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High expectations inevitably lead to disappointment. I've lived by this phrase my whole life and think it can apply to all walks of life. Nowhere does this ring true more than in sports. The 24 hour a day news cycle leads to constant over-analysis by the media and as a result, over-analyis by us fans. We hype up our teams, hate on other teams, and form expectations in our heads of what the season is going to be like before a single game has been played.

This Celtics team is performing at pretty much the level they should be expected to at this point in the season. This was never a 72 win team, nor should we want them to be. If the Celtics were to break the Bulls record they would have to play their starters big minutes the entire season, which would lead to them being burned out in the playoffs. It's okay to want your team to be the best, but be realistic about it.

It's great to be optimistic and hopeful about your team, but it's important to also not be a blind homer. The Celtics top 4 players are all on the downside of their careers. Their best defender and vocal leader is coming off a knee injury, and has already logged a tremendous amount of mileage in his career. Their prize free agent addition was a guy that has been an underachiever his entire career and is 36 years old. Their hero from last years playoffs, Big Baby Davis is out until February, and their star point guard was still dealing with contract negotiations at the start of camp and still has no jump shot. Not to mention the fact the Celtics have one of the deepest teams in the league, and their coach Doc Rivers always has struggled with time management.

The reason people are so upset about the Celtics is because we expected them to just automatically return to their championship form of 2008. We expected KG to be the same guy as he was at the beginning of last season. We expected Rondo to play like he did in the Bulls series every game. We expected Rasheed to be the dominant all star force off the bench that he was brought here to be. Now, this doesn't mean it can't happen; it just means we should all lower our expectations a little and watch it play out on the court. Hope and expectation are two totally different things. I can hope the Celtics will win every game, but I can't expect that. Remember, you can't really draw any conclusions until after Christmas anyway.  Honestly, 10-4 is still pretty good, and I look forward to the Celtics continuing to improve.

Karl Dillinger 11/24/2009 04:06:00 PM Edit
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5 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    dill i got a lot of problems with your post but every time i try to write something my thoughts get all twisted. but, i think, and im pretty sure we have already argued this, whats the point in playing the game if you dont care about winning. you always say you play bc you love the game and thats fine but players who are in the nba are playing the game as also their job. they are paid to play. and if expectations are made to disappoint what about in 2007 or 08 when GS made the playoffs and won first round, were they expected to win? they disappoint? expectations is the game. thats why we watch, we expect one team to win but want the underdog. high expectations might seen arrogant or cocky but you need to believe in your product before you sell it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    and your team is playoff ready, you see the spurs giving it their all in november. they know when it matters and they got some time. i hope you are expecting a title cause youre not gonna have this line up forever, and since you know how it feels (pre garnett era)you gotta milk it while you can. if you dont win this year then it might be over.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I believe in realistic expectations. Are you going to stop being a loyal Celtics fan if they don't win the title?

  4. Karl Dillinger says:

    what, not at all. I just don't think they will break the record for wins. This has nothing to do with loyalty or winning the title, I will always be a Celtics fan. I have no idea what you are talking about.

  5. ThomasJ says:

    Karl, I definitely have the highest hopes and expectations for this season and you did a good job of putting it in perspective. Until this team is eliminated I believe they are going to win the title this year barring injury.

    It's not about these guys not wanting to win bad enough. This team is a work in progress. Nobody talks about the 27-2 start last season. I'll take that later in the year.

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