“Tomorrow we’ve got Philly,” said Rajon Rondo, the latest captain in Celtics history. “So short-term memory.”
Rondo made that statement about 50 minutes after the final buzzer sounded in Boston’s disappointing loss to New York. Physically, he was in a locker room in Manhattan. Mentally, he was already on the parquet at TD Garden, where the Celtics will host the 76ers Wednesday night.
Rondo’s mindset is that of an NBA champion and a veteran. He understands that you can’t get too high and you can’t get too low in this league. Tuesday’s loss was disappointing, but it’s on to the next one for him and the Celtics.
This message is always important in the long NBA season but it's especially important this year considering it's going to be a tumultuous ride for The C's on their way to the NBA Draft Lottery.
Although, it looks to be an amazing year for the top of the draft this is the problem with so called tanking.
Players who have won at every level all of a sudden are making a habit out of losing and the mental effects can be demoralizing.
Even the perpetual optimist, coach Brad Stevens, is seemingly getting extremely frustrated by all the losing if this statement after the Knick game is any indication:
Brad Stevens: We're not a very good basketball team.— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) January 29, 2014
Rondo, who is not expected to play tonight, is especially going to be the brunt of criticism considering he's coming off his injury and has understandably struggled thus far appearing in six games averaging 6.7 points and 5.7 assists on just 28 percent shooting from the floor in limited minutes.
An excellent example of this was Jon Barry being overly critical of Rondo during Pierce and Garnett's return to Boston Sunday rehashing the: "Was Rondo only great because he played with Hall of Famers argument?"
Rondo's dealt with these criticisms as well as the lack of jumpshot knock throughout his career and has always responded so I don't think it's anything to worry about.
The question is do the Celtic fans and the young players on this team have the mental fortitude to endure playing and rooting for what even their coach says is "not a very good basketball team" for the next three months willing to believe Danny Ainge is doing what's best for the future.
Follow Clint on Twitter @ClintCorey
Photo provided courtesy of Celtics.com
Clint Corey 1/29/2014 12:29:00 PM Tweet