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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… where maybe we overreacted a little

RedsArmyAdmin November 16, 2009 Uncategorized 3 Comments
Perk blocked by hibbert

“These past two games, I think have
been teaching points for us. I can speak for myself as a starter,
[we’d] been blowing teams out, so in the fourth quarter we’ve been
sitting on the bench. So I think it’s good for us to go through these
fourth quarters where we’re down 6. We’ve got to have a sense of
urgency and go get games. But they just flat-out outplayed us.’’

Perkins
agreed with Rivers when he said sometimes the Celtics beat themselves.
“Like not doing the things we were supposed to do, not sharing the ball
when we’re supposed to share the ball, guys knowing their roles,’’ he
said. But he added, “I think we’re still good, no reason to hold our
heads down.’’

Globe: It's tough to defend Celtics's play

“We have a game plan, and we didn’t stick to it,” captain Paul Pierce said after the Indiana game. “I think we deviated from it a lot of times, especially defensively.

“We’ve got to be more consistent. We play well a few games, and then we start having lapses. But we’ll get it together.”

Weak effort beneath Celtics

As I sat there a few nights ago, watching the time tick away and the Indiana Pacers celebrate a win over the Boston Celtics… I fumed.  How COULD they?  These are the Boston FREAKIN' Celtics. 

So I did what I've criticized people for doing in the past… I loudly bitched about a meaningless November loss. 

Yes, it was an ugly loss.  The Celtics, if they put forth 100% effort every single night, should roll the Pacers.  But the Celtics didn't put forth 100% effort.  They half-assed it.  They spent the third game in four nights keeping it in third or fourth gear. That's not only going to happen… maybe it SHOULD happen this year.

The Celtics, as has been drilled into our heads time and time again this year, are a little on the older side (yes, that's sarcasm).  And when the playoffs roll around, we won't be seeing these three game in four night stretches.  So who cares if, in mid-November, the C's take a couple of nights off?

I know that might sound like sports fan blasphemy.  We live and die with each possession.  But we're not the Pacers or the Hawks… young teams with something to prove when a team like Boston comes to town. We're like the marathon runner who will happily watch younger, more eager, and not-as-smart runners storm out to early leads while we sit in the middle of the pack.  It's always within striking distance.  And judging from the complete lack of concern in those quotes… the C's know exactly when to make their move. 

All we've got to do is the impossible for some fans:  look the other way every once in a while when the guys mail it in.

After the jump, Page 2, where the other Finals lock is struggling too

Photo courtesy Associated Press

"Defensively, we need to step it up," Andrew Bynum
said. "That's what we're lacking right now. We got guards trying to box
out bigs. Bigs trying to box out guards. We're all over the place right
now."

The Lakers have three losses already, something that didn't happen last season until Dec. 9."Mortified," Kobe Bryant deadpanned. "We'll get better, we know what's at stake. We'll figure our way through this."

AP, via ESPN: Rockets 101-Lakers 91 game recap

The Celtics and Lakers are matching each other right now… and both teams are struggling.  Kobe has a groin strain… and Paul Pierce has a strained MCL (and not a bruised knee, apparently).  The Lakers and Celtics have matching two-game slides during a point in the season where it just doesn't matter. 

So take heart, C's fans.  At least the Lakers trolls are being kept at bay by their own struggles.  See… there's always a silver lining.

The rest of the links: 

Globe:  The stubborn, impatient, self-centered and absolutely essential Rajon Rondo  |  Worcester Telegram:  Crying foul-why isn't Rondo on the line more?  |  Celtics Blog:  Where have you gone Eddie House  |  FanHouse:  Ron Artest plays keep-away with Ariza's shoe

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  • rcry

    They’re thinking long term, and maybe fans ought to as well. If that’s the thinking, it’s ok if Rondo struggles at the FT line, because if he keeps practicing his new shooting form, he’ll be better off in the long run. It’s ok if they’re not as aggressive driving into the paint, because they’re reducing the wear and tear on their bodies. Same with fighting over picks. It’s ok if we’re being outrebounded, because KG needs to make sure his knees are ok.
    Knowing that our guys are purposely not giving 100% each and every game is hard to take though… but the end is more important than the journey. I guess my question is, if we’re not playing consistently now, how can we be sure that we can play consistently later?

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

    I would say that seeing the way they play when rested and motivated is enough to make me think they’ll be OK. You look at how they opened the season, and that’s evidence of what they can do

  • DRJ

    What I saw in the Pacers game was the Cs playing with their usual intensity. Not 100% win-at-all-costs, but the “usual”. That’s normally enough to win games. But the Pacers got very hot in the 2nd half, and started running away with the game.
    Now in a normal game, the Cs might jump into their higher gear and take the game back. But in this game, it was clear to everyone… since Doc talked about it in the huddle (that was aired, so we heard him)… that the refs were calling the game against the Celtics, allowing the Pacers to beat them up on one end, while calling little fouls on the other end. In that circumstance, in a November game that doesn’t mean a whole lot, I can understand why they wouldn’t want, or couldn’t bring themselves, to go into that higher gear.
    I do agree, for now anyway, that there’s no need to worry too much. All that business of beating 72-10 was just meaningless silly-talk. Remember too that the NBA today is full of great athletes. ANY team can beat any other team on any given day (especially when the refs join in on one side).
    But we have issues. Will KG continue to improve, and how close to 100% will he finally get? If 100%, this team will be very hard to beat. Will Sheed straighten out? Will Doc give Shelden the time he’s clearly earning, rather than taking him out in favor of Sheed just because “time’s up”? Will he give Lester the PT he needs to develop into a possible star, rather than just garbage time (while giving the ice-cold House his normal PT)? My biggest age-related worry is Doc Rivers, whose BRAIN seems to be stuck working in quite a narrow, inflexible range. We’re not more athletic than other NBA teams. We’re smarter. So Doc’s brain is the most critical component.