The Celtics beat the Washington Wizards last night, but it was not a feel good story. Boston ran out to a 16 point lead, then just went through the motions and were fortunate to escape with a win.
Is it time to push the panic button? Of course not. Last season the team had no chemistry issues, but still crawled out of the gates with an 0-3 start. This year with essentially a whole new supporting cast they have managed to get one win in the first three games. They are ahead of the curve.
We are all waiting for the bench to adopt the 'D' in defense and for Jason the 'Jet' Terry to stop using ethanol based fuel on takeoff. The water residue has left him sputtering and choking at the most inopportune time.
Leandro Barbosa runs hot and cold. That is to be expected since he was raised on the Mike D'Antoni mantra of offense trumping the defense. He is our own mini-microwave/Eddie House. He will find his way.
I could go on and on espousing about the talent that we have. However, it still boils down to two 'C' words.
Chemistry and communication.
It doesn't matter if we had last years squad or it's present incarnation; (they have sputtered out of the gates the past two seasons) the frustration level is about the same.
There is something else that does not ring true to the nature of the Celtics. It is the 'fool's gold' production of Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Two things are going on here. First, PP seems to be feeling the pressure of Jeff Green nipping at the heels of his Max 2 sneakers. This has manifested itself in him, not making the extra pass out of the double team and playing hero-ball.
The other is, the game is becoming increasingly easier for Rondo and it looks like it will be a struggle for him to maintain his focus during the regular season. After all, his light shines brightest on the biggest stage. But his new leadership roll requires him to be more than a double-double machine sprinkled in with an occasional triple-double.
Sometimes, it pays to look over the rim of your green-tinged glasses and get a reality check on the landscape of an NBA season. Teams do not show their hand during preseason, therefore the successes or failures of the C's need to be taken with a grain-of-salt so early in its quest for the gold ball.
A more accurate predictor or sample size is needed. We need the team to play at least 10 games before we call for putting heads on the trading-block.
All this being said, they took Miami to a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2011-12 playoffs with the same kind of start. If they can replicate what they did last year in a shortened-season, they will be there when it matters. Frances 11/04/2012 08:39:00 AM Tweet Edit