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Your Morning Dump… Where Ainge Thinks the 2014 Draft has “no incentive for losing whatsoever”

Jay November 17, 2013 Celtics News, The Morning Dump 9 Comments

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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.

But ask the veterans on a team that has been tagged to lose, and the subject is grating, going against the way most professional athletes are wired.

“I don’t know about that,” said Celtics forward Gerald Wallace, who has played in this kind of environment before, specifically as part of the 2004-05 Bobcats. “We only won (18) games, and there was talk of losing to get higher up in the draft, but we wanted to win every game, play hard every game, and try to prove ourselves in this league. Nobody wants to lose, regardless of what the coach or the organization wants to do.”

That hasn’t changed, even if Wallace has often been withering in criticism of his new Celtics teammates.

“Nah. These guys don’t want to lose,” he said.

Celtics swingman Keith Bogans started the season by saying he only knows how to play to win, and doesn’t sense a difference in anyone else in that regard.

“I come to work here every day, and I know what is going on,” he said. “I don’t feel like any of the 14 guys here, plus the coaches, are trying to tank the season. I don’t see that as being part of the process.”

Boston Herald – Players, coaches not willing lottery pawns

No matter what day it is or what the given topic is surrounding the 2013-2014 edition of the Boston Celtics happens to be, the dreaded “T” word is always referenced.  It could be in a joking way or it could be in the “this is the ONLY way to become a contender again” way.  There’s no avoiding it and it won’t go away.  But as you’d expect, you won’t hear that type of talk from the players no matter how the roster in constructed (or deconstructed).  And really, nobody wants players like that on their team.  Deep down you don’t really want anyone in your organization really thinking that way, do you?  Sure human nature could get the mind dancing (like it did for so many on Tuesday night during those NCAA games).  And if that strategy is looming over this organization, you won’t hear of it… at least publicly:

“My players and coaches are doing their jobs,” Ainge said. “The draft is no incentive (for losing) whatsoever. But the way our team has been playing pretty much answers that question — it takes care of things. The teams that try (to lose) will be exposed in the long haul, because they’ll lose. I think it’s more talk than anything else.”

Though Ainge won’t point fingers, he does admit that tanking has been done in the past.

“I do have my opinions, but I won’t say what they are,” he said. “The perception is there because it’s been done in the past. It’s what we’ve seen, but I still think it’s rare. I just go about my job with my team, and preparing for the draft.

“What has been fun has been watching our team play. That speaks for itself.”

Ainge, quoted in the same Herald piece, has some interesting things to say.  He still maintains that the 2014 draft is being a bit overhyped.  But he also basically said that if you mess with the game, the game will mess with you (see 1997, Boston Celtics season).  It’s a tricky situation and one that is a tough sell to the players on the court.  You definitely don’t want to create the stench of an intentionally losing atmosphere with the players you have.  These guys are like you and I: word will get out and they’ll talk among their peers of how the team wanted to tank.  But then the question becomes: well, how many of these guys do you plan on keeping here when you are contenders again anyway?  The hardcore tanker can easily say: “hey look, the tanking in 2007 had ZERO effect the next year since they barely had any of those guys left and ya know, WON THE TITLE!”

It happened here and it eventually happened in Miami when they ‘tanked’ for free agents.  The stench was gone as soon as LeBron said he was taking his talents to South Beach.  The Celtics will have enough struggles against the better teams in the league but have already showed us that they will play hard.  And if they’re better than expected well according to “insiders” and “experts” they plan on trading out of the playoffs anyway.  It’s only mid-November and it’s already been a crazy season.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Boston Celtics’ Avery Bradley atones with offense | Bradley diary: Changes and new identities

Boston Globe – Timberwolves hand Celtics third straight loss | Jeff Green shows his heart of gold | Bobcats’ Al Jefferson part of another rebuilding plan (Sunday Notes)

Boston Herald – Wolves feast on young C’s | Seeing flip side of club

CSNNE – Green: ‘We didn’t bring it’ | Good, Bad, Ugly: Celtics-Timberwolves | Losses mount during dark days of Stevens’ era | Kelly Olynyk makes his own sushi at New Ginza

MassLive: Jeff Green says he and Boston Celtics played like (expletive) in loss to Minnesota Timberwolves

Yahoo! Sports – Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers knew Celtics breakup was bound to happen

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  • KWAPT

    Great stuff Jay..”the dreaded T word..”

  • Andy

    Damnit we need the hawks to stop winning. What is up with that

    • Chuck Moran

      I knw that would be our luck Brooklyn ends up with a lottery pick and the hawks get it.

      • bill_nair

        I’m hoping this is the beginning of some new Celtic luck.

    • Chuck Moran

      I wonder if Brooklyn had protection with the swap with the hawks say If it’s like a top ten pick Atlanta cant switch. Doubt they do but that would be nice.

    • bill_nair

      Ya id hate to see the hawks get the good pick from Brooklyn but as the season goes on i have faith things will work themselves out. As long as Brooklyn makes the playoffs I don’t truly care what pick we get from the 2 teams.

  • bill_nair

    This draft is WAY over hyped. I keep hearing “oh there’s 6-8 franchise players in this draft” and I barely see 5. Then you have to consider which players will stay an extra year cause typically one guaranteed top 5 pick stays. Parker, Wiggins, Randle and Exum are the true studs. Outside of that its simply role players and maybe starters. People are making the rest of the draft sound better than it is off the strength off the 4 mentioned.

    That said, I still want Exum and Parker in green.

    • Suarez

      It’s pretty rare that a draft has four or five potential franchise players. This appears to be the best draft class in some time. That said, people should be realistic about the draft. Even in the strongest of drafts, at least one pick in the top 5 usually ends up being a dud.

      • bill_nair

        Not that it inst a good draft but outside of those 4 or 5 there’s nothing spectacular which is kind of the opposite of how everyone has been hyping it. You got players like the Harrison twins and Aaron Gordon being labeled as franchise players which i believe is off the strength of the true 4 or 5 franchise players. Solid players without a doubt, but a lot of teams tanking and fans praying for those franchise players are going to be left unhappy.