Okay, so last night didn't go so well. For a multitude of reasons, the Celtics lost, 94-73, to the San Antonio Spurs. Okay, it happened. What's important now is how the Celtics respond to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are scheduled to make an appearance in the Garden on Wednesday.
At the start of the season, we might have deemed this one a "trap" game, due to OKC being a young and up-and-coming squad. At this point in the season, however, with the Thunder sporting a 44-28 record as well as two of the game's most prolific young stars (Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook), it's a bona fide test. The Thunder are legit, and the Celtics need to treat them as such.
Jeff Clark wrote before last night's game about some signs of hope for this squad, and the team responded by reverting back to some bad habits just hours later against the Spurs. The obvious question pops up: Was it just one of those games? Or was last night's loss cause for legitimate concern? Can the recent convincing wins over Houston, Dallas, and Denver offset a particularly dismal effort against San Antonio? Well, whatever your feelings are, they could be compounded one way or the other after the Thunder game on Wednesday.
"The way they played is usually the way we play," Paul Pierce said. "But I don't feel like it's a step back. It's just one of those games that you have to get out of your system. You have nights like that. I expect us to play a lot better basketball from here on out."
I'm not exactly the "giving up" type, so I'm going to take Paul at his word. I expect a legitimate response from the Celtics on Wednesday, for a response is what matters most right now. There are no guarantees that my expectations will be fulfilled, for the Celtics have indeed been knocked down. They now need to get back up and continue to fight. I can't help but think, given the team's impressive play (for the most part) over the last two weeks, a legitimate response is needed now, more than ever. We were just starting to develop a sense of hope again, and then last night happens. Now it's time to respond. Let's see what these Celtics have got.