The NBA: Getting Bitter with Age

Boston's core of players drafted in the early 90s is showing their age.
*Unless otherwise specified, all images are by the Associated Press.

"Look, getting old in the NBA is not for the meek or the mild. It sucks, because your mind is as sharp as it's ever been. Sometimes athletically-wise you just can't do some of the things you could -- or maybe injury-wise.” – former Celtic Kevin McHale on the aging Boston Big Three

Something has really got to be wrong when the Big Three’s combined output is equal to that of just one guy from the other team.

That guy from the other team?

Sixer soph Evan Turner, who churned out a career-high 26 in Philly’s methodical thumping of the once-feared Celtics.

Yeah, sure, they were tired. The Cs were coming off 2 straight OT games. It was exhaustion. Oh, but these are the timeless Celtics! We’re talking about four potential Hall-of-Famers here (emphasis on potential). And this was one of the biggest games of the year, what with Boston about to close in on the Atlantic Division lead at the expense of the current Division leaders – the Sixers.

It was supposed to be a take-no-prisoners affair.

It turned out to be a Philadelphia turkey shoot instead.

Philly was just on massacre-mode. They knew what was at stake, and they executed to perfection.

The Celtics? I’m sure they knew what was at stake, too, but they executed to frustration. The Big Three played a combined total of 80 minutes, but almost all of those 80 minutes showed just one thing – these guys aren’t just getting old, they ALREADY ARE old.

Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett combined to shoot at a dismal clip – just 9-of-31 from the field. Pierce had ZERO assists. KG had just 5 rebounds, and Allen’s 2 points both came from the stripe.

Ouch. Reality does bite, especially if you’ve been in reality for as long as these three have.

And, wait, Danny Ainge still wants to trade Rajon Rondo? 

Give him your best slow clap, folks.

Keep Rondo, Ainge. And, yes, keep JaJuan Johnson, too. Exciting young talent that kid.

But you can get rid of the “defense-less” duo of Brandon Bass and Keyon Dooling. Deal them for more young talent the Big Three can mentor. Or, if you’re really desperate, deal out one of the Big Three and get an up-and-comer as replacement.


Unless you get someone like, say, Russell Westbrook. 

But fat chance that’s happening.

And fat chance the Cs are going to make another big postseason run.

When it comes to this group, things haven’t really become better with age.


Bitter with age.

After the JUMP, March 7, 2012 stat-stuffers:

ORL over CHI, 99-94
Dwight Howard scored a game-high 29 points to go with 18 rebounds, leading the Orlando Magic past the Chicago Bulls. Jason Richardson shot 4-of-6 from three-point range en route to 18 points before rolling his left ankle in the fourth quarter, while Ryan Anderson chipped in a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards as the Magic bounced back from a loss to the woeful Charlotte Bobcats. Carlos Boozer led the way for Chicago with 26 points and Derrick Rose scored 17 while handing out 9 assists. The Bulls saw an eight-game win streak come to an end. 

PHX over DAL, 96-94
Jared Dudley scored 18 and Marcin Gortat had 16 and 12 rebounds, as the Suns came back to down the Mavericks. Grant Hill added 15, Steve Nash finished with 11 points and 11 assists and Hakim Warrick scored 9 off the bench for the Suns, who trailed by as many as 12 in the third quarter and have now won six of their last eight games. Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter had 18 points apiece to pace the Mavericks, who had won their previous eight against Phoenix. 

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Dwight Howard (ORL) – 29
Carlos Boozer (CHI) – 26
A LOT with 18

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Dwight Howard (ORL) – 18
Marcin Gortat (PHX) – 12
Ryan Anderson (ORL) & Joakim Noah (CHI) – 10 

Dwight Howard thwarts Carlos Boozer's
attempt under the basket.
Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Steve Nash (PHX) – 11
Derrick Rose (CHI) – 9
Jameer Nelson (ORL) – 7 

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Carlos Boozer (CHI) – 4
Jason Kidd (DAL) & Joakim Noah (CHI) – 3 

Boozer gets one over Hedo Turkoglu.
Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Dwight Howard (ORL), Jared Dudley (PHX), & Joakim Noah (CHI) – 3 

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Jason Richardson (ORL) – 4
Jason Kidd (DAL) & Ryan Anderson (ORL) – 3 

March 8, 2012 First Five
C – Dwight Howad (ORL) – 29pts, 18rebs, 3blks
F – Carlos Boozer (CHI) – 26pts, 7rebs, 4stls
F – Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) – 18pts, 7rebs, 2asts, 1stl
G – Jared Dudley (PHX) – 18pts, 8rebs, 3blks
G – Steve Nash (PHX) – 11pts, 11asts, 3rebs, 1stl

Jared Dudley came up big as the Suns
defeated the defending NBA Champs.
(image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Honorable Mention:
Marcin Gortat (PHX) – 16pts, 12rebs, 2asts, 1blk
Derrick Rose (CHI) – 17pts, 9asts, 4rebs, 1stl, 1blk
Joakim Noah (CHI) – 9pts, 10rebs, 3stls, 3blks, 2asts

Daily Zap:

*Game recaps were compiled and compressed from the Sports Network.

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