in LA is gonna suck this summer.