Patience before judgment: the difficult, but only, way to view the Celtics | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Patience before judgment: the difficult, but only, way to view the Celtics


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.

Pierce bandagedRajon 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. 

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  • I don’t disagree with the sentiment here, but this is a bit of an amateur-hour tangent of a post.

  • What makes you say that?

  • Matt –
    Are you hearing some of the reactions by Celtics fans? We are. And that’s the reason a post like this is necessary.

  • Shane

    Grammer, punctuation and prose need work. As a site grows, so too should its writers.

  • CoachBo

    No e in judgment.

  • putDJinthehall

    Thanks for posting this- I think it just comes down to there are miserable people in the world, they will be miserable no matter what. Honestly i was ready to blow it up when things were bad. This is why I am not the ones calling the shots.
    People should really appreciate this post season and hopefully staying healthy I wouldn’t count this team out till
    the final buzzer blows.
    Also, Rondo haters if Garnett is calling RR the best player on the team you should probably take his word for it.
    and any guy that plays the remaining games of the playoffs with one arm should probably get a little more respect than he does from some of you clowns.

  • kg215

    Don’t know why you guys are being so bitchy about the little details. The main point is spot on. It wasn’t as bad here but on a different blog related to the Celtics, there were some really whiny people saying Rondo is terrible and it is ALL HIS FAULT EVERYTHING IS HIS FAULT HAWKS ARE SO GOOD. Now they have to eat a large helping of crow. And the Celtics have shown us time and time again to not count them out. 2010 run to the finals, down 27 to Orlando, last night, the list goes on…

  • Winston Salems

    There’s a lot of baggage that comes with being a Boston sports fan. Extremely quick to pull the trigger, a loss feels like someone stole your credit card and jacked up your account, if a player has an off night-he’s on the shit list and should be traded the next day. Being a Boston sports fan is not like being a casual sports fan. You girlfriend doesn’t get it, never will. Your out of town friends from college don’t get it, never will. If you move to a new city, your new friends won’t get it, never will. We’re born this way. The idea that someone from New England can essentially become rational during the playoffs, is wishful thinking. We’re an impatient group. We always expect the worst. Patience, rational thought, intelligence, that’s for the GM’s, coaches, players, and casual fans. We’re not casual fans. We live and die with these teams. What else is there to do in New England besides watch sports? Duck boat rides? Sunday River? Hampton Beach? Loudon, NH? I’m getting depressed just writing this stuff. Why isn’t it friday, yet?

  • Alex


  • Some of the below posts hit it. It’s more a rant than an analysis. The grammar is rocky, the analogies are weak, and the argument doesn’t persuade anybody who isn’t already on your side. As a post on the top of the page, if it was the first one I read here, I wouldn’t keep reading.
    The sentiment by Shane below is pretty spot-on. This blog is becoming a go-to for Celtics fans. I’ve seen good writing from all of the primaries who run this joint, and my constant (and very rarely negative) commenting is a testament to the esteem I hold for this page.
    That said, this entry is just bad. I’m certainly not saying you should not be homers sometimes – most of us are, but this reads like you read some angry comments on this or another blog, pumped out a blog post, and hit post without even looking over it.
    I’m certainly not above doing this in my writing here and there, but honest criticism from supporters doesn’t hurt, either.

  • That’s fine. Just asking

  • KY Celts fan


  • There SHOULD be an e in judgement. “Judgment” is a bad americanization of the british word. You don’t write ‘pavment’, do you? Oxford English Dictionary prefers judgement, MW dictionary prefers judgment which just plain looks wrong to me. “Judgement” is allowed in competitive scrabble, so it’s fine here.

  • ‘judgement’ is preferred by the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘judgment’ is preferred by MW Dictionary but just looks plain wrong to me. Judgement is an acceptable in competitive scrabble, so it’s perfectly fine here.

  • Quest

    Everything is constantly changing and evolving.

  • KY Celts fan

    The English also put random u’s in words and often switch words ending in -er to read -re. Crazy bastards. What will they think of next?

  • Andrew

    I loved this post! I am a very optimistic Celtics fan, so when they are doing bad i always have hope that they will play better. Many fans are on the other side…..very pessimistic and they are always writing the celtics off. I think this post hits the True Nature of the different varieties of Celtics fans that exist. I am always telling my friend to not worry when he is always writing them off. he says he is a Realist and i am always saying i am optimistic. LOVED the post!

  • Kvasek

    I don’t agree with the comparison between Rondo and 2005 Pierce. Rondo got suspended, he has a strong character, but to me he clearly looks like another great player to spend his entire career wearing green. Things might obviously change, but that’s how I see him right now. I don’t think that could be said about 2005.
    You’re right about not judging too fast. Bryant was almost out of LA in 2007. Things change.

  • paul

    This is an amazing post because it says more than just judging the Celtics. We really do live in a culture of “snap judgement.” In the mass media’s flood of information, we receive information mindlessly, and we begin to judge before we even understand! That’s why I don’t watch the news, especially sports panelists! Unless its entertainment like Shaq and Barkley on TNT. I knew the Celtics would pull this together. What surprises me more is Bradley coming on like he has, and KG drinking from the fountain of youth

  • vandell

    This post is a brilliant one simply because its true. Thank you.

  • putDJinthehall

    i’m sorry dude, but bitching about grammar and punctuation on a celtic/nba/basketball blog is just dumb. We get it.
    If you want proper grammar go read the drivel in the post or herald.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    The Avery Bradley thing was foolish he had a bad preseason and people were ready to call him a bust…he was in his SECOND SEASON
    as far as the blow it up and rondo comment. I’ve been one to say blow it up and have been hard on rondo. I STILL feel they should have blown it up. Lets face it, they’ve won a single playoff game and people are parading around and already planning a causeway st. parade for June. A little overconfidence? I think so. Until they win a championship I will still stand by my blow it up theory because if they DONT win it this year then it was all for nothing and we enter a HUGE black hole in the next few years. The goal of a franchise isnt to make a deep playoff run, its to WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS and if this team couldnt win a title this year they should have blown it up….period.
    Ainge knew/knows he has to go through Miami, Chicago and one of the teams out west whether it be San An. OKC, LAL, Memphis. I dont see the Celtics as a better team than ANY of those four West teams I mentioned, they ARENT better than Miami and to be honest the Bulls were WAY better than Boston WITH rose….without? They are about the same lets be real here. They still have Boozer,Noah,Deng,Hamilton,Gibson which arent exactly slouches.
    People need to stop making parade plans and focus on one game at a time, its the cocky attitude like that which makes Boston fans so hated, and then when their parade plans fail everyone starts crying.

  • James Eisenman

    Right, and in your sage analysis, Indiana will win the East. I like this post and I hate Rondo. But that’s not a snap judgment (without an “e”). He earned it over time. I still want him to prove me wrong though.