Time and time again, the Boston Celtics have shown us this season that snap judgements will make the public jurors who pass them look foolish.
They started out slow. People reacted by saying blow it up. They immediately go on third-best post-All Star run in the league.
Avery Bradley is a bust. People react by dismissing him, even calling for him to be cut. Bradley becomes a key contributor.
Kevin Garnett is finished. People write his eulogy. Garnett becomes a team MVP and will, very likely, get some defensive player of the year votes.
Rajon Rondo gets tossed and suspended. "There go our chances," people scream as they light their torches and grab their "run Rondo out of town" pitchforks. The Celtics win.
Even last night, as the Celtics looked as bad as they've looked all season, I saw people losing it, passing judgements before the game was over. Even a day after the Clippers came back from being 24 points down with 8:00 to go, the team was being written off as they were down 11 with almost 20 minutes left to play.
But the Celtics, as they've done all season, proved that impatiences when passing judgement leads to apologies and heaping helpings of crow.
I know. We live in a "snap judgement" society where you must have strong, immediate reactions to get yourself noticed. That's why certain people who shall remain nameless have prime radio and television gigs. Because they don't care to be right. They just care about being loud and getting you to yell at them, regardless if you're hollering kudos or curses.
But at some point, it turns into noise. And noise gets tuned out. The noise surrounding the Celtics as been louder and more obnoxious than a car alarm outside your window at 7:00 am when your alarm is set for 8. Here are some current truths about the Celtics:
It's possible they can win the NBA title. Of course, we'll have to be patient to see how the road plays out and whether they can muster up the energy over then next month-and-a-half to get it done. But it's ok to get excited about the possibility. It's legitimate. But first things first: They have to beat the Hawks.
Rajon Rondo's legacy is nowhere near being defined. Paul Pierce's leg
acy wasn't defined when he showed up after a playoff game in 2005 wearing that ridiculous fake bandage to prove some stupid point about being fouled. Look at how you feel about Paul Pierce after last night's game. This idiot in the picture? That's the same guy. The same guy Boston was going to run out of town. He was done. Do don't say you know how Rondo's career will go. Because you don't. Neither do I. All you've got to do is wait, be patient, and see if he'll be smart enough to figure it out.
Let me tell you, if you've never seen that 2005 Pierce performance, you don't know how bad it was. His relationship with Doc was over. The venom towards Pierce was as bad (maybe worse) than the venom some have towards Rondo. If Twitter existed now like it did then… well… I shudder to think of what we would have missed.
No one has ever taken a half-done draft from Stephen King and publicly slammed it or praised it. No media outlets stopped a Martin Scorcese film mid-way through shooting and made hard-and-fast declarations about it being a flop or a "Best Picture" nominee. And we shouldn't be doing the same for the Celtics right now. This story is being written. And within the story are other stories and sub-plots that all have to play out.
It's not in our nature to do so, but patience is not only a virtue when watching this team, it's vitally necessary to its understanding. Because just when you think one thing is happening with them, they'll pull a 180 and make you look bad.