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Your Morning Dump… Where there is a concerning divide in the locker room

AP Photo: Steve Yeater

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.”

Boston Globe: Celtics in need of a change

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.

Other links:

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)

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  • Nathan

    Completely off topic but how does Gary tanguay have his job?

    • Danno

      His voice. The thing I don’t understand us how Donnie Marshall keeps his job. Sucked as a player, sucks as an announcer.

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    The problem is all here. They just don’t look as a team, but as a bunch of guys wearing the same shirt, that’s what scares me most when I see C’s playing. Terry, Green, Lee.. they all look careless during the game, not even after.
    This team is not going anywhere, no switch will be happening.

    Blow it up now, Danny.

    • RedsLoveChild

      In a very real sense, Ainge already did.

      Ainge “accidentally” blew up the team with the Perkins-Green trade.

      Perk last played for Boston on 2/22/11…they had a record of 41-14 {.745%}…since that day they are 68-55 {.553%}.

      OKC was 36-19 {.655%} on that same day…90-33 {.732%} since.

      Not saying Perk was ever an all-time great, but the Celts have simply not been the same, fear-provoking team since that day. That is undeniable!

      Ainge never made a serious attempt to replace Perk with a bona-fide center…just a string of losers from the “waiver-wire”.

      • CelticsKid34

        yeah that trade still has my aiming my frustrations at danny. i mean what other center potential did he see. shaq on his way out, jermaine wasnt even a decent player since his miami-indiana days… just doesnt make sense. and ryan hollins was a bad attempt at adding depth. stiesma was starting to come along… and then… WE LET HIM GO! not saying we should have kept him because i think his asking price was too high but everything good the Celtics seem to get nowadays they seem to screw up.

        • Dude from Bawston

          Well you must remember, a clippers pick was in there too. If the lakers got CP3 and no veto, the C’s all of a sudden have a lottery pick in their pocket. And, Perkins had declined a C’s offer already at taht point.

      • Brick James

        Please get over the Perkins trade. Perk is not that good. He barely gets on the floor in OKC.

        • RedsLoveChild

          Those won-lost numbers speak for themselves.

          • Danno

            No they don’t. Perk is awful, had already hit his peak with the celtics. He’s Jason Collins with a younger team around him.

          • Caterpillar from Italy

            To be honest, I don’t think Perk has much to do with OKC being the team it is. And – speaking about talent – I still consider Jeff Green the better player among the two.
            I think what’s going on in Boston right now is more complex, with the championship core of KG, PP and Rondo not having the power and the strenght to carry on the second lines anymore, and the second lines being themselves without a strong driving force.

          • Reggie35RIP

            It’s true Perk – in a vacuum – is not that good. But with the roster the Celtics had then he was good. He was right for that team at that time and he fit in perfectly as a role player – clogging up the middle on D, rebounding and intimidation.

            It was unfortunate timing for us that an opportunity arose to acquire Green and on paper it looked like a good trade. Although it was more of a trade for value and the future rather than what was right for the team at that time. Purely on value alone I can appreciate how hard it must have been for Danny. Green has way more market appeal than Perk did or ever will.

        • paul

          So you want to crush the players, but Ainge must be absolved?

  • Chuck – Red’s Army

    This is troubling news. I’m confident Danny will move any player who isn’t mentally sharp and tough enough to play on this team.

    • sarahluree

      Confidence in Mr. Ainge is misplaced.

      • SF Celts fan

        Agreed. Ainge is a broke GM. The only hope is that this team figures it out and puts up a fight down the stretch.

        • Brick James

          Agree to disagree on this one.

          • paul

            It’s very important not to blame Ainge. Well said, Brick James.

        • Reggie35RIP

          Yeh because Danny’s made so many boneheaded moves. Like trading away Walker, trading for Rondo, acquiring KG and Allen and winning a Championship.

    • paul

      Well said, Chuck. We are so lucky that Danny got rid of that scrub Perkins.

      • SF Celts fan

        I’m sorry, but since KG there hasn’t been a single ainge trade/acquisition that I’ve been excited about. Everything has been lackluster. I liked Davis for Bass and picking up Terry, but that’s about it. Meanwhile the lakers are able to consistently bring meaningful players to their roster such as Artest, Howard, Nash, Jamison. We get guys like sheed, shaq, starbury, collins — which in my mind is embarrassing.

