Like all of you (note me saying all and not many) fellow Celtic fans, I have been dissapointed with their game lately.
The loss to the Nets was the low-point of the season and even though they definately played far from their hardest last night against Memphis, lazy even, there is no denying the level of ridiculousness the Grizzlies played at last night, and I think that Jordan-esque layup from Mayo can stand testament to that. They way Memphis played last night I don't think there's many teams they wouldn't have beaten.
I'm not defending the Celtics play at all there were many reasons to be discouraged last night, namely the first quarter scoring results, but I think perhaps we may be acting a little too harsh towards our C's. Memphis is not a great team, but they are not a garbage team. Having reviewed their W/L's for they year they've beaten the Cavs, Mavs, Nuggets and Lakers, losing a second game to LA by only 1 point, so comparing this game to the Nets loss is just a gross over-exaggeration from an understandably slightly-fed up fanbase.
Why is it that ATL has now the same record as us but they are continuously hailed as doing great things and considered a serious threat to teams everywhere come playoff time? The same ATL who have beaten us every regular season game played, but who are yet to win a game against the lesser Knicks who we've taken a W against every time we've met this season, I see a case of paper, rock, scissors here with and people are trying to argue rock is the best because they always crush scissors but forgetting that that same rock keeps getting wrapped in the paper, maybe not a brilliant analogy, but I'm sure readers will get the point I'm trying to make.
As for the people saying how the Cavs are the undisputed fore-runners for the championship. The Cavs are only 1 game behind their season losses for last year, with 20 some-odd games remaining, and with that being said let us not forget that Cleveland lost to Orlando at the conferance finals, who in turn lost to the Lakers, who are already 1 loss more then their total losses of last season. What am I trying to say with all these facts, it's that regular season records have little to nothing to do with the outcome of the wild rollercoaster ride that is the play-offs. The arguement that the Cavs are going to win it all just because they hold the best regular season record is a weak one, I mean when the Heat won it all in 2006 they were 52-30 to the Mavericks' 60-22 just for another example.
So with all of this being said, I ask you, fellow Cetlic fans, are we perhaps a little spoiled by the greatness of the first year of the big 3? We were dominant all season long that year ending with a wonderful 66-16, but then come play-off time, everyone was out to get us and the Celts had to prove worthy of their impending championship by playing 2 grueling 7-game play-off rounds with ATL and the Cavs and challenging albeit less-stressful then their first 2 rounds conference finals with Detroit and finals with LA. The game when they were down big and came back to win against LA should be able to stand trial that the C's can get the job done when the motivation is there. I remember last year everyone was ready to write the Lakers off as has-beens after their loss to the Nets of last year, the Kings but then they won the championship. The fact is the Celts played all-time NBA record caliber season and it shouldn't be held against them if they can't quite live up to that initial spark of dominant greatness.
They are still 6th in the NBA overall with every one except LA and the Cavs fighting hard for the number 3 spot, and even though they've been slumping since the beginning of January, you have to take the good with the bad and remember that the stellar start of the season is PART OF THIS SEASON. This is our team, this is the season, take it for what it is and hope for the best.
Of course, there are changes that MUST be made, but they are not unachievable. 1st and foremost IMO, Glen Davis. We did a whole lot better when he was out for 2 months and while he's not the sole reason the C's have been slumping, he does possess one of the biggest issues I have withe the team's performance, he grabs some real nice offensive boards, and then, even if the entire opposing team is surrounding him, who are usually bigger, he lays it up instead of passing it out and trying to convert the nice board into points, he gives the other team a block. Rasheed has always been a quality 3 point shooter, but it's just not working out for him this season but yet he insists on still taking them, when Sheed is playing low-post he's been much more effective and I think Doc needs to have a heart to heart with him that his 3 point days are behind him or atleast need to be worked on at practice or on his own time and not gametime at the expense of coming up big for the other team with his misses.
Perkins is the only player I would say who is truly slumping. I was pumped up and glad for him when he lost all that weight and thought to myself, wow, if Perk gets a little more athletic ability on his resume he will be a serious threat, but lately his play is lazy, unmotivated and unwise, he's starting to do what Davis does and take shots no matter how unlikely they are to go down, to the rest of the team, I would say only pass it to Perk when he's wide open and likely to get an easy basket because Perk figures once he gets the ball he HAS to shoot it and refuses to keep it moving, if I were Doc I would give his starting position to Sheed and insist Sheed plays low to teach Perk a lesson in sportsmanship.
Lastly, nasty Nate. He was brought here to be that much needed spark of scoring power off the bench but instead like someone else on the boards somewhere said Doc's got him convinced he needs to pass, he's playing on a leash. True he's a slippery fella and his ability to penetrate and throw the other teams defense off should be utilized, but he shouldn't be the guy passing SO MUCH, he should be getting open while the rest of the team passes and get it to him for the 3 which he shoots so well. Nate has won me over completely, I was sad to see House go, but I do not miss him, Nate just needs to play his style of game within the confines of Celtics basketball and he will truly shine as what we brought him here for.
There's so much more for me to say and I guess I rambled on longer than I planned, but to all the naysayers out there and people saying the C's are done this season, ease up on the gas a little bit. The season is far from over and if the past few years finals aren't proof that anything can happen, then you maybe need to review the stats and re-evaluate your opinions. There are no such things as good losses, every loss is a dissapointment, some more so than others but dissapointing none the less and we can't completely lose faith over a couple of extra-dissapointing losses. If anything we should be glad they Celtcs have only got completely blown out a handful of times this season which happens to even the greatest of great teams, I wouldn't say they aren't playing hard, but playing smart, for a team as seasoned as our veteran Celts, they haven't been playing smart basketball lately and that can be completely turned around from one game to the next but needs to stay consistent.
Here's hoping that our boys make the much needed and easily noticeable adjustments and get their heads out of their you-know-whats in time to get back to be serious threats for the play-offs. I think banner 18 is closer than we think, here's to that being true! Go C's.
P.S. This is my first time posting, I've been following the boards for a long time but only just joined because I thought last nights performance and all the negative claims of being washed up were worth stating my opinion on rather then just reading the other posts and nodding in agreement or shaking my head in disagreement. Thanks to any and all who make comments and discuss the things I've posted.