Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Celtics - state of affairs.
Any C's fan would know right now at 30W's - 16L's, this Boston team is not playing as well as it could. And to rub salt in the wound, they lost to the Lakers by a basket. At home.
Also Paul Peirce is day to day with a foot injury sustained in a win against the hapless but still dangerous Washington Wizards.
The Celtics are now playing for 3rd or 4th place in the east against an Atlanta team with nearly the same record - and who have swept the regular game series against the Celtics. So C's lose home court against a team that kind of has our number, and whom they will most likely face them in the 2nd round of the eastern conference play offs. Plus, as always occurs at times of team dilemma, there is some talk of 'Ray-Ray' (Ray Allen) being traded in an attempt to revitalise a vetran team to make a run for the title.
But as any fan will know, this is a team you can't knock down. Even to it's own detriment and the health of their own players, they choose to get up off the floor and fight.
This team right now as the roster stands (injuries withstanding), is as good or better than last years wounded play off team who lost in 7 games to Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals. Not a bad shot at the ring for a team with nothing left in the tank and at least five players with some degree of injury.
Now to address the glaring problem; Boston have had their worst month since the big three came together, going 7W's - 11L's since a christmas day victory over the Orlando Magic. More than any fan would like to admit, those losses have come from the Celtics losing leads (some times in double digits) in the 4th quater.
Since Boston won the title in 07 - 08, they have had the ability and motivation to deal effectively with the regular season turbulence, finding a way to right themselves and win. A key to winning again will be the return of Daniels, who can play 3 positions and put up decent numbers if given the plays and most importantly the time. A Rondo / R.Allen / T.Allen or Daniels / Garnett and Perkins starting 5 with Rasheed Wallace and Eddie House among others on the bench is a team that can win and achieve what is potentially forecast to be 60 win season. To address the issues surrounding Ray Allen and trade talk, Coach Doc Rivers can always start Daniels and bring Ray off the bench - splitting the minutes between the two players. This is a scenario with Peirce out for the year, which I feel is highly unlikely. I suspect Paul Peirce will probably return after the all star break, if not just before.
History and the evidence of hard fought games has demonstrated that this Boston Celtics team has a heart strong enough to push them way further than their bodies alone can go. Along with the league leaders there are emerging younger talented teams like Atlanta, Orlando, Oklahoma City, the LA Clippers, Sacramento and Houston as potential regular season opponents. The Celtics will need considerable reserves of physical and mental fortitude to place themselves in a position to reclaim the title.
It should also be noted that after having a series of losses, historically the Celtics come back and over compensate with a 10 game or so win streak or so. If something gets this team mad enough, every team they face will pay for it.
Did I mention they just had a bad month?