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Red's Army

5 Reasons to stay positive in the middle of this mess of a season

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) December 19, 2012 Celtics News 36 Comments

I read what everyone’s saying.

I’ve had public and private conversations with people who, despite what decades of history has taught us, are giving up on this team before Christmas.

And I’ve determined, once again, that I’ve got to be Mr. Happy Pants around here.  So here we are… for what feels like the fifth year in a row… needing a pep talk.

Ok, here it is.

First, I have to acknowledge the obvious.  The Celtics are mediocre at best at the moment.  I fully acknowledge that this team needs help.  However, those of you who are calling this team done need a little dose of reality.

1. Avery Bradley is coming back

If you haven’t heard my argument for why this is a big deal, then you haven’t read the 20 things I’ve written about him in the past 2 days.  Here’s the thing about him, though…. I’m basing my opinion of his impact based solely on him playing the same way he did last year defensively.  I’m not asking him to score any more than he has before.  Overflow offense is just fine for him.

So step one is to not give up on a team when a key guy… a guy who last year made a tremendous impact on the team… hasn’t even played yet.

2. Courtney Lee is slowly coming around

He’s now dropped double-digits in two straight games on 12-22 shooting.  You can expand that to 15-29, better than 50%, for the entire road trip since he’s been inserted in the starting line up.

Folks, he’s played 24 games in a new city, in a new system, with new teammates.  He’s got a long history of shooting well.  He’s not going to suddenly forget.  He’s figuring it out.

3. Danny Ainge has no fear, but he also isn’t going to overreact

Make no mistake, the Celtics are in a win-now mode.  And they’re not going to switch to a rebuilding mode mid-stream.  They’ve actually set themselves up to do both fairly well.

Danny Ainge is very willing to make moves.  We know that.  But while a lot of people are hitting the trade machine hard and pitching nonsensical trades, Danny is taking a long look at who is actually available, what it might actually take, and what this team really needs.  Getting Bradley back is the first step.  And if his return doesn’t trigger the chain of events many of us expect, then he’ll start ramping up his efforts for sure.

4.  Paul Pierce is fooling everyone

As of right now, Paul Pierce is at his second-HIGHEST scoring average of the Kevin Garnett era.  He’s taking more free throws per game than he has since ’08-’09.  Yes, his shooting percentages are down, but don’t let that fool you.  Pierce knows damn well what he needs to do.

I’ve heard people say he looks old and done.

Folks… he’s TENTH IN THE LEAGUE IN SCORING!  And he’s doing it while coasting.

5.  With 58 games to play, the Celtics are just SIX games from the top seed in the East.

That’s it.  Six games.  For all the madness… for all the doomsday crying to blow it up… The Celtics have played their worst and still only sit SIX measly games from the New York Knicks, who have played their absolute best basketball.

The Miami Heat only have FOUR more wins than the C’s.  That’s all.

I know we all live in our little bubbles where we watch these games very intensely and are focused way too much on every little failure.  And while the Celtics have some very real problems that need to be acknowledged, there is help on the way.  Meanwhile, the Celtics have the league’s 10th leading scorer, the league’s top assist man, and the invaluable Kevin Garnett who may have as big an impact his team’s success as anyone.  Courtney Lee is slowly getting better and Jason Terry will settle into his role.  And despite all of the doom-and-gloom, the Celtics are very attainable winning streak away from vaulting into the top half of the East.

So chill out folks.  Take a step back and take in the whole picture.  The Celtics are struggling, for sure… but there are plenty of reasons to be positive.

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  • eddysamson

    Thanks for this. I’m going to do what I did last year and stop watching every single game and let them do their thing and get back into it.

    • Gil305

      Co-sign

  • Jester00

    well written as always you only forgot factor the fact that Jeff Green sucks other than that agree with everything. I also have heard much on how not signing Ray was still good for us?

    • DD

      Because not signing Ray was our decision?

