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Your Morning Dump… Where Winning is Making Some Fans Uncomfortable

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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.

There are those Celtics’ fans who now cringe after every victory, stewing in front of their HDTV, screaming at the clear picture of the baby-faced Brad Stevens, upset when Avery Bradley drains a midrange jumper or Jared Sullinger completes a putback.

These fans are rooting for an implosion, a Boston breakdown that would result in a high lottery pick and one of those college superstars who opened their season this weekend. These fans are not betraying their beloved organization, they are not traitors. They feel as if complete disintegration this season would result in a return to prominence in the future.

So it would have been fascinating to watch those who support the Celtics’ tanking this season in the waning moments of Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat. The Celtics appeared headed for defeat with Dwyane Wade stepping to the free throw line for two shots with the Heat leading by 2.

It was a valiant effort but appeared one more check in the loss column, one more step toward Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Drew Gordon. There must have been a feeling of uneasiness when Wade missed both free throws, including his futile attempt to hit the rim on the second shot with 0.6 left. It was nothing but air and the Celtics received the ball with one more chance to win.

Those nachos, bottles of Sam Adams and Red Bulls consumed during this rather exciting game must have been regurgitated after Jeff Green caught a Gerald Wallace pass in the right corner, Kelly Olynyk screened Chris Bosh and Green hit a step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 111-110 win. This does nothing for the Celtics’ chances of landing a premium lottery pick, but it does everything to increase the confidence, chemistry, and purpose of the players who are fighting nightly for respect.

One thing has been apparent with the Celtics during their first seven games of the Brad Stevens era: they play hard for 48 minutes. They may not execute. They may make absurd turnovers and questionable court decisions, but these Celtics are playing passionately for Stevens, which is an extremely encouraging sign for his future and that of his team.

Rooting for the Celtics to tank, essentially to fail every night, leaving a hard-to-shake stench over the organization is rather ridiculous. While victories aren’t as precious or meaningful as they were during the Big Three era, success is still important and development is the primary goal.

Boston Globe – Celtics’ victory should be celebrated, not frowned upon

You know that you are likely one of them.  Sure, you root for the Celtics to give a solid, hard-working effort each night but if they lose a close game at the end well then hey, perfect!  For the first four games of the season it looked like exactly that.  After all, they even found a way to blow a 22-point lead to Milwaukee at home!  Awesome!  Here comes a better chance at the top pick!  Look, we all realize that this upcoming draft is one of the better ones in recent years.  It doesn’t happen all that often so yes, tank away!

I can remember in 1997 watching the Celtics just outright tank games all year.  They were a joke to the league but C’s fans knew better.  The joke would be on them when we would win the lottery and get Tim Duncan.  Umm, yeah about that.  So, 10 years later I remember watching games all year feeling the exact same way, falling for the same tease.  They were once again the joke of the league but we thought: “There’s no way we will lose the lottery again.  No way Stern will screw us twice!  The NBA NEEDS THE CELTICS TO BE GOOD AGAIN!”  Yeah, except we got screwed even worse this time.

It’s not lost on me that blue chippers Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and others are readily available in next year’s draft.  The problem is that you just don’t know.  So in the meantime you have to do what Brad Stevens is doing, and what Gary Washburn points out: you MUST build a culture, and identity.  Given the unbalanced roster and brutal early schedule, I think it’s amazing the job Stevens has done thus far.  Add in the facts that he is a college coach learning on the fly himself, it’s pretty remarkable what he’s done.

