Very nice post, nick. I feel the same way, and have communicated as much to people "off the blog". I tend not to be downright negative on here, because I don't want to bring people's vibe down, but from my perspective this off-season was definitely a negative one.
I understand that the team has earned a grace period, but I'm not buying into the "Danny Ainge is an infallible genius" mantra. I've been a Danny supporter since Day 1, even when the tide seemed to be turning against him. I like him, think his number should be retired, and think he's been an very good GM for the most part. However, he mistakes mistakes, and he's made several mistakes in the past. To now assume that he knows exactly what he's doing, and to buy into the "In Danny We Trust" chant, just doesn't work for me.
My position was that the team could afford to lose Posey, if -- and only if -- they upgraded at other positions. The team didn't do that. Instead, as of this moment, we've replaced Posey with a rookie coming of knee surgery and a guy who NBA doctors declared to be medically unfit to play. We replaced P.J. Brown with one of the few lottery picks in NBA history to not be extended a qualifying offer after his first two years in the league.
Now, things could work out. I really like the Walker pick, and have bought into the Giddens pick (although "experts" didn't have him projected until the end of the second round). However, the fact is none of the players we brought in this off-season are sure things. I'm not even sure that these guys fit into the "more likely than not" category of being able to help this team. It's fine to have a project or two or your roster, but it seems as though the team is counting on contributions from complete unknowns. That makes no sense.
Right now, we have three truly consistently great players on our roster: KG, Paul, and Ray. After that, we have one guy who is consistently mediocre-to-poor: Scal. Those are the four guys with whom you know what you're going to get, night in and night out. Perk and Rondo are becoming more consistent, and will be positive contributors on most nights (although both are prone to making "youthful" mistakes.) Powe is fairly consistent on offense, not so much on defense; He's a classic garbage man, and can be counted on to contribute, at least, although he's going to have his share of defensive lapses. House is as consistent as a three point specialist can be. After that, you literally have seven guys that we have no idea what to expect from on a nightly basis: BBD, Tony, Pruitt, Giddens, Walker, O'Bryant, and Miles.
I think that's too many question marks. I thought one lesson from the pre-"big three" days was that teams don't win with youth. Yet, here we are with a roster that is 75% kids, with most of those kids not being "sure things". I'm not overly impressed. I will hope for the best, but I think this off-season has handicapped our ability to repeat. I've gotten on Doc Rivers a lot in the past for not putting the team in the "best position to succeed". Well, this season, I wonder if Danny has really put Doc and the team in the best position to repeat. I can't conclude that he has, and it's disheartening a bit.