During this season we've been hearing about the identity of this team, the age and the will and determination to bring another championship for this franchise. We haven't been able to find a consistent rhythm throughout the year, and frustration has emerged from the ashes of everybody's failed expectations. Even Rasheed Wallace -who is used to coasting until the Playoffs- predicted that this team would be almost unbeatable by the start of the season.
The team we all expected to watch, the wins we all took for granted, the toughness and defensive effort we thought we would have... all of that doesn't exist. That time is long gone. We are not that team anymore.
Life continues and reality changes. Melancholy is a dangerous weapon, it can keep your feet on the floor but it can also make you obsess with something that is not there. Looking back makes you be aware of the nature of your soul, your identity...but it means nothing if you remain 100% focused on the past and ignore the facts of the present.
The team needs to start focusing on the present time and maximize the features and possibilities of the current squad. Don't get me wrong, this team is still a contender, and yes...this team can still win it all. But in order to achieve that we need a change of focus, a complete exercise of self acceptation. Just as KG, P2 and Ray didn't consider themselves losers at the beginning of the 07/08 season just because they had failed in the playoffs didn't imply that they would fall again considering their past history of personal disappointments in the final battles.
This team is still thinking it can dominate rivals, and when it doesn't happen then accumulate technical fouls, load their trash talking and end up extremely frustrated. Teams already know this is not the 07/08 team, but sometimes I believe our team still thinks it hasn't changed. I believe KG wouldn't have exploded and used that F-bomb in the post game against OKC if this was 08. It wouldn't have mattered so much then.
Let's face the facts and assume who we are. Rajon Rondo is the leader of this team on the court, the focus is to make him consistent during the playoffs. If he plays as he has during the rest of the year, then we have 50% of the task already completed. With a healthy and focused Rondo we can surely past the first round and advance several series. Ray Allen needs to have fresher legs in order for him to start knocking down those 3's. Pierce should probably sit for a week to completely heal. We already know that KG will not be himself this season, so let's keep his legs fresh for the playoffs.
In a certain way this team is a mix of Rajon Rondo and Rasheed Wallace. It has a lot of talent, it's team oriented, can beat anybody, it's tough, it talks trash, it's proud, it gambles when it (doesn't) matter(s), and it relies heavily on its ability to win in the playoffs.
Let the real games start, but with a new mentality. If we want to win, we need to accept who we are: a contender that has won nothing this year. If we fail, 08 will not be a relief but a ghost that will come to haunt us for another decade. Pablo Pérez 4/03/2010 03:21:00 AM Tweet