|Posted by Yenu on January 9, 2014 at 10:50 PM|
The way the team has been coached by Brad Stevens, if I would've told you before the xmas break, the Celtics are barely going to play any games, were going to lose to bad teams at home and Torontos going to take a comfortable lead in the Atlantic division after a Rudy Gay trade, oh and both the New York teams play good on west coast trips, you probably wont believe me, but in two weeks, all of that has transpired. As a result, we've bounced out of playoff seeding at #9-10, for the first time since week 3. Things feel erie and stagnant like we cant help ourselves, and with reports of players-only meetings leading to nothing and public disagreements, the team's behavior is suggests the same.
It seems the trade talks for Omer Asik, kind of slowed down the chemistry and confidence guys were playing with so far. Like i said, the way Stevens has coached this team to think defense and effort first, its hard to see our recent defensive drop off. Ive said throughout the year, that the team has played overextended, playing shooting guards at point guard and forwards at center, but as of late the team looks like theyre literally waiting for Rajon to show up and make things better, like a nursing father. But, I honestly think, hes the sole difference between an east coast contender or another playoff team in the east, its like a football team being forced to play their offense without their franchise quarterback, almost a night and day difference. Still, if the Celtics want to compete, it'll say alot for this group to stay in playoff contention without Rondo. Especially, when his return has no official timetable.
Something tells me that if this team doesnt break out of this current funk, we can face a huge losing streak with the rest of the west coast trip, that could lead to a big trade to sell our assets for more draft picks (tank). Besides, if this team cant go back to their defensive dominance and play by committee on offense, like they did two weeks ago, it wont say much for this teams ability to play hard without Rondo and it could definitely translate in poor execution down the stretch of the season (like with KG and Pierce, the years proir). Luckily, this hasnt been the teams first spell of bad play, and Coach Stevens has dealt well with the jekyll and hyde tendancies of team, so far, and follow losing streaks with winning ones. With Danny Ainge trading Courtney Lee for Jared Bayless, I still think he believes in a run for this team, because Bayless makes us better.
He's a rambunctious scorer who can go off for 30 points off the bench and in my opinion should've been starting over Mike Conley. Gerald Wallace said it the best in regards to the current state of the team on Tuesday, "it wont matter what we say we want to do to get better, its all about what we do on the court." The Clippers loss may've been our best basketball of 2014, and it may be the precurser to another step in the right direction, it sure looked like it.