The deck is stacked against these Boston Celtics. Danny Ainge's tear-down plan necessitated taking back players that didn't fit and future assets that won't help right now. Rondo's injury leaves the team without a star and legit point guard option. There's exactly one center on the team and plethora of average shooting guards. Basically it is a good thing that Brad Stevens has a 6 year contract, because he's got a lot of work ahead of him.
The real wins are going to be hard to come by, so that leaves Stevens and the rest of the Celtics looking for moral victories where they can find them.
"The hardest part is that we’ve really made a lot of progress," said Stevens. "And what’s difficult is maintaining a positive feel about yourself as you’re not getting the results you want. "Most of the world — and rightfully so — you know, we all pay attention to the result. And at the end of the day, we’ve got to try to get the result, but we can’t ignore progress and we’ve got to make sure we build on the progress. It is hard, because I think guys want the result to feel good about themselves. "Hey, I want the result as much as anybody, but I can’t ignore the progress. We’ve just got to keep trying to make progress."
There have been bright spots in all of the games to be sure. If we could take the first half of Friday's game and add it to the second half of last night's game there would have been a big enough lead that some miscues down the stretch wouldn't have cost us the game.
It actually reminds me of my golf game. I'll knock the ball straight down the fairway and three putt my score to death. Or I'll sink a great putt after needing 5 strokes to get on the green. Those good shots are what keep me coming back for more, but the bad ones make me want to toss my whole bag in the lake Happy Gilmore style. If I could ever just put all the good shots into one round, I'd have a score good enough to actually write down.
But in real life, my golf game and the Celtics games are played in sequential order and you take the good with the bad, like it or not.
"We can take a piece of each of these games with us, right?" said Celtics rookie coach Brad Stevens. "But we’d like to put it all together and it’s going to be frustrating until we do." And then, Stevens uttered a phrase most associated with another coach of a professional team in New England, one that routed its opponent Sunday. "It is what it is."
It is what it is.
It was nice to see Kelly Olynyk play well yesterday. We've seen some good offensive performances out of Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Vitor Faverani. Avery Bradley is still a ball-hawk. And so on and so on.
One of these days the Celtics are going to put enough good things together to pick up a few wins. But for the moment, and for the foreseeable future, this team simply isn't good enough to put together wins consistently. So they'll look for moral victories where they can find them.
Basically this team is who we thought they were. But there's still time for them to be what we hope they can become.