Twenty games into the 2012-13 season, it's pretty easy to look at the Celtics performance thus far as underwhelming. Their 11-9 record puts them in a tie for 6th in the East, their point differential (+0.7 per game) is the 14th best in the NBA, and the team has yielded these rather pedestrian numbers while being pretty damn healthy. After all the only player on the roster to miss more than three games (not counting DNP-CD's) thus far is Avery Bradley. So far, while the season has not been a disaster by any stretch, it's fair to describe the results as a bit disappointing on the whole.
Just don't tell that to Sixers coach Doug Collins. After the Celtics beat up on Philadelphia, 92-79 on Saturday night, Collins went on at length about how impressed he was with the Celtics, from Steve Bulpett's Herald column.
They’re going to be really good, I thought (Friday) night (a 95-94 overtime loss to the 76ers in Philadelphia) they were great defensively (the Sixers shot 37.4 percent).
I think Doc, the one thing he’s probably not been happy about is they’ve not been quite the potent defensive team that they’ve been in the past. But their offense is incredibly efficient.
Collins analysis of the Celtics defense playing well in Philly was accurate, in fact, the C's have absolutely locked down on the defensive end over the past five games. Since their lethargic performance against the Nets, that prompted Doc Rivers to call the team soft, the Celtics have allowed just 87.4 points a game on 40.2% shooting. While their 3-2 record over the five games may not be lighting the world on fire, the team is playing more like the Celtics of the past half decade. Collins went on to compare this year's Celtics team to last years, which many left for dead after a poor first half of the season.
Remember, last year at the All-Star break, everybody had them all done, too.
They’ve added depth, and they’ve added speed and they’ve added some scoring, so they’re going to be able to score better.
They’re going to be fine. Believe me, Doc will have this team right where he wants to have it — and that takes time. You know, they’ve got new faces. They’re trying to put their team together. They’re trying to figure out how they want to do their bench and with JT (Jason Terry) and Jeff Green and (Leandro) Barbosa and (Brandon) Bass and how those guys mix in.
Couldn't have said it better myself, Doug. Collins actually paints a really good picture of the Celtics current situation as Doc is clearly trying to figure out his rotations. Whenever you add nine new players to a team, there will be growing pains. That's why I think it's so important that we've seen the dominant defensive team of years past back in action lately. It shows that the new guys are really starting to buy in and play the type of basketball that this team has won with over the past five seasons.
P.S. Doug Collins is ridiculously good at analyzing basketball. Please Doug get fired and go back to the studio. I know you're a good coach but I assure you that you're a better analyst.
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Michael Dyer 12/10/2012 06:09:00 PM Tweet Edit