Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

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    Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    First of all, I never got an opportunity to wish all the best to this board, and everyone on it, for a wonderful 2013.

    Che, I got word you mentioned my name on this board, wondering about my take on Rondo.  I don't know which thread it was on, so I'm taking the liberty of starting my own thread to respond.  Actually, I'm just posting something I wrote on my own board.  Granted, it was written before the Celtics lost Barbosa, but that really didn't affect my thinking on the matter.  So here goes:

    Juggling Chairs and Balls

    This is a Boston Celtics message board. You remember the Celtics. Through the years, they've arguably been associated with team basketball more consistently than any other franchise. They've won as a team. They've lost as a team. For better or worse, almost never have their fortunes been tied mainly to one player, despite a fairly constant procession of superstars and hall-of-famers through their ranks. They've never had a league scoring champion, but they've had plenty of league assist champions. The Celtics’ collaborative approach to basketball is so deeply engrained that it qualifies as a tradition.

    Consequently, it really bothers me when I see any one Celtic player singled out as THE source of positives OR negatives associated with the team. With the Celtics, it’s NEVER just one player. And that has never been more true than in the case of Rajon Rondo.

    The current question making the rounds should not be whether the Celtics are better off with or without Rondo. The question should be whether the Celtics are better off with the type of play they’re now employing—whatever mix of factors has brought it about. Clearly, the answer is yes. And I understand that there’s a natural inclination to play the blame game.

    But there’s usually more than one factor involved in everything that happens to the Celtics. And more than one factor is affecting their new style of play. As BobH and others have noted, the defensive improvement began well before Rondo was lost for the season. I’ve been bellyaching all season long because the offense was so stagnant. Was that solely due to Rondo, or was there some reason beyond his control that made him pound the ball outside? Is Rondo responsible for motivating his teammates to move without the ball, move the ball, and space the floor well…or is that Doc’s job? Should the players new to the team have made more of an effort to get into the swing of things, or were any such attempts hampered by the complexity of the defense and the aforementioned stagnation of the offense? You can bet your life that all of those factors, and others, played a role in a season that seemed to be going nowhere until Rondo (and, shortly thereafter, Sully) left the team.

    So what has been responsible for the very quick turnaround in the past four games? Is it simply that they could be better off without Rondo? That’s not the constructive way to look at it.

    Have you ever played musical chairs? Every time a chair is removed, what happens? The remaining participants become more alert and anticipatory, and you can see them ready to pounce at any moment on the chairs that remain. They become increasingly invigorated by the adrenalin the diminishing number of chairs is blasting through their bodies. Things become more simplified, as there are increasingly fewer chairs on which to concentrate. Out of the corners of their eyes, they watch their opponents for any advantage on which they can capitalize.

    Right now, the Celtics are both the victims and the beneficiaries of a game of—let’s call it musical balls. They’re all good athletes; they know how to play the game; and they have the capacity to play team ball—Celtics ball. But now, their immediate goals (or roles) have become magnified, simplified, and clarified. And guess what has happened. The ball game has changed, and there are now just as many musical balls as players, so they can forget about concentration on the scarcity of balls and play with the abandon and freedom associated with rewarding collaboration.

    Yes, it happens that the loss of Rondo was arguably the most pervasive that could ever have been inflicted on this team. It wasn't that he unilaterally did a lot of hardheaded, bad things. I believe he tried very hard (and understandably became sporadically disillusioned about the lack of success). And, as he searched for ways to be a better leader, he got into some habits that proved counterproductive; and his teammates accorded him greater deference as the team became increasingly Rondo-centric. It turned out that he was both a victim and a partial cause of circumstances.

    Ironically, it is the very magnitude of Rondo's loss that has ultimately resulted in better focus, motivation, anticipation, circling of the wagons, and readiness to capitalize on opportunities. And hopefully, it has driven home to Doc the fact that this is a virtual blueprint for the manner in which the game should be played in order for a team like this to succeed—with or without Rondo. And, when Rondo returns, and depending on how the musical chairs are arranged next season, here’s hoping the lessons now being learned will continue to guide their play—with Rondo being the one who is asked to fit in as one of the team leaders rather than being given the independent mantle of lord of the manor.
     
    Go Celtics!  And take care, everyone.

    Slippery Sam
    Sam's Celtics Forum
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ortiz123. Show Ortiz123's posts

    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    Amen, Brother...

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    "Yes, it happens that the loss of Rondo was arguably the most pervasive that could ever have been inflicted on this team."

    The loss of KG would be far more pervasive at this point with the Cs no doubt going into a complete tail spin... from which they would likely not recover.

    We are stacked in the backcourt relatively speaking compared to the front court.

    But yes huge changes ahead when/if Rondo returns.

    Pud

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    Great to see you Sam

     

    Best Regards

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from NYCelt. Show NYCelt's posts

    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    Very good points Sam; as always.

    The fact is it's not unusual for a team to come together and play well after the loss of a key player.  This is still a team of experienced veterans and good young emerging players.

    Rondo is certainly still the key  to the future when he returns.

     

    Regards

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    In response to Fierce34's comment:

    All you Rondo haters, what now?

    Sam didn't say the Celts are better off without Rondo because it's not true that the Celtics are a better team without Rondo.

    So Karl, Rally, and all you Rondo haters go ahead and bash Sam now for not saying the Celtics are better off without Rondo.

