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Let’s Not Focus On The Wrong Thing Here

RedsArmyAdmin May 6, 2009 Uncategorized 16 Comments

It's very easy for us Celtics fans to focus on the furious second half comeback in which the Celtics.  We're looking for the positive.  We're looking for something to give us hope heading into game 2.  That's what fans do in a game like that. 

But let's not make the mistake of focusing on the last 24 minutes of the game.  What we should be looking at is the first 24.  We should be looking at the lazy Celtics coming out at home and laying an egg.  We should be looking at Rajon Rondo, who was the Celtics saving grace in round 1, and why he's suddenly passive.  We should be looking at why the Celtics, a team that takes pride in its defense, got caught so many times flat footed in the lane while the Magic spotted up from 3.  I mean… my dog knows the Magic are looking to shoot the three. 

Yes, the comeback was nice… but too much emphasis on it today will be bad.  Just ask Doc Rivers.

The other team had a big lead, they let their guard down a little
bit and you made a run. You have to do that in the first quarter and
the second quarter when the game’s on the line.

“I look on (Monday) night as a loss, and we have to play better -
bottom line. I don’t lean on the fact that we had a chance to win the
game. I focus more on the fact that they were up 28 points. I look on
that a lot more than that we made a fool’s gold run at the end of the
game that got everybody excited. That does nothing for me.

Honestly, what really gets me isn't even the first half of yesterday's game.  It's the last month of the regular season when we were screaming for the starters minutes to be limited.  Everyone went nuts about home court advantage and how important it was for us.  The third seed was a bad thing to a lot of people.

Yet, I think its clear that getting the second seed gave us zero advantage in the first round of the playoffs.  And we don't have home court advantage anymore anyway. And I think its clear that Paul Pierce is gassed.  He's trying to pick his spots and be "Paul Pierce" when it counts… but I don't know if he's capable of 40 quality minutes right now.  These guys can say they're fine all they want… but the season takes a toll on you.

I'm encouraged by the Celtics comeback.  But I think it also highlights the Celtics deficiencies.  And it also highlights the fact that Rajon Rondo can't be off anymore.  He's got to be the guy.  He's got to be aggressive.  Paul can't do it by himself anymore… at least not until the last couple of minutes.  Ray needs some help… even if it's just to give him some extra space.  Rondo has no choice but to lead this team.  If he doesn't come out and lead the charge, we're going to see the same thing happen.  And while I still don't think Orlando is good enough to hold a lead… I don't think we're good enough to keep coming back like that over and over again. 

Herald:  Celtics need "super" powers  |  Ray hopes Game 2 revives game Trick to Magic act:  keep going  |  Van Gundy happy his team is unhappy Courtney Lee in Boston, in no shape to play  |  Globe:  False start Game 1 photos  |  Perkins very familiar with Howard  |  Powe has surgery  |  Souza:  C's only see bottom line: a loss  |  Camerato:  Kenny Smith on why Rondo can't be dared to shoot  |  Petraglia:  Captain's Musings  |  CSN:  Moment of Truth… and Ray

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  • BigMck

    You don’t think home court will matter…in a Game 7?
    Paul Pierce is gassed right now because of all the overtime games played against the Bulls. Add up all those minutes and you nearly have the equivalent of an 8 game series.
    This has nothing to do with the regular season and playing for the 2 seed. Their schedule was ridiculously soft in the final month.

  • PxFunk

    I miss PJ…

  • baron

    Yeah, I agree with doc, the 2nd half really is irrellevant, and if youre looking to be positive about it, why? they had the lead cut down to 4, and stopped the magic 4 consecutive times only to not execute offensively, rondo even stole the ball once, forget to take it with him and it ended up a wide open mikael pietrus 3, he passes it to ray allens knee, pierce misses a layup, etc , etc.
    the first half is the problem, obviously, the celtics looked unfocused, lazy, lethargic, like their minds were not even remotely focused on the magic….and ya cant blame them, even myself as a fan needed more time to recoup from the bulls series, but again, whos fault is that? they could have beaten the bulls in 5, definetly 6 (up 8, 3 minutes to go, and quit? really?) instead they got taken to the brink of elimination and only had a day to rest for the magic, clearly not enough.
    Also, Im entirely sick of wondering whats going on with Pierce, and when hes going to snap out of it, well hes not, hes exhausted, I know his numbers are up from the regular season, but its a stuggle to watch the guy move right now. hes running in mud, shooting with his arms, cant really defend anybody, and is having a hard time driving and finishing at the rim, and when he does he doesnt get a call from the ref and he lets it affect him (lebron james gets anywhere near the rim and the whistle is blown)
    oh, and this rondo ate a spicy chicken, and showed up late crap is all BS, the kid is dead tired and hurt, stop making excuses for it, and stop denying fatigue please. oh yes, you played more games then any NBA team ever last season, had to get through the 2nd half of the regular season completly depleted and just went through the most grueling playoff series ever with no depth…yeah you arent fatigued…please