  • Tommy McMahon

    I keep telling everyone the same thing: if we have these problems come March, then I’ll worry. And even then, it wouldn’t shock me to see this resilient team make a run at in the playoffs.

  • sirharris12

    I guess we all needed that. thanks mr happy pants

  • Danno

    Rondo’s defense is awful. Lee is terrible. Green like Vin Baker, some nights he gives you flashes of potential greatness, but most he looks shitfaced and on another planet. KG is the only person playing 100% both ends of the Floor. Pierce is giving us what we expect, but he gets stuffed a lot going to the rim now, which is just sad.

    I’m not saying blow it up, but Danny has to do something. Send Bass, Green & Lee to LA for Gasol.

    • DD

      Exactly! Why not throw Rondo in too? We’ll take Nash and the Staples Cente’s 5th most profitable vendor! Banner 18 is here! You should be a GM!

  • Danno

    Apparently, they can’t trade Bass or Green until Jan 15th. and they can’t trade Lee to LA. But still. They have to do something.

  • http://twitter.com/dustdaughter Didi Jenning

    Thanks for writing this again. I really needed to read it right now.

  • DD

    How most C’s fans don’t think like this is mind bottling. You know like when your minds in a bottle. I think a commenter actually proposed we trade Green, Lee, Bass, Brian Doo and Connor Henry for Marty McFly’s Delorian so we could go back in time to draft (Insert unattainable Hall of Fame players name). Emphasis mine.

  • DD

    Another contributing factor to the doom and gloom is sports radio. Aside from maybe Rich on 98.5 and The Big Show neither station has anyone who knows and understands today’s NBA. They do a piss poor job covering this team. Sure they have their radio spots with the coach and different players but if the team is playing poor they blow them off like a bad fart. No one knows how to properly dissect this team. They would rather talk about how the Red Sox haven’t announced a player they signed for 4 hours. God I f’n hate baseball.

    • Thegmac

      So true. They should hire the white mamba for celtics updates and analysis it’s great listening to him dissect plays during the games.

  • RedsLoveChild

    UNFAIR : Accusing John of being in denial

    FAIR : Acknowledging that John is very selective as to the reality he accepts.

  • Mcshane

    I learned my lesson after calling for the blowup last year. No way not this time, I am ready and willing to suffer through a rough 1st half knowing this team always finds its wind late in the season. A trade may help but we will win or lose with the core of Rondo, Pierce, KG. Everything else is just complimentary.

  • KGino

    Love the article.

    I’ve been reading RedsArmy for a few years now.. but the reason I just started commenting is because of how much NEGATIVITY some of these fans are filled with. Someone needs to be the voice of reason that says slow down.. we’re an improved team from last year and look how far we made it.

    I’ve been watching the Celtics for about 15 years now (I’m only 23) and had no influences from my parents or brothers.. just started watching on my own. Now everyone in my family is a HUGE C’s fan. When I was old enough to go to games on my own, I used to get the 12 game packs.. I loved this team to DEATH, even when they were 24-58. KG was a Godsend, and I REFUSE to complain much about this team after all the shitty years of letdown hoping people like Marcus Banks would become the next Isiah Thomas (stats wise..). I am going to sit back and enjoy this core of CHAMPIONS (KG, PP, RR) with a big fat smile on my face.. WIN or LOSE. Because I know it won’t last forever, and I know how much worse it could be. Let everyone else complain as this era of Celtics basketball passes them by.. one day they WILL look back and realize just how good we had it.. and they will miss it.
    I AM A CELTIC

    • Me

      wow, you HAVE A BRAIN. I’m sorry, I’m just not used to so much reasoning and sense after not one loss but 3 straight losses, thanks!

  • Double P

    The Celtics have won exactly ZERO games with last nights starting five.. soo there’s that

  • Brick James

    If these are the reasons to remain optimistic…yikes.

    The expectations we’re all putting on AB0 are unfair to the kid. I’m hoping he can shoulder the burden without crumbling (pun intended).

