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The question posed to Gerald Wallace after Saturday’s practice centered on expectations for the Boston Celtics this season and whether he had seen or heard any of the lowly prognostications for his new team.
“If it ain’t on the Xbox, I ain’t reading it,” said Wallace. “I couldn’t tell you anything about no magazines, newspapers, none of that.”
Chris Forsberg-Practice Report: Not-So Great Expectations
Even casual fans of the Boston Celtics know that this team will not be raising Banner18 to the rafters next year. The real question all summer has been, how good/bad will they be? Will they or won’t they “tank”? Will they be a playoff team? Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear anything from “these C’s will be lucky to notch 15 wins” to “I think they’ll grab the 8th playoff spot.” But the focus of the guys who actually have to go out and play these games is simply to compete and get better.
“Our main thing is we want to try to get better,” said the 31-year-old Wallace, the Boston player with the most service time in the league (12 seasons). “We know nobody is picking us to win the championship; nobody is picking us to make the playoffs. Our main thing is we just gotta continue to get better. I told the guys, we’re like a sleeper team. We’re that team that everybody’s looking at on their schedule like, ‘OK, we can get a win,’ [or,] ‘We can rest, this might be a night off for us.’
With their best player possibly out until December, the first two months of the 2013-14 campaign could be rough. The schedule makers were not particularly kind to our Celtics (again) as Boston has 6 back-to-backs in November. This young squad will have a chance to face adversity early, as they play teams that include Miami, the Spurs, Pacers & Rockets. Brad Stevens & his staff have just two more preseason games to try and get a feel for who works best with whom etc. And obviously it will be a work in progress as Rondo eventually comes back from injury and guys learn to work with each other.
The Celtics have had a target on their back for quite some time. As one of the league’s best for the last six years or so, and always in the playoff mix, teams gun for you. Well now with Boston looking exceptionally vulnerable, you best believe teams and their fans will be looking for some payback. Coach Stevens thinks this will motivate his team early on.
“[The players] know what people are saying, I know what people are saying. You can use that as motivation for a week maybe,” said Stevens. “But then you’ve got to just get to be good. You have to make yourself do the little things to be good. You can use it as a chip on your shoulder and I think most of these guys will do that.
You can catch the Celtics-Wolves game tonight at 6pm EST on NBATV. Boston’s last preseason game is this Wednesday vs the Nets at TD Garden. Speaking of Wednesday, big congrats to the American League champion Boston Red Sox, who will open the World Series Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Check out TedsArmy for all your Sox coverage.
Related links: CSNNE-Celtics Aren’t Down By Low Expectations
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston:Pierce, Garnett Won’t Play Wednesday|Russell Apologizes For Arrest| Herald: Lineups Likely Won’t Be Straight For C’s|CSNNE: Stevens Talks Hometown Colts Facing Manning|Globe: Bill Russell Releases Statement Regarding Handgun Citation At Seattle Airport|NESN: Celtics-Wolves Live Blog|