Brad Stevens pointed out the obvious by saying, "This isn't a very good basketball team." We all knew that coming into the season yet we're still disappointed - at least I am. And here's why:
The early season success made me believe that these players (with this coach) could play above expectations and defy the conventional wisdom that tanking was their best strategy. So okay, that wasn't sustainable - other teams were going to play better. I got that. But I didn't expect that the performance of individuals and of the team would decline. And that's what is disappointing. Instead of watching them improve and become more competitive, we're watching them regress.
I believe that in sports you learn the most by winning. As a youth coach I have often resorted to the maxim, "The only game we lose is the one that doesn't make us better." I don't think pros buy that and losing like last night is like getting beat up. I say all this without criticism or malice. I assume they normally try hard and that they may even have potential.
So I wonder, how this team is going to improve?
P.S. At one point in the first half last night the Knicks switched on a high post screen and one of their bigs (don't remember which one) was guarding Rondo on the perimeter. That's usually an open door for Rondo to go to the rim but he juked once, twice and a third time but couldn't get by. A big guy kept Rondo in front of him. I'm hoping that play wasn't an indication of Rondo's quickness. Scary.