Will we all have to readjust our expectations?  Do we still want them to tank? Would it be fun to sneak into the playoffs and perhaps upset a top seed?  There are a lot of emotions right now in the early part of the season for Celtics fans.  It’s still a bit early, but the one thing that is already a known fact: this team, a Stevens-led team will play hard and battle to the end against everyone, especially the mighty Miami Heat.  Time will tell if it means that last night’s game is one of the few fantastic footnotes of a season filled with expected losses, or the start of something totally unexpected.  Either way, it’s great to see Stevens  have such a positive impact already.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Scrappy C’s making things interesting | Boston Globe – Celtics shock Heat | Names change, but Boston Celtics’ rivalry with Miami Heat lives on | Adam Silver prepares for life as David Stern’s successor in commissioner’s seat (Sunday Notes) | Boston Herald – Green’s 3 stuns Miami | Old wounds don’t heal | A big kick for Rondo | CSNNE – Stevens cool in clutch, so are the Celtics | LeBron: C’s-Heat ‘not much of a rivalry’ anymore | Good, Bad, & The Ugly: Best win so far

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  • Thetruth34__

    We cant affort to build a losing culture in Boston , it would hurt our coaching staff and players .
    Lets focus on developing our own players and we’ve got plenty of Draft picks for the next few years , we Dont need to tank.

  • CFH

    If they lost any other game, I’d say good, more ping pong balls in a deep draft.

    I wouldn’t have been able to say that this time.

    Wow.

    A new employee number 8, making baskets.

    A new coach who apparently won’t be cracking a smile on the sideline until he wins a title.

    Far better this than ML Carr wink wink nudge nudge isn’t it funny how awful we are.

  • Amir Buxbaum

    These games are broadcasted in Israel at 2:30 am. For some reason, although it was a second night of back-to-back, at Miami, with this weird hybrid of a Celtics team, I decided to watch the game.
    When it was around 5:00 am, and I was still watching the game, I thought that it was a good effort by this team. I actually liked them for trying this hard. And then Wade missed those free-throws… I don’t know why, but I had a feeling they would win the game after that. Just seemed right.
    I mean, we really want a high draft pick – But is it worth missing out these great Ws for that?

    And Bradley was AMAZING, BTW. He doesn’t get enough credit.

  • Jo

    It’s like nobody knows how much of a crap shoot the draft is, or how bad of a luck the Cs have had with high draft picks.

  • swissflix

    As a Boston Celtics fan, i do not want the Celtics to embrace losing. We should not consider tanking an option, even if it seems like a way out.

  • Tito from Spain

    If the fans of medium and bad teams prefer that their teams loose games without a fight so then the NBA must to change its whole system and those fans are not really fans. Here in Spain this unimaginable

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  • eddysamson

    Best part about the game: at the end of BOTH halves, Lebron had someone drain a buzzer beating 3 over him. HAH!

    • Brick James

      Noticed this too. The JCraw one was funny too because it was such a bad play. Nice.

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  • Caterpillar from Italy

    I’ll always root for C’s to win: last night I jumped on my bed screaming alone in a hotel room 4 am, I could not believe my eyes: and the best part was LeBron face at the and, after he tried to clown JG moments before with a dribble, ending up dribbling himself out of bounce and with some clown moves mid court. Priceless.

    I think something big is coming out of Boston, I see players getting closer to Stevens and Stevens being the rabbit out of Danny’s hat by the end of the season.

    Go C’s, too glorious to tank.

  • Chuck Moran

    If u are a real fan there is no way you can watcha game and hope they loose its just not possible to sit there and root for lebron James and ray Allen to beat u it just shows your true colors. Stop letting feller and mazz brain wash u it’s not true that the lottery is the only way look at the teams that win the lottery there still in the same position.

    • bill_nair

      Felger and Mazz are the most obnoxious “radio personalities” in the world. I have no idea why they cover Boston sports when they give the impression they’re not a fan of any of the teams, win lose or draw.

  • Chuck Moran

    The best team in the leagu rit now didnt get there by having top three pucks I’m not positive ut didnt they build there team from good drafting in the late lottery or mid 1st round I think the cs could do the same .

  • bill_nair

    I cant imagine sitting their watching a game saying “jeez miss this shot Green.” Were getting a top 10 pick regardless of winning. We got about 25+ more of these maybe not more. Im gonna appreciate them while they last.