Mission Statement Review | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Mission Statement Review

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By MrTrpleDouble10

Remember back when the New Big Three first got together and simply ripped through the NBA?  Sure there were minor hiccups along the way. For instance: a home loss to an awful Charlotte Bobcats team followed with back-to-back losses to a mediocre Washington Wizards team in the same week.  There was the three-game losing streak (to the Nuggets, Warriors and Suns) immediately following the all-star break.  Utah did a number on them at home as well, torching them by 18.  Even the Wizards beat them for the third time towards the end of the year.

Throughout that regular season you could sense that they played as if the basketball apocalypse was imminent.  They wanted to put the world on notice that they weren’t messing around any longer.  Now, well, they’ll be content to pace themselves to the finish line while reluctantly accepting other “elite” teams to sprint past them.

When Paul Pierce missed his trademark fade-away jumper at the elbow last night in Milwaukee, it was just another loss that allowed them to repeat the same reasons as to why they’re not putting teams away.  Sure the Bucks are one of the hottest teams in the league right now.  But I remember a game they played at home against the Bucks early in their 2008 championship season when reporters began pointing out how historically good they were becoming.  Kevin Garnett didn’t want to hear it. He had only one thing to say:

"I'm not trying to be smart, but I'm not even aware of any of the records," Garnett said. "Every game is critical for us. We are preparing for each team like it's our last game."

Compare that to what their mantra is nowadays:

Rivers doesn’t want to saddle his players with ownership of the problem.

“They do take some, but at the end of the day I put it on me to find that right combination that will turn on the next combination,” he said. “I’ve been in that continued search for that, but I don’t ever put that on the players. At the end of the day it’s got to be me. I have to figure out a great way of getting them motivated, and picking the right spots.”

As always, Doc does a great job of deflecting the responsibility from the players towards himself.  While it’s noble of him to fall on the sword, we can all read between the lines.  Their mission statement has gone from “We are on a search and destroy mission from October through June,” to “Once we get to the playoffs, if we’re healthy, if we’re motivated, if we feel like it, we’ll play hard for at least a half, we promise.”

Ultimately this team can only be judged by what happens in the playoffs now.  It’s beyond the point of no return to give fans any semblance of an “elite” regular season.  If they can somehow replicate that 2008 magic (or even the 1969 glory of their green forefathers) then all of these maddening efforts will become a distant memory.

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  • Lee in Oregon

    This team isnt even close to being the team that won the title 2 years ago. Yes, in 08 they had the occasional hiccup, but they beat the lakers twice and usually played well against upper echelon teams. This years team is flawed while the other Eastern conf. powers have improved.
    Maybe they come together and get out of the first round, but there’s no way they get beyond that. The other 3 teams are simply better. The C’s have played lazy all year, it’s not like they can pull the switch and start playing like the 08 team. To quote Perk- “They are what they are.”
    Also, and not that it matters…but all the trashtalking and posturing that they’ve done the last few years is starting to backfire. The refs have been particularly unkind to guys like Pierce, KG, Sheed, & Perk. Not that it matters, but maybe they should back away from that stuff cause they’re not exactly “scary” anymore. Just ask Andrew Bogut.

  • Perry

    I was around in 69′ and remember that ordinary regular season performance before they put Wilt, Balyor and West away. But that was a different era. A smaller playoff bracket. A thinner league (14 teams), and a less of a media foot print on the player’s back. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sam Jones or Hondo indeed told reporters back then ‘the real Celtics come alive when the playoffs start’. But, it certainly didn’t resonate the way Perk’s comments did last week.
    I’m not singling out Perk, but he did make a bold prediction about how this team will flip the switch come April. Well last night sure felt like a playoff game to me, and Perk had one of his worst outings in recent memory. In fact the Big 3 just couldn’t impose their collective will on the Bucks late in that game.
    That worries me.
    They had control of the game. Then got sloppy and the Bucks were good enough to piece together an 8-0 run. Despite it all they battled back shutting down the Bucks for the final 2:42. The ball was put in the hands of the master, but Pierce, with a good look, couldn’t knock it down.
    I can accept that.
    Here’s what I can’t accept…
    Sure Milwaukee is playing at a high level, but it is true that the Celtics of the past 2 seasons to a man would have taken this game as personal challenge as they did in Houston (ending their 22 game winning streak). Rememeber those Celtics?
    Back to backs? No problem.
    Texas triangle? Sweep.
    That my friends was a motivated basketball team. Last year too. They just ran out of gas in game 7. Fast forward to this season and they bust out to a 23-5 record even with Kevin playing below 100%. So there is a template to work off, and it’s only a few months old! What happened to that mind set?
    Wanna know what else I’m having hard accepting?
    Nobody fears us. Not Brandon Jennings, not the Wizards, certainly not the Atlanta Hawks, surely not the Jersey Nets.
    I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but if everyone truly believes what’s happening now won’t be determinant when the playoffs start will be in for rude awakening.

  • aaron

    forget all that noise.
    what the c’s miss is leon.
    i dont care what anyone says.
    also, marquis daniels= disappointment
    rasheed wallace=disappointment
    2010 c’s are 2008’s team without a GREAT spark off the bench (leon powe), good 3 point shooting off the bench (eddie), and without vet leadership (PJ brown)…and more injured (PP is more injured than everyone thinks…) and KG is at 50%
    the only POSITIVES are RONDO has turned into a STUD (except that he disappears late in games, that is maturity, it will come)
    Nate (but doc rivers has NO Idea how to rotate him properly into games)
    and adding Finley (we needed another vet, i think the team is tired of KG’s over the top antics…that motivation only lasts so long, my reference. MINNESOTA).
    guys, its time to wake up and realize that the c’s arent a contender. they need to package a deal that will send big baby and perkins in a four team deal to get a decent PF/C combo.
    mark my words, getting rid of billy walker was the STUPIDEST deal. he will HAUNT US a la chauncey billups (who would never make it in the NBA according to shaugnessy and also all other boston media and i’m sure half you old timers)

  • Perry

    (2010 c’s are 2008’s team without a GREAT spark off the bench (leon powe) okay maybe, but he did tear his ACL, good 3 point shooting off the bench (eddie)love him, but he’s shooting 3’s around 38% and can’t create his own shot like Nate can, and without vet leadership (PJ brown)he retired 2 years ago!)
    I’ll take my cues from people in the know who travel with the team. Mike Gorman says both Pierce and KG are about 80%. That’s his opinion, but Kevin at 50%? Come’ on now.
    As for Walker, he was intriguing, but never took advantage of his minutes. Power dunks yes, but too many fouls and not enough savvy on the perimeter. Hope he does well in NY because he had no chance of breaking through this line up.
    Look, maybe you’re right and we’re all a bunch of pointy heads who over think this stuff. Nevertheless you don’t bust up a team in the mid season unless you’re name is Grunfeld and your locker room was almost used for target practice.
    Patience dude.