Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them
here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite
as satisfying as a good morning dump.
"One of the guys said, ‘We're better than Orlando.' And I said, ‘No
you're not. That's a bunch of crap. They beat you three games, two at
your place. They're better. They knocked you out of the playoffs last
year.' Orlando's better than us right now. Atlanta's better than us
right now. L.A.'s better than us right now. Those are the teams that
have beaten us. That doesn't mean that we can't be better than them at
some point, but right now, those teams are better than us."
I feel like I'm watching an episode of "Intervention." Everyone but the subject knows they've go serious problems.
Honestly… how can any member of the Celtics sit there and say "we're better"?
During my frustrated Twitter ranting during and after yesterday's game, I kept getting messages that the Celtics are too old… and that age is responsible. That's crap. That's not the case at all. That quote right there is the problem.
If it was age, the Celtics would have come out of halftime strong, then faded down the stretch. But they came out like they had already won the game. In the first half, we were all celebrating the return of "Celtics Basketball." They were moving the ball, they were aggressive, they were playing defense. In the second half, they stood around, they walked the ball up the floor, and they just stopped rotating out on the wings and let Orlando…. a team everyone KNOWS likes to shoot the 3… shoot uncontested 3's.
The problem isn't that the Celtics are old. It's that the Celtics are overconfident. They're a great team… IF they play like a team. They're a mediocre team if they just stand around and expect everyone to bow to their greatness.
Some of these guys need to wake up. You're not better than anyone until you accept the fact that it is going to take 48 minutes of effort to beat most teams.
It's odd… the only way the Celtics can get to the level of play that makes them this cocky… is to stop being this cocky.
I hope they realize that soon.
Coming up, Page 2…. where there's nothing Doc can do about it
Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images
“Right now we’re trying to win consistently and be effective,” said
Kevin Garnett. “We can sit up here and give y’all the answers, and you
can write it down and put it in your papers, but until we do it, it’s
what it is. This is more of a Celtic thing than anything. The coach
can’t help you out there, the assistants can’t help you out there. It’s
the guy who’s beside you. That’s what it’s going to come down to.”
I mostly agree with KG… except that Doc DOES have something he can do.
He can sub guys out. He can recognize what's happening and start pulling guys out of the game and letting the second unit try.
Now… I know Doc is the type of coach that will let his starters stay out there in the storm so they can figure it out. I get that he'd let them suffer through it because he hoped they'd find some pride to stop Orlando's run.
But it's also incumbent on him to say "you know what… I'm not going to let you coast here." It would send a message to his starters that their effort is unacceptable… and maybe you get a boost from a newly fortified bench to stem the tide.
But I do agree with the spirit of what KG said there. This is on the players. In the end, it's up to the players to not give up a 36-11 quarter. They're mostly to blame.
The rest of the links:
Herald: In return, Daniels gets thumbs up | Pierce return cautious first step | Celtics disappear like Magic | Globe: Third rate effort | Relaxing the cause of some tension | Rivers refuses to go with flow | CSNNE: Talking points: C's vs. Orlando | Souza: Problem on the parquet | WEEI: KG Video: Its unpleasant | Daniels fueled by adrenaline in return | Doc: we played like crap | ESPN: Leaving Howard in was crucial for Magic | Celtics Blog: Uncertainty Reins | CSL: Gang Green with The Boston Derby Dames