No, I’m not talking about the Patriots.
The Boston Celtics are 4-7 this season and it’s a bad 4-7. Their wins have come against three lottery-bound teams, the Washington Wizards, the Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets. Their seven losses include wipeouts against the 3-9 New Orleans Hornets, a close loss to the 6-6 New York Knicks, and five losses to likely playoff teams (just for the record, I think the Knicks are a playoff team if ‘Melo heals fast and Baron Davis stays healthy upon his joining the lineup next month).
For most teams, 4-7 isn’t a reason to panic, but the Celtics are old and looks a step or two slow. Three of their big four, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are in the twilight of their careers, and it looks like the sun is setting on them whenever they take the floor. These Celtics are a mere shadow of the 2007-’08 champs and even of 2009-’10 finalists. They went into this season with question marks and the most optimistic answer now looks like a first round playoff exit.
The smart play is to act while their trade value is still high and many teams are still entertaining playoff dreams. Once torn down, the Celts may want to entertain a different regime to build the next contender. Doc Rivers track record suggests that he’s at his best coaching veterans not youngsters.
What lies ahead will likely be painful for fans of this proud franchise, but it will hurt less than watching former champs get their teeth kicked in on a regular basis.