    Also, on Pierce… this is one of those cases of stats mongering versus the eye test. Maybe I need Lasik surgery, but the only way Pierce is fooling anyone is through his numerical output. Uncharacteristically sloppy passes, inability to dribble, inability to drive and/or finish at the rim, inability to close out on the corner 3 pointer, consistently front rimming shots… these are all signs of old, tired legs. I don’t care if he scores 40 points per game if he can’t lead the team to a W.

    • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

      It’s totally unfair to expect Avery Bradley to play like he did last year?

      • Brick James

        I didn’t say it was ‘totally’ unfair, only unfair. Either way, I believe it is. What has AB done? He had a stellar half of a season on a team with established chemistry, then had two shoulder surgeries. Now people are lamenting his absence and heralding his return as the potential turning point of the season. That’s a lot of pressure for a 22 year old rehabbing major surgeries who hasn’t played an NBA game in 6 months.

      • Brick James

        What I mean to say is that this team’s problems run far deeper than not having Avery, and that I hope he doesn’t get inside his own head when he gets back.

        • eddysamson

          I dont know about that. Having a dude be such a pain in the ass that they waste 6-10 seconds of the clock just getting up the court has a HUGE impact on the entire team’s defense. Especially Rondo as AB will inherit whoever Rondo has been guarding currently.

        • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

          My point is simple… All Avery needs to do is what he does. The ripple effect happens naturally after that (or should). I’m not asking him to be a game changer… he just can be by being himself.

    • Silurus Glanis

      Paul is taking more shots at the rim than he has in a half decade–old man still can get to the basket. He’s hitting 62% of them at the basket, which isn’t his best but it’s still decent. He’s drawing more fouls than he has in ages, as John pointed out. Let’s not act like Paul can only do wrong, he’s doing some things very well.

      • Brick James

        He’s drawing more fouls because he’s taking more shots.

  • piecz

    Thank God AB suffered shoulders injury not a knee one. His speed, mobility and ability to move his feet should be there soon after his back.

  • Olskool

    Do the Chicken Little, Doom and Gloomers who want to trade the entire team away realize that there are still 58 games left in the season?

  • zippittyay

    I will be there tonight wearing my custom made Avery Bradley #0 jersey! Feel free to say HI (Bradley is my last name too:) I predict we will win in a close game.

    Just like last year, my expectations of this year’s team to not get beyond the second round of the playoffs. Last year, they exceeded my expectations and they could again this year. I honestly still think they are better this year than last, but so are a few other teams in the east.

  • Me

    so Heat’s record is better than the C’s by just 4 games? wth are these idiots complaining? Heck, even Lakers fans are not whining and bitching this much. SMFH pls y’all let’s just ignore the silly bandwagoners

  • Chris

    Before the trade stuff, I’d like to see two things.

    1. What Bradleys return does to the team chemistry overall.

    2. Melo given a shot to contribute. While he might not be ready, he costs us nothing. If the upside is there, he fills a BIG hole. If not, ship him back north, no harm done to what sucks now.

    It annoys the shit out of me that Doc gets pieces with value and just flat out NEVER finds out what they can do before running them out of town, especially bigs.

    After that, let’s see who we move for what.

  • Roy

    You can’t help but think this team is just coasting and u can’t help but think this team just wasn’t mean to be. I really don’t know what to believe anymore when it comes to this team. Every time we doubt them, they ramp it up and are close to winning another title. The one true thing that has pissed me off more than the offensive rebounds given up is Rondo’s D. Man has it been awful at times. Parker made him look just silly and soahve other guards. It might be he is saving his energy or something, I don’t know but that is the most frustrating thing when watching the Celtics

  • Swissflix

    Watched the bulls game today. This article is just what i needed.

  • kg21

    Tyreke Evans and D Cousins to Celtics?.. Just saw it in NBA rumors…

  • juan

    I am so damn sick of these bandwagon C’s fans! Go root for some other team or stfu! :)

  • wadewade

    we are doomed