Boston was trounced by the Miami Heat in the semi-finals. The big three of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett was no longer the offensive juggernaut that it was in 2008 when the Celtics won their last championship. Kevin Garnett was no longer a guaranteed fifteen to twenty points a game. Ray Allen still has his shooting touch but he is either too hot or too cold. Paul Pierce was still consistent although he needs the help of the other members of the triumvirate in order to win.
Aside from this, Boston also lacked the defensive specialists it had in years past. The team no longer had the likes of James Posey or Tony Allen who could bottle up the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. They were also much softer in the front court without tough guys like PJ Brown, Rasheed Wallace or Kendrick Perkins. The once feared Boston defensive machine was a thing of the past as well.
THe much publicized trade for Jeff Green and Nenad Krystic did not pan out as expected. The two struggled to provide the same offense that they were able to contribute as part of the Oklahoma City Thunder. They were not producing much in other areas as well.The Celtics gambled too much on the fact that they had both Shaquille and Jermaine O'Neil. Well Shaq was injury prone and was seen more often in street clothes than in a basketball jersey. Boston paid the ultimate price in relying on the broken down Big Leprechaun. He has been promising championship rings to teams like the Phoenix Suns and the Cleveland Cavaliers and has so far not won anything since he left Dwyane Wade in Miami. Jermaine meanwhile is no longer that all-star caliber player who was leading the Indiana Pacers. He was merely a shell of his former self.
Well I believe that the short window of opportunity has officially closed for the Boston Celtics. Unless the franchise could somehow retain the big three and Rajon Rondo while adding somebody like Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol, the franchise would need to rebuild. They could possibly trade Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen for some draft picks or a young up-and-comer. Their focus now should be to get younger and to build up assets such as budding stars, draft picks and cap space. They should stop the trend of being the retirement home for ageing NBA superstars.