- O’Neal has played 60 minutes in three games and scored just eight points on 3-for-12 shooting. He grabbed six rebounds against the Hornets, which tripled his season total to nine.
- Since playing 37 minutes against the Knicks, Garnett has scored just 22 points and hasn’t been to the free throw line once.
- Keyon Dooling played 23 minutes and didn’t record a single assist. He has just three in 58 minutes and the Celtics offense goes from stagnant to disorganized whenever Rondo isn’t on the court.
- The Hornets shot 15 free throws in the first half, while the Celtics didn’t get to the line until the 4:04 mark of the second quarter. Howl about the officiating all you want, and the Celtics have been on the wrong end of some controversial calls, but they have been sending teams to the line at an alarming rate and that speaks to tired legs and poor rotations.
I know. I'm the guy who was all Mr. Optimism yesterday. But there's something about a crappy loss to a crappy team that wipes that optimistic smile off your face.
It's like walking out of the house all happy, having bug fly down your throat as you sing your favorite song out loud and slipping in a giant pile of dog crap skipping off to work. At some point, you gotta wonder if it's not REALLY your day.
But this won't be a full-on reevaluation of this team because, as I said yesterday, this team is not quite whole. But it's whole enough to know two things:
Jermaine O'Neal, despite being the MVP of training camp, has a tank that teetering on "E". If this jalopy is going to make it the whole trip, we're going to have to park it some days and coast down whatever hills we can find. And considering Jermaine's offensive "production," and considering Greg Stiemsma's impact last night, it's time to start looking at some other guys pitching in at that 5 spot.
Kevin Garnett has no legs left. I know we all saw a decline coming, but he's aged a lot over the lockout. He's got no lift and he's got no quickness. And while we may see some wild bursts of energy from this dying sun, it's obvious this will be the norm. It's time for Doc to stop riding this horse for any more than 25 minutes a game. MAYBE 30.
I'll leave it at that for now. I'll get into it more in Taking Stock later today. And if this continues after Pierce and Pietrus are in full swing, then we'll need a wholesale reevaluation.
Related links: Globe: O'Neal can't find his game
On Page 2: E'Twaun Moore has passed Avery Bradley on the depth chart
I actually feel bad for Avery because I think the kid is honestly working hard and really trying. He's just not ready. He might need some D-League time, because right now he's not getting it. He's tentative and ineffective.
E'Twaun Moore… now's your time to shine. You've got crappy teams coming up, a team that needs to rest its starters, and a window pre-Pierce/Pietrus to make an impact. No pressure.
Related links: Herald: Pair of rookies at head of class
The rest of the links:
Globe: Listless and winless | Mike Gorman talks Celtics | CSNNE: Daniels "Glad" injury happened | Token Celtics defense nonexistent so far | Celtics fall to 0-3 after blowout loss to Hornets | ESPN Boston: Observations from 0-3 C's loss | Windhorst: Rondo a "franchise player" | Ricky Davis joins Red Claws | WEEI: Slow Celtics stung by Hornets | Herald: Celtics lost on the road |