The knock on the Boston Celtics going into the 2012 NBA Playoffs, and at every stage thereafter, was that the team's offense was just too mediocre to sustain a long run. But on the strength of the team's elite defense, excellent production from Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo and truly great coaching from Doc Rivers, the Celtics found themselves with two opportunities to land in the NBA Finals.
But as WEEI.com's Paul Flannery notes, in the end, those offensive issues turned Boston away. Miami held the Celtics to six points over the last nine minutes to clinch the Game 7 victory and a Finals berth.
In the end it was their offense that betrayed them, as it has throughout the 2011-12 season. They had to work so hard to create space and they simply ran out of room. The Heat took away Kevin Garnett in the paint and they forced Rajon Rondo into playing a twisting, contortionist halfcourt game, rather than the chaotic end-to-end mess that is his true strength.
Strengthening the offense will be a key priority for Boston in the offseason. Ray Allen, a free agent, is not widely expected to return. More importantly, fellow FA Kevin Garnett's future is up in the air. He proved during this postseason that his offense does have something left in the tank. But he, Rondo and Paul Pierce certainly need some help.