The Boston Celtics are 0-3 for the first time since the abysmal 2006 regular season.
Sure, the Celtics had to face the Miami Heat and the revamped New York Knicks on their home openers on national television. Sure, they had to start with three games on the road, the last two being a back-to-back ending against a rested Hornets team. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, they haven't had their best player suit up yet this season.
Paul Pierce may be walking through that door one of these days, but Celtics fans shouldn't get their hopes up that things will be all that different for the rest of the season. Younger, more talented teams like the Heat and the Knicks are going to give the Celtics major problems. Even in the good ole days of 2008, Boston struggled mightily scoring, especially down the stretch. Back then, and even as recently as last season, they could always get stops.
|Seriously, though, what is a Stiemsma?|
The bottom line for the Celtics is that good defense slips with age, and bad offense doesn't get better when you're older. They have always been a team built on heart, pride, and defense.
It seems that the heart and the pride remain, at least it did in the first two games, when Boston's veterans drained their surpluses trying to fight back from double-digit deficits, only to come up empty in late game possessions. After the New York and Miami games Celtics fans likely told themselves, "I'm happy with the effort without Pierce," and "Miami is the best team in the league, and it was a three-point game with a minute to go on the road." If you are collecting moral victories for the Celtics it may be time to clear some room on the cupboard, because this season may be full of them.
I wrote in my season preview that the Celtics would have a disappointing regular season, and shock a few teams in the playoffs and I still can see that happening. Games will go back to being spaced out in the postseason, and I think Doc will manage the minutes this season and have a "fresh(er)" Big Three at the end of the year. Doc Rivers is a great coach and Rondo now knows this is his team. I think the two of them alone will get them past a round or two against less experienced teams. Make no mistake, however, that the Boston Celtics will not sniff the NBA Finals this season, and my prediction of an Eastern Conference match up with the Heat is an Inspector Gadget sized stretch and is dripping with wishful homerism. Even if they do pull off what I've predicted, it is a monumental shift in mind state when you go from expecting greatness to hoping for okayness in what seems like a blink of an eye.
- I haven't seen a team in green struggle this bad since Joe Namath fell in love with Suzy Kolber.
- Stiemsma played great help defense and grabbed some boards, but let's not put him in the Hall of Fame just yet. Okafor looked like Wilt Chamberlain against Stiemy a few times tonight. He was calling for the ball, knocking down hook shots, soliciting thousands of women in the crowd to join him after the game.
- Does Sasha Pavlovic have naked photos of Doc Rivers? Why is this guy still a starter? When he's not fouling or turning the ball over, he's standing in the corner of the offensive end collecting dust.
- Chris Kaman was called for his third offensive odor of the season tonight against the Celtics.
- Is Pavlovic starting Doc Rivers answer to Bill Belichick using wide receivers as defensive backs? Just a screw you, I'm a the best coach in the league, I can even start Sasha Pavlovic and compete? That has to be what it is.
- If Jermaine O'Neal didn't follow through like Chief Jay Strongbow every time he went for a block, he'd probably get the benefit of the doubt from the referees a little more.
- Pretty awesome that Chris Wilcox found Rasheed Wallace's beard in his old locker. Fits great.
- Keyon Dooling has hit some clutch shots for the Celtics so far this season, and I like that pick up more and more every game, but I must say that jump shot is ugly. It's like Tim Tebow and Kendrick Perkins morphed together and did a soccer throw-in while pumping their legs like the people from those old Toyota commercials all at once.
- I would say nasty things about Dick Bavetta and his officiating but you all saw what he did to Carol Ann in Poltergeist.
- I feel like the only person on the planet that could ever truly understand Kevin Garnett is DMX, and vice versa.
- It's funny to me how Kevin Garnett runs his mouth, gets chippy with people, acts like a jerk and never actually fights anyone and is a punk, and Udonis Haslem has done that his whole career and he's "gritty." They both have the same antics. Half the league does. But KG is Mr. "Bark but no Bite." None of them bite.
- Jermaine O'Neal mentioned that he wants to end his career on his own terms with his head held high, which will be near impossible due to the shear weight of said cranium.
- The Miami Heat are winning the NBA Title. As painful as that will be, it will happen. Prepare yourselves.
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