Looks like today is going to be Courtney Lee day here at Red’s Army. In this morning’s Dump, I talked about Lee’s recent sit-down with Doc Rivers and whether or not fans think Courtney is part of Boston’s long-term plan. Last night, Chris Forsberg wrote about Lee’s overall optimism for this year’s squad:
“We’re not worried about the record. We know that it’s a long season,” guard Courtney Lee said. “We’ve got a long way to go and we’re getting better as a team, and we know we’re going to turn that around. You’re going to start seeing us go on eight-game winning streaks. So we’re definitely not focused on the record. Our main focus is just getting better and just continuing to work on things that Doc puts in.”
I for one hope Courtney is right. It’s painful to watch a team as deep and talented as this one struggle to win games against lesser opponents. But anyone who’s followed the Celtics over the past few seasons knows that Boston generally gets it in gear post All-Star break, or later. But as a fan, and I think I speak for many others, it really sucks to watch:
Celtics fans are understandably frustrated with their team. Unlike the players and coaches, the casual observer has little to be optimistic about given what they’ve seen this season.
But the Celtics rarely have been the model of sustained regular-season efficiency. After Boston’s 2008 championship season, fast starts were met with disinterested get-us-to-the-playoff finishes. A slow start last season gave way to a feverish finish and a team that came mere minutes from a trip to the NBA Finals. Boston knows all too well that it can’t ride this roller coaster too long, but players and coaches seem to believe the deepest dips potentially are behind them.
Even after one of Boston’s most disenchanting losses of the season on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets, coach Doc Rivers stressed that he wasn’t ready to start slamming any panic buttons, he simply wanted to see his team start playing a more inspired — and familiar — brand of defense-first basketball.
It will be interesting to see just what Celtics team we get over the next couple of months. Will it be the no-nonsense group that came out all business in wins against Portland & OKC? Or will they continue to fumble through December and January? Avery Bradley coming back seems to have everyone optimistic, but he will need time to adjust/get to 100%. It’s also going to take more than just one key player coming back to fix what is “wrong” with the Boston Celtics. I’ve seen Doc and Danny work their respectable magic for the most part over these last few seasons, and have no doubts that the ship will be righted. And hopefully soon.