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The Celtics are on a four game losing streak. They’re 20-21 at the halfway point for the season. What are they missing? A backup center? A backup point guard? A top flight NBA scorer? According to the captain Paul Pierce it’s simply, mental toughness. Following last night’s demoralizing game in which Kyrie Irving had his way with the Green, Pierce talked about the team’s mental state:
“I think that’s the one thing this team lacks, that mental toughness, man. When we lose our confidence, I’ve never been on teams like that. We got to stay together, we got to play with confidence.

“Yeah, definitely, it hurts me to say that. It’s like I really sometimes don’t believe it.

“We get down on ourselves. We got to go out there and believe we can win every game. It’s tough sometimes.”
Mental toughness is not something that’s easy to pick up at the trade deadline. I like the players on this team and the skill sets they individually bring to the court, however they are lacking something. They have the talent to dominate the bad teams in this league, but as is tradition with the last few seasons they have played down to the competition. I think they are definitely a better team than their record indicates, and Doc agrees:
“I think that we’re a better team than our record, but you are always what your record is and right now we are a .500 basketball team,” said Rivers. “That’s what we are. But what I see and my beliefs are we should be a lot better.

“I don’t mind the challenge. I’m up for that and I hope our guys are up for being challenged.”
These last few games have been really tough to watch, this team doesn’t have an identity they can hang their hat on. They’re not a run and gun team, they’re not a good defensive team, and they’re not a really old or a really young team. What are they? Last year was the same way and then they moved KG to center and righted the ship, what are they going to do this year? We all harped ‘wait till Avery gets’ and when he did he was as advertised. ‘The Game Changer’ is the nickname that JR coined, and he was. But now they’re playing the same way before Avery came back.

I think they need a trade, nothing major but something that will shake up the roster to cover up some of their weaknesses. They are a small, backcourt court loaded team which isn’t to our advantage as Rondo and Bradley are going to snag most of the minutes for the backcourt. This is the last few seasons of KG and Pierce, so either scrap the future and put all the chips on the table for this year or have a fire sale and prepare for the next era of Celtics basketball. The combo of both clearly isn’t working.

Follow me on Twitter: @Mattymackay

Matty Mackay 1/23/2013 10:44:00 AM Edit
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