The Celtics aren't all dead. They're just mostly dead.
Inigo Montoya: He's dead. He can't talk.
Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.
’Twas a fine line the Celts set out to sail this season: Be bad enough to earn a lottery ticket, but not so hideous as to be spoken of around the league in hushed tones. Even as he set and tweaked his roster for certain doom in the present and the opportunity for a faster turnaround through the gathering of draft picks and the jettisoning of longer contracts, Danny Ainge wanted to avoid what he’s seeing now.
True story: I watched half the game last night with my TV on mute listening to a Pandora station that was cycling through groups like The Shins, Vampire Weekend, and Death Cab for Cutie. Basically I was in a very geeky, melodramatic, listless mood. I might as well have put on all black and called up my parents to tell them that they don't understand me.
At some point, as a fan you have to shake yourself out of it and laugh at the whole situation. It is what it is and we can't force it to get better no matter how much we rage at the TV screen or "win" debates in the comments section of a blog. We can try to play the blame game and find scapegoats to strap down on the sacrificial alter, but what good does that do?
Our team stinks. Get used to it.
That's where we're at right now and we're not alone. Head on over to the Sixers blog and see how they are handling their "victory." Here's an example:
There are like 8 people in the world happy that the Sixers won that game. I would like to poison them.— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) January 30, 2014
I feel for the guys on the team, really. I mean, about as much as you can feel for millionaires. They are the ones that have to wake up every day and be called losers. You put yourself in their shoes and you can start to understand why they might be tempted to start looking for their own shots instead of making the right basketball play. You can see why they might struggle with "trusting" the help defense because it hasn't done much to warrant that trust lately.
Somewhere in the background, Danny Ainge is working on another miracle. He created the Frankenstein monster that terrorized the league for the last several years and one way or another he'd like to recreate that success. Either through the draft (a slow process) or through trades or free agency (a dicey, costly gamble). He can't do any of it right away though. He can't snap his fingers and create an instant contender.
Or as Miracle Max would say "You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles."
So my advice is to sit back, laugh a little, and do your best to enjoy the ride. There will be better days than this. There will be minor wins and moral victories along the way. Enjoy them. Or if all else fails, go to sleep counting ping pong balls and dream of Adam Silver calling out the Celtics name at the end of the Lottery Selection Show.
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- Kelly Olynyk & Jared Sullinger selected for Rising Stars Challenge
- Brad Stevens: "we’re not a very good basketball team"