December 29, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Boston Celtics shooting guard Jason Terry (4) has been relegated back to the bench, becoming the vital sixth man. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics: Time to roll back the odometer

Anybody wondering why there are vultures constantly circling the TD Garden only has to look at the lineup that Doc Rivers has put on the floor for the Celtics to start this season.

During Boston’s rough stretch of losing 8 out of their last 10 games, The Celtics have put a lineup on the court that looked like they fell off a charm bracelet:

I don’t want to say that Kevin Garnett is old, but when he was a kid, rainbows were in black and white.

I don’t want to say Paul Pierce is getting old, but when he was born the Dead Sea was just getting sick.

I don’t want to say Jason Terry is getting old, but he’s got hieroplyphics on his drivers’ liscence.

You get the point – or should I lay it on a little thicker?

And tonight the Ben Gay, I mean, the Boston Celtics saddle up in their Hoverounds to take on an Indiana Pacers team that leads the NBA’s Central Division and has won 9 of their last eleven including an 89-81 victory in Washington on Wednesday night.

Fortunately, the Celtics also have a pack of Boy Scouts to help the old geezers up the court – and if Doc “I knew Burger King when he was just a Prince” Rivers can find the right mix of geezers and Boy Scouts, they might be able to salvage their season.

And there is hope for optimism.  The electric Avery Bradley has returned to the lineup, relegating Terry to coming off the bench where he should be most effective.  Rivers has indicated that Brandon Bass will see more playing time, really taking some of the heat off of Garnett underneath, unlike what happened during the failed Jason Collins experiment.

The Celtics are coming off of a demoralizing 93-83 pasting at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies which left them just 2 1/2 games out of the cellar of the Atlantic Division with their 4th straight loss, but Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations Danny “My social security number is 1” Ainge sees bright things on the horizon for Boston.

“This will be the first game coming up against the best defensive team in the league right now” said Ainge this morning, “where we have our best lineup that played last year, and that was with Rondo and Avery and Brandon and KG and Paul. That lineup hasn’t even played one minute together this year, so I’d like to give that a shot.”

He has a point, and hopefully Rivers has his hearing aid turned up.

With Avery, Brandon Bass and Rondo, the Celtics have the athleticism to match up favorably against the Pacers, and with Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger and Courtney Lee coming off the bench along with Terry, they really don’t lose anything athletically with the 2nd unit on the floor.

The struggle has been mostly defensively, where the Celtics will disappear for large chunks of game time and allow the opposition to build leads that no team could come back from, and Ainge had a thought on that as well.

“For whatever reason — I’m not sure if they’re incapable or they’re not or they can’t physically (make defensive stops). Time will tell on that. But the reality of it is they haven’t.” Ainge lamented “And it’s not just the new guys. I don’t think our veteran players that have been here have played up to their capabilities yet either.”

“I mean, we went from being the best team in the NBA last year defensively to the 21st best defensive team in the league right now, so that’s concerning.” he continued, “But, I do believe that that can be fixed with attitude and health and practice time. I really do believe that. Our guys know how to do that.”

The bottom line is that while the core of the Celtics are getting a little long in the tooth, they can still get by on the wisdom that comes from experience – so long as they have their little rascals around to keep things balanced.

So I’ll just sit back and cover up with a warm blanket in my recliner, crank up the heat, turn up my hearing aid, suck down some Ensure and fall asleep by halftime – then wake up at 4:00am to catch the highlights on SportsCenter.

Because that’s what people who rode to school on a dinosaur do.

Tags: Boston Celtics Indiana Pacers

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