What championship would we have won besides 2008, whether the coach be Doc, Stevens, Pop, Jackson, or Red himself?
IF Danny Boy had not traded Kendrick Perkins, we were headed to the Finals and would have beaten Dallas. That team was healthy and beyond motivated from the sting of 2010.
I will never forgive Danny for that stupid trade. He thought we needed to become more athletic to keep up with LeBron & Co. when the truth was we had the only antidote in the league back then because of our power on the inside and our toughness, physically and mentally.
That team was most definitely NOT healthy.
At the time of the trade, Perkins, Shaq, Jermaine, Semih, Nate and Marquis were ALL injured. In particular, we had exactly ZERO healthy centers and Marquis Daniels was lost for the season.
The trade gave us a healthy center and a health backup SF in exchange for two players (Perkins, Nate) who barely played a tiny handful of minutes the rest of the season. Without doing the trade we were looking at having to play a D-League call-up as our center and no rest for Pierce.
By the time the playoffs rolled around, Jermaine got healthy enough to play some, and was actually pretty decent, but Shaq never was able to play more than a few minutes and never at the level he did in the Fall (when the 5-man starting unit of Rondo+Ray+Pierce+KG+Shaq was just dominant). And that, more than anything, doomed that team.
And then some out-of-character outside shooting by Lebron and Wade, plus Wade doing a number on Rondo's elbow just stuck the dagger in.
But I suppose those last things were Doc Rivers' fault as well?