The Celtics have a league best record of 11-2. That means they are ahead of the pack, but it also means that they have a bullseye on their backs. Every team is gunning for them. Teams like the Knicks who are at the bottom of the ratings will get up for the Celtics and will give this game all they've got to be able to say they beat the mighty Celtics. At the same time, the Celtics have to really work to get up for these teams.
Remember back to last season? The lowly Celtics beat San Antonio. We may have had a lousy year and finished second to last, but we beat San Antonio and that really meant something. Well, this season it is the Celtics who are the target and teams who have little hope for much more will hang their hats on a win over the Celtics. Let's hope that KG's intensity can lift this team night in and night out to play like they want every single game.
The Celtics are 11-2 but this may be a bit deceptive. They are only 2-2 against teams that are above .500. They also have struggled against every team that has played solid defense against them. We still have a lot of work to do and playing 40+ minutes in a game and then not practicing isn't going to get it done. With games tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, they probably won't get much practice in this week, or rest either.
The minutes played still bother me. It is very early. Getting off to an 11-2 start isn't near as important as being able to finish the season strong. Also, the bench has got to be able to sustain some momentum if we expect to win in the playoffs and playing the starters 40+ minutes isn't going to accomplish that. We should be letting the bench work together to build chemistry and that would give the starters more of a rest. I don't understand Doc's game plan at times. We should not be playing Pierce, Allen and KG so many minutes. Not only will they wear out, but when they get tired, there is a much greater chance of injury. I really hope Doc sacrifices a few wins now to build a better team for the end of the season.
It seems to me that the Celtics are getting away from the things that made them so effective early on. They played lock down defense and shut down the lane completely. The past few games we haven't seen that. We allowed the Cavs and Bobcats to get easy baskets and allowed way too many layups. Our defense has fallen off and that may also be a casualty of fatigue. It is much harder to play in your face defense when you are tired out. Also, early on the ball movement was a thing of beauty. The ball moved around the court and found the open man almost every time. The last couple of games we saw too much dribbling and one on one play rather than the passing game that was so successful early in the season.
KG should be getting the ball inside way more than 5 times in the 4th quarter of a game but yet, KG only got 5 touches in that 4th quarter over the Cavs. The first option should be to go to KG and then he can either score or find the open man if he is doubled. He took only 2 shots in the last 9 minutes of the 4th quarter and only 2 shots in OT against the Cavs. KG can score on almost anyone and if he is doubled, he is a very good passer to find the open man.
The Celtics are still undefeated in the Garden and it would be nice to keep that streak going as long as possible. The crowds have been giving the team a boost and could be considered the team's sixth man when they are home. Teams need to be intimidated when they come in to the Garden to play the Celtics at home.
Knicks game tonight. It would be easy to take them for granted. They are the laughing stock of the league right now, but they also have won their last two games and they have some very good players. Hopefully we will get back to doing the things that were so effective early. Until we beat teams with a +.500 record with regularity, we really haven't proved anything. Tonight's home game on TNT is the first time since 2003 that a Celtics home game has been featured on the TNT broadcasts.