So now its 0-2. All year long, I’ve bashed the Horford signing, said the Celtics were not a true one seed and warned all of Celtic Nation of the Bulls. So Boston drops the first two games at home and now has to go to Chicago for the next two games and all momentum with the Bulls. No, I didn’t predict the Bulls to win the series and honestly I still don’t think they will, but I have never thought this would be an easy series. So now here’s my “I told you so” moment.
Let’s start with Al Horford. The biggest waste of 120 million dollars the Celtics have invested in their franchise history. The big need in the off-season was a rebounder and/or a scorer. Instead, the Celtics signed a stretch-4 who is past the prime of his career. Horford can’t create his own shot, and certainly cannot rebound as well as most centers. Many basketball experts raved over his ability to box out and help create rebound opportunities for other teammates. Well where is that boxing out now? Sure that excuse works in the regular season, when the light isn’t shining on you and when you don’t have to consistently deal with a 7 footer. Al’s lack of size and toughness is being completely exposed in this series. Also, let’s not forget his numbers dramatically drop in the playoffs. Something I’ve been saying since the signing. He does not play well in the playoffs, and plays even worse against superstars in the league (0-12 career in playoffs against LeBron). People seem to forget that Horford is the starting center of this team. Centers rebound the ball. Regardless of how many assists he has, if he can’t rebound or score, he’s not doing his job. He’s below his regular season scoring average and even though he had 11 boards in game 2, 3 of those rebounds were in complete garbage time after they were down by 15 points. 7 or 8 rebounds by your starting center who gets paid 30 million dollars a year is unacceptable. Horford has not played well and needs to step up to give this team a chance.
Another player that everyone brushed off to the side? Rajon Rondo. How could Celtics fans forget his performance in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron? He single handedly carried a very overmatched Celtic team to a seven game series against LeBron and the Heat. This guy turns it on in the playoffs and it’s surprising so many basketball fans are shocked by this. Rondo is playing to his potential and is turning it on at the right time.
Dwayne Wade is another guy that Celtics fans just seems to completely forget about. A 12x all-star, 10x all NBA, and 4x all NBA defensive superstar who has been to 5 NBA finals. Celtic’s fans have shown a complete lack of respect for a guy with this much on his resume. When the playoffs are on the line, he turns it up. Regardless of age, Wade will hit big shots late in games like he has his whole career. To expect him to be a non-factor in this series is insane.
Then theres Jimmy Butler. Still by far the best player on the floor, Jimmy Butler has proven time and time again he can take over games. He can lockdown anyone he guards and can score with the best of the NBA. There was no doubt he would be the best player in this series, but that didn’t seem to worry many fans. Now, Jimmy Butler has taken over this series and everyone seems to be worried.
My last thought, is this team managed to beat the Cavs all four times they played them this year. They were 2-2 against the Celtics in the regular season and 2-0 against the Raptors before they lost by 2 in Overtime in the third game. This team turns it on against good competition and manages to win games. No, not even I predicted Boston was going to lose this series, but I was never as confident as Celtics Nation was. Now it seems the fans of Boston are going to experience a harsh reality that there team really just isn’t that good.