Two straight losses are no big deal. That's going to happen in the NBA, and it might happen again. The Celtics clearly are not worried. But everyone is using this as a jumping-off point to reassess the C's… so let's take a look at the things we've noticed this weekend.
- The Celtics are mortal
Every team, Boston or otherwise, becomes a victim of its success. Haters hate even more, and as we've seen, revel greatly in their losses. Fans maybe overlook a few things and think they're invincible. But just as the Celtics have been saying, the streak means nothing. Houston won 22 in a row last year, and where did it get them?
The Celtics lost to a good team and then lost their legs on the back end of back-to-back games. If you look at it realistically, that's not very shocking.
- The Tony Allen experiment might not be working
James Posey was an effective defender for the Celtics for two reasons: his brains and his size. Tony Allen doesn't have the size… and his basketball IQ isn't near PoZ's. Of course, everyone knew from the beginning that Tony wasn't going to "replace" Posey. They're different players. Tony's better than he was last year, and he's not a bad guy to have on your bench… but he still seems to be hurting the team almost as much as he helps.
- Ok, we need a big
Scott Souza makes the point today: as much as we love Leon and Big Baby, we need someone with size coming off the bench.
The chess game is what caused P.J. Brown to go from afterthought heading into last year's playoffs to perhaps the top center option off the bench at their conclusion. The acknowledgement of the weakness is what has kept Brown's number in the cell phones of Rivers and others through the first three months of this season.
He goes on to make the point that the Celtics actually DO have a 7 footer on the bench: Patrick O'Bryant. But if he couldn't get any PT when Perk went down, then he never will. It was a nice try, Danny, but it's time for plan B. FYI: Joe Smith's name keeps popping up.
We've talked about our bench before, and we'll be talking about it again. It's a popular topic nowadays. I'm not going to get all crazy about Eddie House backing up Rajon Rondo. I don't think that's a main concern. I think the main concern for the Celtics is their bench defense. That is going to need fixing by playoff time.
One other note that is sort of being overlooked. Both the Celtics and Cavaliers are currently on the same pace. And as Marc Spears notes:
But if the Celtics were to lose again tonight and the Cavaliers were to beat visiting Miami, Cleveland would lead Boston by percentage points (.023). And with the importance of home-court advantage in the playoffs, the Celtics are definitely concerned about winning the top spot in the conference.
I still don't think Cleveland is going to sustain this pace… but it doesn't change the fact that they're our top competition right now. We'll see how we both stand when the Celtics visit Cleveland on January 9.