What did Celtics fans learn after playing the season’s 30 games without Avery Bradley?
That Avery Bradley is truly an elite defender. And that the Celtics needed time to adjust to all the new faces, learn the defensive schemes, learn their new roles on this team, and trust in each other and themselves. The first 30 games showed a mediocre team making adjustments to a new situation, with two aging stars, one dominant point guard who had trouble getting up for weak opponents, and in general, some serious flaws.
What did Celtics fans learn in the last 20 games, going 14-6 since losing Rajon Rondo to a torn ACL in the 43rd game of the season?
They proved yet again in the Kevin Garnett era that Aristotle was right, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Mainly because of the kind of energy, confidence and camaraderie that these teams have had. They play better than they should at the biggest moments because they have the belief that they can win any game, against any team. How many times have we seen the “backs-against-the-wall” playoff wins and remarked yet again on how they just won’t quit. They also learned that Jeff Green has worked his way back into peak mental and physical shape and, when he is feeling it, we all feel it, whether he is locking down scorers, blocking shots from behind, throwing down reverse dunks, or knocking in corner 3’s. Jeff Green and Avery Bradley are the two keys to this year’s post-Rondo Celtics. It’s good to know what you have going forward. Now the question is: Who can they be in two years, without KG and Pierce to lead them?
What did Celtics fans learn in last night’s 24-point loss to the Charlotte Bobcats?
The Bobcats entered last night’s contest as owners of a 7-24 home record, an overall record of 13-50. They are not exactly the hottest team in the NBA, having gone 6-41 in their last 47 games. Suffice it to say they are once again in shambles. Doc decided on the plane from Oklahoma City that he was resting Pierce for the first time this year. Pierce’s neck injury continues to linger, and he’s forced to play through the pain. Without Pierce, the Celtics had zero play-making, resulting in a measly 15 assists and 13 turnovers.
Gerald Henderson, whose father stole the ball in Game 2 of the 1984 NBA Finals against the Lakers, dropped 35 points on the beleaguered Celtics.
What did we really learn? As Doc and Danny have been preaching since training camp, the goal is to be healthy for the playoffs, not to win regular season games and jockey for home court. We should know better than to look at the standings, see the Knicks starting to struggle with injuries and think about winning the Atlantic. We are compelled to do it because we know this team can beat anyone, if they are feeling right. However, those moments need to come in mid-April, not mid-March. A blowout loss to the Bobcats. Guess that puts things in perspective. Gives us a sense of the Truth and what he means.
19 games left. The Heat and their 19-game winning streak come to the Garden on Monday. If they beat Philly, Milwaukee and Toronto, they’ll be at 22 and counting. But number 34 will be back on the court. It’s almost that time of year.
And now for something completely different, a compilation of animal’s being mean to other animals that will certainly make you laugh, courtesy of the lovely Natasha Joseph: