Last week was rough wasn't it? We had Miami in our cross-hairs despite missing Kevin Garnett and it all fell apart. That was followed up with three road games that turned into three road losses. The New Orleans game probably hurts the most because we were up most of the game and just let it slip away. Doc considers that game the tone-setter for the trip.
"We didn’t play great; I wish we would have played better," the coach said about the 0-3 road trip. ‘The New Orleans game set up the trip, in my opinion. We gave that away. It’s amazing how spirit goes to me. If you win that game, I don’t know if you win either one of the next two, but you’re in a better mind-set. When you lose a game like that, it makes you feel bad and sometimes you play that way."
The season still has 13 games left on the schedule but it seems as if the team has already started to coast to the playoffs. That's a long way to coast and if they keep up this pace (or lack thereof) they'll find themselves on the outside looking in.
So what do the Celtics do now? Where do they go from here? Forward. On to the next game. That's all you can do according to Paul Pierce.
"Inconsistencies with a lot of new teammates, injuries, guys have to understand that the road is a lot different," Pierce said of what may be behind the Celtics’ problems once they get outside the Garden. "It’s easy to play at home. You’re comfortable in your own building. But it takes a certain focus that you have to have night in and out on the road. We’ve been up and down with that. "We don’t have a choice (to move on from it). The focus is to get the next win, and after that. You have to have a short-term memory in this league. The ones that really hurt are in the playoffs."
At this point in the season there's really not a lot that you can do but go out there and execute better. Maybe the new guys could learn the system better. Maybe Doc could tweak his rotations or schemes here and there. But for the most part this team is what it is and it needs to be a better version of itself if they want to get back to winning.
It sounds silly, but I chalk last week up to a long week of the "blah's." They've had have far too many weeks like that this year (thus the position of playing for the 7th seed) and ultimately they might not be much more than that. But there's still plenty of upside for this team if they can get back to being kinda-sorta-maybe more healthy heading into the postseason.
This week thankfully has a couple of home games (New York and Atlanta visit) with a road game in Cleveland (2nd night of a back to back) sandwiched in there. We are also waiting on the MRI results from Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee to come in. Obviously we're hoping for the best there.
There's a chance to get a groove going here. A home win against the Knicks would be a good start. Follow it up with a road win over the beatable (though clearly nothing is guaranteed with this team) Cavs would be a good step in the right direction. Then we'll see about Atlanta on Friday. It isn't the playoffs, but you have to start somewhere and you have to get there with a little more of a positive groove than we've shown lately.