The Celtics are all to familiar with
the emotions of "a day at the park"
Being a Celtics fan for a season is almost like going to Six Flags, or any other amusement park, for the day. The anticipation to get there is unbearable and all you can do is sit and think about the possible outcomes of a day at the park. You finally get there and reality hits you, theres a lot of people ahead of you and you've suddenly lost hope of having a good day. You wait in line and there's so many people ahead of you and all you can think about his how happy you'd be if you were just a little higher up on the totem pole. Just when all hope is lost the line starts getting shorter while your almost at the top and near the best part. Then something magical happens and you get on your favorite ride and begin to go through the best experience of the day. Your having the best time and then suddenly it all ends, you get off and its over. On some days thats enough for you; you go home content that you enjoyed the ride you've been waiting for almost all your life, or for the C's a championship like 08. On most occasions though your left wondering why that was it, why it ended like it did and why the anticipation outweighs the true enjoyment you got out if it. Your left almost disappointed like something greater, bigger or better should have happened.
The ups and downs bring you a different array of emotions and your never thinking the same thing twice until its all over and you get that nauseous feeling in your stomach. You wonder if it really was worth it, wether the sickness in your stomach outweighs the joys you had felt. Every time you've had just enough happiness that your forced to come back. Your mind rationalizes that it's worth all the pain and disappointment, all the waiting and confusion as to when your time will finally come. Basically even the worst of days will have you coming back for more and with the C's I don't think it can be more true.
The team has found a new meaning
to "reaching their low point"
Their currently at the halfway mark of the season and looking up at seven teams in the Eastern Conference standings. They've lost 4 straight games and recently got "Kyried", all this with a game against the Knicks looming and the Heat waiting in the horizon. Things look bleak, most C's fan's are at the point in the line where you've gone to far to get off but your not close enough to the fun part where your losing all hope. Were not even on the roller coaster yet but we've had our fair share of ups and downs. If you think this is torturous now wait until the Celtics do something improbable and rattle off some games right before the playoffs and have you thinking this might be the time you walk away from the ride feeling great like you got exactly what you expected.
It's well documented that the Celtics season up to this point has been a disappointment and a roller coaster analogy isn't even needed. We've had Larry Sanders dominate us in the paint, lost to the Pistons by double digits TWICE and even managed a west coast trip where we lost every game by an average of..... 18 points!!! Things have never been this bad, I can state that with a fair share of confidence. I was with them when they lost to a 24 win Nets team or a 28 point blowout loss to the lowly Wizards, both in 2010, but this is just becoming gruesome.Yet as a team moving forward there's reason to believe in a turnaround. If there's anything the Garnett era Celtics have taught me is to never give up on them, never assume they're down for the count because just as we all lose hope and they begin to fade away they'll grab you and take you on the ride of your life.
These two need to log more minutes together
There isn't much the Celtics can hang their hat on these days but defense from the pairing of Lee and Bradley is definitely one of them. These two have been going after the ball with a tenacious attitude and has displayed some great success in the sample size we have so far. Bradley's three point shooting has been coming back while's Lee's is still inconsistent which might be why Doc has trouble keeping them on the floor for long stretches. Personally I wish they could play together a little more because they wear out so much of shot clock and leave opponents minimal amounts of time to set up an offense. Instead of Terry closing out games with the starting unit I wouldn't mind seeing Lee since his defense with Bradley would help the defensive intensity continue even at the end of games.
The oldest Celtic to score 40 points
in a regulation game
Paul Pierce has been a big question mark when discussing this seasons Celtic's. On one hand you have a guy that dropped 40 points at the tender young age of 35 years old. He's shown the ability to still score when needed at times while becoming a more versatile offensive threat with his passing. His defense is something not enough people talk about as he's transformed himself into a stifling agitator that has given fits to opposing forwards. Someone who initially was seen as a poor defender early in their career Pierce has taken strides and become an above average defensive menace. With all the good though comes his subpar shooting percentages and inconsistent offensive spurts. His three point shooting has dropped to 36% which is a drastic drop considering the strides he'd made in recent years. Some are clamoring for the Truth to be traded which is a preposterous notion to even consider. Pierce is in the same class as Bird, Russell and Havlicek in terms of great Celtics. Each player represents a generation of Celtics and Pierce has taken on that role during the 2000's. Any trade involving trade, good or bad, takes the legacy of Pierce as a Celtic and instantly taints it.
Rondo needs someone in his ear
helping him get better.
If the Celtics are going to turn it around Pierce has to be one of the catalyst of the change. His play needs to pick, which doesn't necessarily mean more scoring. Efficiency is something the team needs with Pierce on top of the all around play he's displayed. Rondo on the other hand is an example of a player with great stats that actually might be hurting the team. This offseason all we heard about was how Rondo was the new leader of the team but recently there have been rumblings about his position. Torn between being a great friend and leader Rondo has found himself in an awkward position. His play has been good but not great, his numbers spectacular but his impact on the game minimal so for another season Rondo has become the C's great conundrum. He walks up the ball way to much and tries to initiate a half court offense when the personal doesn't fit the system. He makes some silly passes and doesn't score whenever the Celtics start to go through on of those " uh oh they might not score for another 5 minutes" stretch. He's an important part to the puzzle but he needs to push the ball more and bring this offense out the gutters or else it puts to much pressure on the defense to compensate.
Two thirds of the infamous turbulent trio
There's also been the trio of players, Bass Green and Terry, that drive fans absolutely mad. Their inconsistent play has been frustrating putting it next to the expectations prepared at the beginning of the season. Bass has had the biggest downfall from last season considering his jumpshot has become erratic and he isn't even aggressive anymore. He's putting up fewer shots and they've come from farther and farther away. Terry has scored at times and been a spark but overall he's been a disappointment looking at the production the Mavericks received from him for years off the bench. He hasn't displayed the big shot making ability we grew accustomed to in Dallas while his aggressive pick and roll option is barely a factor anymore as he's mostly running around screens attempting to free himself. Green has shown flashes of what the Celtics desperately need but just as soon as he seems to gain confidence he puts together a stretch of questionable basketball. He goes back and forth between looking like a poor mans James Worthy to a rich mans Travis Outlaw. Garnett said it best when he said Green needs a bit of a mean streak because Al Jefferson and Jermaine O'Neal know first hand what that type of nature can do for Green.
This Celtics team on paper and on paper alone, still seems like a team to be reckoned with. If Rondo and Pierce can hit one more gear and keep a consistent stride along with the bench going back to their potential and figuring out how to play the Celtics are as good as most teams in the league. The players might not be the best defenders but with the trio of Lee, Bradley and Garnett the team can find a way to dominate like it used too on that side of the ball. Offensively it all comes back to getting the shots certain players are made to take. They need to push and hit Terry with his open three pointers or Lee in the corner. They need to find Green running in stride to set him up to score or Bass at the elbow for his staple jumpshot. Garnett needs to be aggressive in the post while Pierce attacks the basket with a consistent mindset.
Roller coaster rides were never my favorite activity, wasn't a big fan of all the ups and downs and twists while being hundreds of feet in the air. Ironic considering I'm a Celtic fan and on some nights both have me feeling like I'm about to get sick.
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