Last night's loss was a heartbreaker. But it also should give hope to Celtics fans. We saw what this team is capable of for 3 quarters. Now they just have to learn to sustain it for 4 quarters instead of 3 and learn to finish games. I don't know if Doc is on the hot seat or not. I don't know if we would do better with another coach, but I think we would. Some of Doc's decisions are just so baffling. But I still think this team will come around this season, even with Doc. It is only a matter of time. In the meantime, here is what is going on around the Celtics Nation today:
The Herald, The Globe and Projo all have reports on last night's game. Every one says that in the fourth quarter we stopped attacking. We did it on the offensive end, and on the defensive end. That may be our youth showing through or it could be Doc playing our bench players against their starters to start the 4th and letting them gain the momentum. After that, the Celtics were just scrambling and never did get back to being the aggressor. I believe that the consistency will come in time.
Mark Murphy tells us that Doc laments the lost art of passing. I also miss the days of the Celtics of old that used passing instead of dribbling to advance the ball. If our team could get back to that, it would make them a much better team. But it takes committment from every player on the team to make it work. This article also mentions that Ricky is still making waves in Minny. I still love Ricky. He just seems like a big kid who is out there having fun.
Bulpett's Notebook reports on the latest injuries on the Celtics. Telfair was back in the starting lineup after going to the hospital the previous night. But Ratliff and Wally were out of last night's game. Hopefully Wally will return for Monday's game but Ratliff could be out for an extended period with his back. I would love to see the starting unit from last night continue and Wally to come off the bench. We could really use his veteran leadership with that second unit. And last night's starters seemed to play well together.
Scott Souza tells us that we will see inconsistency this season because of the inexperience of this team. We will see improvement as the team grows together and gets more experience. Hopefully it will all come together at some time this season.
Shira's Notebook reports that the cause of Telfair's breathing problems is unknown. But they didn't find anything that would keep him from playing. She also gives us more detail on Wally and Theo's injuries. Powe and Ray were activated for last night's game but didn't see any playing time. You would think when nothing else was working to get the momentum back in that 4th quarter, Powe at least deserved a try. Perk is working hard to find the cause of his frequent fouls and trying very hard to work on it. He is doing much better and playing very well. He can only improve.
Peter May uses the Chicago team that started out 0 and 9 to point out that our slow start doesn't necessarily mean that we won't come around and finish strong. That was a young team that started out poorly but pulled together and won the 4th seed in the East. I expect that this team will come around as well and finish strong. At least I hope so.
Hoopsworld asks the question What would Red do? That is a good question. Red would say keep it simple. Red would say to emphasize defense and rebounding. And Red would say do what you do best. Play to your strengths. Bigs play under the basket. Al wouldn't be finding the open man but would be putting the ball in the basket. Rondo would be running, not playing a half court game. Pierce would not be dribbling and driving into double teams. Telfair and Scal woudln't be shooting 3's. It does seem at times that Doc plays to the players' weaknesses and not their strengths.
The Worcester Telegram has a piece on Ratliff and how his shot blocking can help us. It was obviously written before last night's revelation that Theo would be out for awhile again with his back. I agree that a healthy Theo would help us. I hope they give him plenty of time to heal so that he can come back and help us in the stretch run at the end of the season. Perk is becoming a good shot blocker also, averaging 1.7 per game and racking up 6 in his last two games.