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Celtics - Is there a plan?

I love basketball and grew up during a couple of different Celtics eras.  Cowens and Havlicek and White and Bird and McHale, and Parish and DJ defined both how to play basketball as a team and how to win.  A real sports golden age.

Basketball has changed.  There are too many young, inexperienced players and team play has declined.  However, the best teams (Phoenix, Detroit, San Antonio, and Dallas, for example) play pretty good team ball.  These days, the Celtics are really struggling.

And yet, I continue to go to the games.  I like the Celtics young players, and I think that Paul Pierce has become a real leader.  In fact, I think that Pierce is underappreciated on a nationwide basis because the Celtics fail to make the playoffs.  This year, the Celtics have been decimated by injuries, so I am not too worried about their current losing streak.  In fact, I think that they should be cautious with their injured players as this season is pretty much a lost cause.  Get 'em healthy for next year.

But, when Pierce comes back from his foot injury, how much better will they be?  What about next year, when Tony Allen, who had really shown some improvement this year, returns from his knee injury?  Will their other young players mature into a strong enough team?  Or, do they have a lot of good players, but not enough great players?

Given how young they are, I think that patience is in order, at least through next year.  By the end of next season, Danny Ainge will have to make some hard decisions on which of these players will really be part of a winning Celtics team and which ones can be traded to try to improve the team.  I hope that they have the patience and choose their keepers wisely.  If they don't, we'll be back at the beginning of the rebuilding cycle, and my own patience will be wearing thin.

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