Reggie, to a fault (IMHO) has deferred to JO these past seasons all (I assume) in an attempt to prepare him for moments like this and what has it gotten us? Let's not pretend he was a force in these playoffs last season. He had one good game against the Pistons... and we lost that.
I guess he did show up against Boston
a couple of years ago... in a contract season. And we lost that series as well.
This team played it's best team basketball
of the season while JO was out. That all went into the crapper the moment JO returned. He played one good game during this year's Boston series and we won it handily (by 'good' I mean he passed the ball and let the game come to him).
I know he's injured but the problems I am seeing aren't anything to do with his woeful shooting exhibition, they have to do with selfish play and a steadfast refusal to pass the ball let alone make quick decisions with it. If anything, his shoulder is making these other (lacking) aspects of his game even more glaring.
The problem IMHO is a few inches above his shoulder....
He's 26 years old... and he has been force-fed the role of leader on this team since 2000-2001. And what has it gotten us? Perhaps therein lies the problem, he was simply handed the reins of the team (was that a coaching decision, management, Reggie Miller, who?). Maybe he should've been required to earn that... Or maybe it was hoped he'd finally 'get it' if we kept pushing him... Or maybe we had to do it because some of the whispers of 'prima donna' are true and we had no choice or face sulking and cancer problems.
Why are our shots not falling someone asked... Because the offense runs thru JO and if he bogs it down then it is totally out of sync. That's why this team was not nearly so woeful with its jumpshooting when JO was out and Dale showed how to set pics, block out and rebound.
I'm not going to be surprised if JO's name comes up in trade rumors this summer. I'm having a hard time picturing a couple of former Celtics (Bird and Carlisle) actually wanting to see the ball going into a blackhole game after game. I know some of you think JO's untouchable but I think this season has shown just how far he has to go and I'm not sure the team is seeing the progress we need or they want. He's being eaten alive by the team directly ahead of us in a title chase.