Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
One thing that is apparent after the last three games: The Celtics don’t yet trust each other. That’s not to say that Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo don’t trust each other; they do. They don’t trust some of the newcomers, and Garnett made that clear after Sunday’s 118-96 loss in Sacramento.
The Celtics are not on the same page. Some players continue to laugh and joke after losses, while others are furious. Some players expect the improvement will come and don’t appear worried about losses piling up, while others are very concerned.
Pierce said he believes the Celtics will come to life and make another deep playoff run. And it’s understandable that he feels that way. Last year’s team was 15-17 before winning 24 of its final 34 games and advancing to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Garnett is not convinced, which speaks to his concern, and uncertainty in new teammates.
“Paul said he was certain [about a run], I never said that,” Garnett said. “I never said I was certain. That’s what I’m telling you.”
In Gary Washburn’s piece above, he delves into some concerning issues that we’re all not used to seeing from a KG-era Celtics locker room. While there have been a handful of reported, or known “clashes” since the KG-era, it’s never been this apparent. Players not on the same page, laughing and joking after losses, and some players just “riding the wave” of being a Celtic. These are some serious issues that need to be resolved one way or another or this season is already lost.
I’m certainly not saying that every player needs to toss trash cans and Gatorade jugs around after a loss. Everyone deals with it differently, but if there are that many players leaving each night with a sense of indifference then don’t expect this thing to get better. KG and Rondo don’t appear to agree with Pierce in the sense that they’ll improve simply because of their recent legacy. According to Washburn, there is a zero trust factor between the established C’s and the newer players. Even Doc had sprinkled similar verbal jabs throughout the year.
Doc has repeatedly said that there are guys that get discouraged after not making shots, then letting it affect their attitude for the rest of the game. He hasn’t really named names, but we can make educated guesses based on the guys he HAS praised. Washburn has mentioned Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass and Jeff Green as some of those guys. At this point it doesn’t matter if they want to turn it around.
What matters now is accepting that you recognize how awful your effort has been and realize that you can’t just win games because you put on a Celtics jersey. What matters is how you resolve the issue going forward. More than a third of the season is complete so you still have time. But the clock is ticking faster and it would be a shame to see KG and Pierce waste what could be their final season(s) in a cesspool of indifference. There’s been enough Groundhog Day talk before and after each embarrassing loss. The time for talk is over. 2012 is over. 2013 is here today, so what better time to start resolving to actually playing like the KG-era Celtics instead of simply expecting that wearing the green jersey will do it for you. If not well, expect more of the same for 2013: gross losses, KG and P’s final years wasted, furious fans, absurd trade rumors, and the worst of all, irrelevancy.
Boston Herald: No defense for C’s lack of intimidation – Steve Bulpett | CSNNE: Celtics go a long way to find out what they already knew – A. Sherrod Blakely | Inside Bradley’s rehab workouts (VIDEO) | Box Score Bank: Happy New Year – Rich Levine | ESPN Boston: 2-on-2: Break out the panic meters – Chris Forsberg and Greg Payne | Will it click? – Chris Forsberg | FabWatch: Concussion Sidelines Melo – Chris Forsberg | NBA.com: The Morning Tip – David Aldridge (C’s very interested in DeMarcus Cousins)