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New Years resolutions for a Celtics fan

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Here’s what I’ll be working on in 2021.

Memphis Grizzlies v Boston Celtics Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Happy New Year, everyone! The (literal) long, global nightmare that was 2020 is technically over. COVID is still here but there seems to be some relief in sight (fingers and toes crossed).

I actually love this time of year because it is a good reminder to do some introspection and life housekeeping. Sure, I ditch new years resolutions after a few weeks like everyone else (at least the poorly planned out ones) but it never hurts to course correct and maybe develop some good habits that turn into a better standard.

Sure, we could talk about all the thing that each of the Celtics needs to work on, but that’s kind of what we do on here every day. So for this column I’m giving those guys a break and focusing on myself. Who knows, you might even be able to relate to some or all of these on some level.

Appreciate what we have right now

I’m just like anyone. I have an eye to the future at all times. What will young players turn into? What can Danny get at the trade deadline? Where will those future draft picks land? Who can we sign in free agency? All of that is great, but it sometimes helps to appreciate what’s right in front of me.

Tatum is a star. We’re just trying to determine where he would plot on the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. Jaylen Brown continues to seek out the ceiling of expectations placed upon him and demolish that ceiling with a sledgehammer. Marcus Smart has grown up before our eyes and maximized every strength while minimizing most of his shortcomings.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Three Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

When I take a peek around the league, I realize that there are elements that this team is (thankfully) lacking. Chemistry issues, headcases, bloated albatross contracts, dysfunctional front offices, coaching hot seats, and so forth. The Boston Celtics aren’t perfect, but they are very good and enjoyable to watch and follow.

Don’t be lazy with analysis

I’ve admitted this before but it stands repeating. I’m more of a narrative writer and less able to break down game film and analyze stats which is why I’ve surrounded myself with so many talented writers who excel at both those (and still tell a good narrative tale to boot). I enjoy not being the best writer on this site, but I know I can do better, too. I’ve dipped my toe into metrics and game film and even some interviews back in the day. It is hard teaching an old dog like me to do new tricks, but I’ll keep trying to expand my game.

2015 NBA Global Games - Milan Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Expect greatness and don’t settle for good enough

I’m generally more on the optimistic side of things. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Many times I’ve seen Danny Ainge make a move that I didn’t agree with, but at least I saw the theory behind it. Or I will generally trust that Brad Stevens knows more about coaching than I do...because he does. And I like to give younger players a long leash because I think they’ll get there eventually.

Well, I don’t want to turn into a cynic or become one of those people that overreacts to every swing of the pendulum. But I could stand to raise my expectations a bit. Danny has made some great moves over the years, but he’s also swung and missed quite a bit, too. Brad has a great even keeled demeanor, but he’s not an infallible robot. Young players can make mistakes, as long as they aren’t being lazy or sloppy or downright incompetent.

Let myself get carried away a little

On the flipside, it is fun to bask in the glow of harmless overenthusiasm once in a while. Maybe Tacko Fall won’t develop into the worlds biggest mismatch, but it is fun to see him get a dunk in garbage time. I know Timelord is going to struggle in pick-and-roll defense and jump way too often, but man is he fun when he’s doing positive things (like lobs, blocks, and nifty touch passes).

Just how much am I going to let myself go with the Payton Pritchard party? Like it’s 1999 of course! Sometimes you just know when you’ve found a good one, and that’s what it feels like with this kid.

Keep everything in big picture perspective

If 2020 reminded us of nothing else, it was that there are bigger things in this world than basketball or the things in our daily routines that tend to monopolize our field of vision sometimes.

I always want to challenge myself to “love thy neighbor” and continually seek out neighbors in all aspects of my life. How can I be the change I want to see in my own expanding world?

Sport will always be my anchor, my community, my escape, and my harmless obsession, but there’s so much more out there to appreciate and strive for as well.

Cheers and God bless to everyone. Here’s to a much better and brighter year ahead.