Yeesh, it didn’t take long for the good vibes around the Celtics to turn sour this year did it? Game one was an entertaining but flawed performance and game 2 was an abject disaster by the end. So is it panic time in Boston?
Not for me, but my ears are certainly up. It is dangerous to judge any team on the first two games of the season, good, bad, or indifferent. The problem is that the indifference seems oddly familiar to the theme throughout last season. New GM, new coach, new bench, same results? That’s troubling to say the least and points to deeper issues I’m not yet willing to worry about. But give me a larger sample size of the same issues and I’m going to be very concerned.
Still, I’m an optimist and I’m not going to let two games shift my entire season expectations. The rebuilding Rockets are in town and this is an opportunity to get back on the right track. Just like a shooter sometimes needs a few free throws to see the ball go through the hoop to regain his confidence. The Celtics need a comfortable (if not easy) win to feel like the preseason expectations were more than just wishful thinking.
This is my reminder that Ime Udoka is installing a new defensive scheme, ramping up the emphasis on ball movement, and generally trying to break the team of bad habits from last year. All of which makes the players have to think through the sets out on the court rather than reacting off of muscle memory and instinct. Every split second they spend thinking is an edge that the other team can capitalize on. Thus the huge turnover numbers which leads to transition buckets which leads to forced shots and a snowball effect.
This team needs a win and we fans need to see a win. With all due respect to the Rockets (who beat the Wizards in their season opener), this game could be just the thing to cleanse the palate and put the team on the right path. Of course if they lose or struggle to win, well ...let’s cross that burning bridge if we come to it.
(Reminding myself to hold off on general judgements until 20 games in).