Kevin McHale, part of the original Big Three, said the current Celtics are simply going through a skid and saving themselves for the stretch run. The TNT and NBA TV analyst did not seem concern about their recent skid.
“(The Celtics) are ok right now, they are getting where they want to be,” he said. “When you get to the age where Kevin Garnett is, and Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen is, it’s always going to be after the All-Star break. You do pace yourself. When you’re 22 or 23 you’re out there going gung ho, you have no idea what you’re doing anyway. You’re playing on energy and running around.
“As you get older you start conserving your energy and you start to realize you can be 40-10 at the All-Star break. If you play poorly down the stretch and don’t get in the playoffs on a roll, healthy and playing well, it doesn’t make any difference. I think they are pacing themselves. When you are a jump shooter, it comes and goes, it’s hard, I can’t imagine being a jump shooter and relying on that shot all the time. I always liked when Ray would drive a little more and get fouled and get free throws; he’s such a good free throw shooter, but as you get older that gets harder to do. Doing that for 82 games is very hard. Is he getting longer in the tooth? Yeah, but that’s what happens.
“If you stayed 25 none of us would ever play because Jerry West and Bill Russell and everyone would never let us play. So as you get older they start looking at the season differently, it’s going to be after the All-Star break. I’ll be able to assess that team a lot better after the All-Star break. They are fine, they are where they need to be. They are geared for the playoffs and have a different mindset than a lot of the other teams.”