    Or you Rondo haters are too scared of Sam?

    I don't recall Sam saying either way.

    What's there to bash?

    Pud

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kyceltic. Show kyceltic's posts

    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    Who's Sam?

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    It is the system that is working, I really believe the Celtics were forced to change their offensive philosphy with Rondo being out. I think he can implement this when he returns if he is willing.

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    Always good to read a post from Sam, it brings me back to the C's board when just about nothing else will...

    "Musical balls..." pure majesty, that is all.

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    Wozzy,

    Good to see a post from you.

    I recall you as one of our band of originals here, from the old board prior to the major 2005 revision. 

    I don't stop in here that often anymore, spending more time elsewhere, but it's great to see knowledgeable fans like you are still around.

     

    Regards

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from SlipperySam. Show SlipperySam's posts

    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

     Hey Wozzy,

     

    Great to hear from you.  Is that The Rock in your avatar?  The best.

    kyceltic,
    The answer to your question is just some guy who used to post here.

    Whatever viewpoint you have regarding Rondo, it should be very interesting when he makes his return.  I'm assuming that the Celtics as a team have experienced some kind of epiphany for whatever reason.  And I'm hoping Doc will use that learning as a springboard for getting Rondo and all his teammates to buy into a refurbished offensive system next season, with uptempo ball being the key.  Not just fast-breaking but pushing the ball up on every possession.  Attacking, not using precious time to pound the ball and stand like statues.

     

    After all, the open court is one of Rondo's best playgrounds, and I can't believe he'll have to do much adaptation to adjust to more uptempo.  (Most of the adjustment should be mental; and, if he can get in a full pre-season, that could do the trick.)  IF the same nucleus is with the team next season, the Celts (including Doc) should benefit from having seen what side-to-side ball movement, spacing the floor, setting some decent picks, moving without the ball, and sharing the rock can accomplish in the halfcourt.  Also, next season, they should be familiar with the Celtics’ complex defensive system.

    Best regards,

     

    Sam

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    LOL@fierce trying to inject Sam into the debate cause fierce cant handle it himself and knows he's losing.  Need some more helpers fierce?? (odd name for such a scaredy pants) haha

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    The sad truth is Doc misled this team by forcing feeding Rondo to everyone  as team leader and having him dominate the ball and stagnante our offense .. Now that the team has tripped and stumbled into a good and exciting style due to the removal of Rondo, do people really believe theres any other cause other than Rondos departure?

    The improvement is so obvious that it even overcame another huge loss of our rookie Sully.

    So now some suggest Rondo adjusts his game to fit the new Celtics.. if thats possible, then Im all for it. Then again, Doc needs to buy into that concept as well..  Funny how Doc should have been the guy recognizing these problems and adjusting all along.. so Id be skeptical how many more unfortunate injuries we'll need to have for Doc to finally figure things out.

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    Very well said Sam. Not sure Che will like your response but I think you pretty mucn nailed it. You said it so well that even Rondo haters were forced to think a little harder about the nuances they usually ignore. Thanks for that. 

     
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    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    p.s. Kirk6 step off the ledge please, you can't trade an injuried player except to get pennies on the dollar. 

     
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  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Karllost. Show Karllost's posts

    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    In response to damfuno's comment:

    I believe the "Rondo haters" were not referring to the man himself but to the style of basketball that he was bringing to the team.  There is no doubt that he is a very talented player.  I remember the early days of Rondo where he played defense but he was either asked or took it upon himself to play the pound ball style of basketball which made our play "stagnant" as Sam said.  Because he was pronounced "Lord of the Manor" or the conductor of the "Boston Pops" it made all the feudal players feels a little beneath the lord.  When you are playing the style of BB that we are playing now with all the picks, ball movement etc it may take some time to get free for an open shot or drive to the basket.  The style we were playing with Rondo used to much clock before we got into our movement.  What I hope Rondo learns from our play since he was injured is that 1) the ball moves faster than the man 2) when the ball is moving he will probably wind up with it again 3) the team is only as good as it's part and 4) "everyone must feel wanted" not just the HOF'ers.

    By the way Sam thanks for your post it was very refreshing to hear from you again and your knowledge of the game is always spot on



    Good post..

     
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  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Karllost. Show Karllost's posts

    Re: Note to Che and Anyone Else from Slippery Sam

    In response to Fierce34's comment:

    In response to Karllost's comment:

     

     

    LOL@fierce trying to inject Sam into the debate cause fierce cant handle it himself and knows he's losing.  Need some more helpers fierce?? (odd name for such a scaredy pants) haha

     

     



    Are you kidding?

     

    Who wanted Sam back? It was CHE, right?

    I don't need Sam's help. 

    Every time we argue you always run away!

    You're just good at cheap shots, but when it comes down to it, you always walk away!



    fierce, youre worse than a 5 yr old child to argue with.  Now you're trying to deny your attempt to drag Sam into your many fights with people here..

    "So Karl, Rally, and all you Rondo haters go ahead and bash Sam now for not saying the Celtics are better off without Rondo.

    Or you Rondo haters are too scared of Sam?"

    Cant fight your own battles, sonnyboy?  and why would I be scared of Sam or anyone else on a message board?? Sam has his opinion and everyone else their own.

    You really need to talk to someone professionally and I'm not trying to be funny about it

     
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