Most Celtics fans are scratching their heads right now and thinking, "What's wrong with this team?"
Using the 2008 champs as the Gold Standard, let's compare rosters and see if we can figure it out purely based on manpower.
The starters are the same only three years older. In the case of KG, Ray Ray and Pierce, that's a pretty significant three years. Garnett, in particular, looks defeated by his mileage and injury history.
But the bench is where it really gets interesting.
A still effective James Posey was the big weapon off the bench for the title winning team. He could D multiple positions and he always hit big shots. Posey played well enough for Doc to refer to him as the 'fourth member of the Big Three' whatever the hell that means. In any event, Rivers thought enough of Posey to put him in the same conversation with his three mega stars. Who could even come close to filling that role this year? Sheed? Please. On the title winners, PJ Brown and Leon Powe came off the bench to provide rebounding and tough interior D. This year's team? Nobody does that. Not even close.
By replacing gritty defensive guys like Posey, Brown and Powe with shooters like Lil' Nate and Mike Finley, Ainge further eroded the team's identity. 'Get stops' isn't an option anymore. This team isn't physically able to 'get stops.' And nobody's intimidated by them anymore, either.
So a relatively mediocre Memphis team with young legs comes into Boston and absolutely dominates them on their home court and nobody can even explain why afterwards. Sad. We're a long way from Ubuntu.