  • DRJ

    I don’t buy that they’re tired. They’re trained athletes who play for less than an hour every other day, or less. Please. As Doc said, that’s an excuse, and it does not apply.
    I agree that there is much to be worried about. And I have now gone further in my thinking. I think Paul has mentally thrown in the towel. He won’t say it, but that’s what he’s feeling. Without KG to push, push, push… he’s kicking back, blowing off half-games, figuring the larger task is impossible. Reflexively, he still fights back when pushed (e.g., the non-comeback). But that’s about it.
    And one explanation for Rondo’s poor play in the last 3 games is that he’s picking up Paul’s attitude.
    I feel bad for the other guys… Perk, Baby, Ray (the greatest!), even Scal and Marbury… all of whom are still out there trying. But without the captain and his lieutenant, it’s not gonna happen, obviously.
    I thought they would gather themselves and fight the good fight. I think now I was wrong. Yeah, I know… depressing. But, as KG likes to say (which he stole from me)… it is what it is.
    P.S. Doc would never do it, but if those two have another half like the last one… I would sit Paul AND Rondo down, and play everybody else… anybody who still cares.

  • baron

    Paul Pierce is not a quitter, thats just a bizzare theory.
    And I dont give a crap if they are trained athletes or not, paul pierce is over 30, went through his first championship run last year( also the longest in NBA history) only to have his minutes increased this season, only missed a game, and just went through the most grueling, 7 overtime series ever where he played over 50 minutes more then once. he might have flashes, but hes tired and obviously, like anyone else, has alot of nagging injuries.
    I say there is 0 chance he is throwing in the towel, like ive been hearing you say regularly now
    you thought they would fight the good fight? bro, they are for chissakes, they could have folded tent when down 28 and lost by 40 (every other team in the league would) and they could have also choked in game 7, or just flat out quit as you say to get an early start on vacation.
    Your theory of rondo and paul throwing in the towel is somewhat of a joke, they have been our 2 best players, and both played with alot of urgency in that 2nd half, if anyone could be accused of not playing in that game, hello ray allen, JJ reddick is defending you

  • baron

    Oh, and just because they lose some games doesnt mean the effort wasnt there, you think if they play there best they are still the best team without Powe and KG, well i got news for ya, if they make it any further it would be somewhat of a miracle…other then maybe the hawks, they are the worst team left in the playoffs, scalabrine is our best bench player right now, nuff said

  • baronm

    Oh and im still scratching my head at your comments DRJ
    Noone played harder on the celtics on monday night then Rondo and Paul Pierce, they never quit in that game, and were the catylysts for the comeback…..if they have stretches where they look lost or uneffective it is because of fatigue and minor injury..
    Im stunned that you think, BBD, scals and company want to win and pierce and rondo dont? huh? what the fuck?

  • BigMck

    So you’re saying Pierce has quit? That’s insane.

  • from sg

    kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg
    is coming back.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    No way KG is back tonight.
    And there’s no way Pierce has quit. That’s just a silly assumption.

  • baron

    Hehe, I wish.
    I am weirded out by people who think hes coming back, or at this point think he could even be effective. hes not playing. if he did, he wouldnt be in game shape, he wouldnt be 100% and he would be risking further injury.
    I wish he would just get his surgrey already

  • zauer

    What a dumb comment DRJ

  • DRJ

    I dunno guys… this was the FOURTH time in as many weeks that Paul has come out flat as a board for an entire first half. Then tried to hero his way out in the 4th. Rondo’s been flat for large parts of games for the last 3 games, after an absolutely spectacular start.
    Maybe Chicago’s run took the fight out of them, because it was so unexpected. Maybe it drained their confidence. I don’t know why, but when something like this happens over and over and over again, it’s hard to continue to think they… well, Paul and now Rondo… really care anymore. The joking around in the locker room adds to that overall impression. As Perk said, they’re not locked in, and it’s not just one game.
    Throughout these playoffs, Paul’s manner, his overall affect, has been strangely… distant, unnaturally calm, laid back. Always smiling, like he knows something everybody else doesn’t. What does he know? Now of course I don’t KNOW crap… but based on the evidence, I think he knows that he just doesn’t care anymore. He has his ring, he has his family, he has life security, he’s happy, and he doesn’t need to kill himself fighting what he believes is a hopeless uphill battle. Not this year. I hope I’m wrong, for sure.
    Anyway, we will soon see. Very soon… like in a few hours.

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