        Danny had a shot at harden and mayo, but failed.

        I think Ainge failed by letting our solid role players go — perk, posey, powe, house.

  • lojo

    82 games is a grind. Pierce would be foolish to burn his old body out in nov dec. Jeff green though, that kinda feels like betrayal with that new contract. Still, isnt this coasting better than knowing they are trying their hardest and cant get better? Reg season is a joke, but beware contract year performances like bass ’11-12.

  • nate

    Great article. Totally agree, I’m tired of losing, and for the players laughing and joking all the time, get with it or get out.

  • Garnett’s Grl

    Its so hard watching Pierce, KG, & Rondo suffer like this. I’m not sure what the problem is, I was on board with the pick ups over the summer however it has not worked out at all. Why is it that every other team’s new players settled in and look more and more comfortable with each game??? Makes you wonder is the players or is there something more going on. What ever the case we have to figure it out quick or this season will be a COLOSSAL DISAPPOINTMENT:-((((((

  • nyceltic

    We are not laughing and joking out here in Celtic land. This is very disturbing and hard to watch. Get it together guys!

    • SF Celts fan

      Who is the one that’s joking — Jason Terry? I can’t imagine the other’s pulling bs.

  • Quest

    yea you wondered what was happening in the locker room with the Big 3 # of occiassions talking about the lack of trust/ chemistry.
    Lesson confirmed Ainge…..80% of winning is mental play….what looked good on paper…. time to kick some butts or Calisle’s lets suspend them for poor play…
    Still wondering why OKC was so quick to trade Green mid season. Not a Green fan.
    What else is hidden behind closed doors!?

  • Sam

    Reminds me of what we heard about the rift between the older and younger players on the 2010 team.

    Except that team was a lot more talented, and the Big 3 were three years younger than they are now.

  • Steve 0

    Get Cousins now offer Bradley, Green, Sullinger and our picks. KG Pierce and Rondo will keep the kid level headed…. He is dominant. With a little motivation and guidance he could be clogging up the middle for years to come… Double Double trouble playing with Rondo night in night out no doubt. Snag a potential All Star Center why you can. Love AB but it has to be done. No post defense and no rebounding killing us. Cousins an instant fix as a post presence.

  • Classless

    There’s not much they can do. They went all in with Green; he sucks. They thought Terry was a perfect Ray Allen replacement. He isn’t. Lee can’t figure it out. Bass should not be starting. Sully is slowly developing as a rookie.

    It’s early…but they’re running out of days to say that.

    • LAF

      Sully’s developing slowly? He’s already WAAAY better than Bass!

      • Reggie35RIP

        Agreed. Sully’s one of our best players at the moment. Playing with heart, going out there and getting it done. If the other players played with half the passion he has been we’d be doing ok.

  • paul

    I love how many of you people continue to scream, on one hand, that we need a center, but on the other hand, you continue to declare that Perkins is a scrub and we are well rid of him. It’s quite disgusting.

  • Randy West

    Here is the skinny on Celtics and Danny Ainge in the new “Big Three” era: If Kevin McHale does not “give” us Kevin Garnett for Al Jefferson and a bunch of scrubs, then the Celtics would have been a poor man’s version of the already poor Washington Wizards over the last five years. The fact that McHale gave Ainge a “get-out-of-jail-free” card in the form of the Big Ticket, does not validate all the ridiculous moves Ainge made before that (e.g., trading the #7 pick for Sebastian Telfair, trading for Ricky Davis and Wally Szcerbiak, singing the praises of Raef LaFrentz). The fact is that Ainge is, at best, a mediocre GM, with as many bad moves on his resume as good moves. Indeed, his decision to gut the 2010-2011 team midway through the season was unconscionable. The Celtics were clearly the best team in the league before the trade, with a clear identity (tough, defensive-minded) and players who were passionate about winning. After the trade, they no longer had the braun to play the style of basketball they wanted. And before everyone starts talking about last year’s 12 minutes to the Finals, remember that Derek Rose and Chris Bosh were both hurt in the playoffs. I suspect that if they had both been healthy, then Boston’s surprising playoff run would have been less startling than it turned out to be. Anyways, I hope they turn it around, and soon ….

    • RedsLoveChild

      You are a clear thinker….100% accurate