i am still not willing to throw in the towel for this season, but i would not bet my money on this team even making the conference finals as is. i will finally admit though that the perk trade is a risk that could forever taint ainge's legacy. i understand his thinking but he did not have to take the risk. all we needed was a swingman to play about 15 minutes in relief of pp and allen. those guys are a dime and dozen. danny apparently had a deal in place for tony allen but when rudy gay got hurt, it was pulled by memphis. guys like anthony parker, bill walker, roger mason, ryan gomes, rasual butler or even a posey would have sufficed. like the NFL, toughness and consistently bein g able to win the wars in the trenches (PAINT) is where you win rings! danny misunderestimated (bushism) that and essentially gambled that a 39 yo shaq would be in better health down the stretch than a 26 yo perk!

even when powe was available and danny could have had another tough guy, he let the opportunity go away as he was dead set on becoming more skilled and soft. you can not put down in writing what it means when others fear you and will not even attempt certain plays against you. no one fears us, the word is out. we are SOFT and will cave! with both tony allen and posey, danny downplayed the toughness and attitude they brought to the table. so at any moment in the game, we always had a tough enforcer type on the floor. even when shaq returns as a starter, who is the tough bench guy? west is the toughest but he is not really physical. ditto with sheed, just having him on the bench would have sent a message to others. ultimately, the other teams get the final say on your toughness by not only what they do but often what DON'T do!

the uncertainty and the fact that all these guys have not been able to play together is going to hurt. its a confidence issue. if we do not get a ring, the first casualty is that doc rivers leaves. no way he is going to be able to trust ainge's judgment ever again. danny keeps his old auerbach big 3 too much in mind while  making decisions in today. he probably could have gone ahead with perk for this year and let him walk in the off-season, now shaq would be a luxury as he was in the first place when we signed him opposed to being an all-or-nothing deal! if shaq can not play at least 20-25 minutes at a high level offensively, defensively and rebounding-wise, we have NO shot at even making the finals.. period!

thats on danny for making us so desperate. the issues we have can not be solved by schemes or by doc. krstic and green were skilled but soft before they got here and still are. neither are going to become dominant physical guys all of a sudden. this team gets outrebounded by everyone and every big man including the darkos of the world can own us in the paint. its humiliating, thats where attitude and confidence comes from on a team. you cant even act or talk tough if you can not own the paint! since march 9th or around the time all the pieces came together post-perk, our team has scored the LEAST number of points in the entire NBA! perk was not a scorer but that goes to chemistry and rondo's comfort level with both perk and nate. nate was a threat even when cold who could create his own shot and get some defensive attention. now only pierce can consistently create his own shot on our entire team!

rondo has been exposed as a total fraud. i called it in my last thread on him. i said he would have another lousy game. he can not string together great games against quality opponents or any team that focuses on stopping him. true stars get it done even when the other team is focused on stopping them!

all said, i still hold out some hope. i know the big 3 wil be at least as great as they were last season. i know that west will give all he has. i know that doc will not be outcoached when he can sit down and prepare for a specific opponent for an entire series. i know that shaq will give it another shot and if he is able to not limp i know that he will be the big difference maker and mask all of our deficiencies including ron-dont! who knows, once we reach the second round, our swag may be back. one never knows what could happen. can we beat the heat and bulls without home court? YES! are the odds in our favor right now? NO! this is what danny did to us! he took the odds away from us by trading perk and maxed out on uncertainty.

our team has a big 360 pound IF-elephant in the room that was not necessary to be there!