Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I just need to do a better job,” Stevens said
[…]”I mean, this is more on me. We’ve had multiple times where we’re just not playing to the standard we need to play to. We’ve had multiple practices where certain guys have really looked good and stood out because others haven’t. And that’s just bad coaching. I’ll get myself straightened out and I’ll work on what needs to be changed.”
Informed of his coach’s opinion, Turner said, “Nah.”
“That’s a fine line between that in my personal opinion,” the wing continued. “I think what he said earlier was kind of about the culture he has set and he felt like he let it slip a little bit. In that regard, I think we’re not kids. You know what I’m saying? We need to raise each other and just be pros, man. I think that’s the biggest thing is just being pros at the end of the day. You can point fingers or say we’re adults and we can control ourselves and control our actions and it’s our choice to make the most out of not so fine moments. You know what I’m saying? Just let it slide by when you have these inconsistent moments. I dig where he’s coming from in certain aspects. But at the same time, we’re pros and we haven’t really done anything yet as a group and we just need to be consistently hungry.”
“We’re definitely not one of the best teams in the NBA, so I don’t get how we could possibly think it’s OK to play down to anybody,” Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said. “When we don’t play hard and we’re not the aggressive team, we’re one of the worst teams in the NBA. But when we bring that aggressiveness and we’re having fun, we’re defending, we’re one of the top teams in the NBA. I think a lot of people see that.”
Well… after another shitty loss the Celtics are all lining up to fall on the sword… which is admirable, but also meaningless if it doesn’t result in anything. Everyone can talk and say the right things but if they go out there tomorrow night and fall AGAIN to the Nets, then these become just empty words.
Not only would they be empty, but there would be no reason to believe anyone after the game when they say the same things. The only way these words mean anything at all is if they come out of gate tomorrow night and play with the energy that got them those four straight wins before Wednesday.
One interesting note from the Globe piece raises the question of whether the distribution of minutes is an issue…
Players are looking over their shoulder while playing, waiting for the moment that their replacement is summoned. And in their short minutes, they are trying to make the big play that will keep them on the court. Stevens needs to stress that the big play won’t keep them on the court, but the right one will.
One play makes me wonder about that…
This didn’t result in a corner 3 (not sure why Zeller didn’t pass) but BKN defense in a nutshell. pic.twitter.com/VvrEgvwBjF
— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) January 2, 2016
Did Zeller just not see Jerebko standing there alone in the corner? Did he not care? Was he worried, like Gary Washburn suggests, that no scoring would result in even less playing time?
It’s hard to say… I don’t know how much stock I put into that assessment… but I’m sure there some element of that to some guys. It’s easier to play freely when you know you’re getting 20-25 minutes a night as opposed to 15 one night and 25 the next… or not at all.
The Celtics’ depth continues to be a challenge when legitimate NBA players are being asked to not play or to only get a few minutes here and there. Cases can be made for a lot of guys to get minutes or see their minutes dwindle but… they still have a job to do.
Could that be part of why the team is suddenly scuffling? Who knows? Personally, I think it’s part of the same roller coaster cycle we’ve been seeing all year long… the Celtics play really hard, they get good results, they get media attention and credit and nice power rankings, then they relax, play like shit, people start saying bad things about them, then they play really hard… blah, blah, blah.
I’ve been saying it all year and it’s not going to change unless the personnel does.. this team can only succeed when they’re playing top-notch defense that leads to easy points. When they’re not doing that, they’re average at best and often, as we’ve seen, pretty terrible.
You’ve no laurels on which to rest, Boston Celtics. When you try to puff out your chests and merely will opponents to wilt in your presence, you become the punchline. There’s no bending to Boston’s will unless the guys go out there and make opponents submit.
Work… or get worked.
Page 2: Avery Bradley has a bruised hip
Stevens had no injury update on Avery Bradley after the loss. The guard departed during the second quarter with a bruised left hip.
“That’s all I know,” Stevens said.
Isaiah Thomas didn’t know much either.
“I just asked him (if) he was all right,” the guard said. “He said he got hit and was in some pain. So I don’t know what happened, but hopefully he doesn’t miss games.”
Let’s hope this is just a bruise… after all the injuries the Celtics have been dealing with, it’d be nice to see them play with a full backcourt for a little while.
Even RJ Hunter is getting bitten by the injury bug
Boston Celtics rookie guard R.J. Hunter said he suffered a subluxation of his left shoulder while on assignment in the NBA Development League on Thursday and expects to be sidelined a few days while it heals.
Read that link you’ll see that the subluxation is a recurring issue that needs to be address mostly through strength training. I hope this doesn’t become an issue for the rest of his career because I really think this kid can be a really good player down the road.
Related links: ESPN Boston: Avery Bradley (hip) departs, Smart steps up | Globe: Hunter downplays shoulder injury | MassLive: Hunter working with strength & conditioning staff to stop shoulder issues | ProJo: Bradley exits with hip injury
The rest of the links