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Most Boston Celtics fans know the story. It was prior to a deciding Game Seven of the 1984 NBA Finals - Celtics versus Lakers - Larry Bird versus Magic Johnson. Bird had already questioned his team about playing like sissies and having no heart in Game Six. Always-playful Danny Ainge had his stethoscope ready for action prior to the game. He did a heart-check on various teammates. He may need it once again!


The 1984 Celtics troops had true hearts after all. They took the game and the 1984 Title. Larry Bird was the unquestioned leader of that squad, and he challenged his team to victory by questioning their determination and effort. "No heart"? "Sissies"? True or not, it worked. This reaction to the Celtics recent woes (per one of our readers, Thiago Reis):

Thiago Reis •
The missing piece in fact is only one: EFFORT. Let's take a close look at important games this season:
Sixers - We crushed them on season opener.
Raptors - We played well in the first game, despite the loss and we gave them a hell of a game in our win.
Pacers - Good game decided on the last possession.
Bucks - Great game, one of the best performances of our offense.
Pistons - We crushed them both games.

But when it comes to western conference teams or not contenders in the East, the team just sucks.

For me, it has to be about effort and giving a sh.. to the end result of a game.

So where is that stethoscope, Danny? It may be needed again. This so-far-underachieving group sits at 10-10 record-wise and needs tonight's game against the also-10-and-10 Pelicans. Does this team lack heart? Could be! Does it lack effort? Unquestionably, yes! Are the players performing like sissies? I would hate to think they are playing at peak performance and effort - not with a 10-10 record. If so, there will be no Championship this season. Last season's playoff squad were the Cardiac Kings, and they played as though their lives were at stake. What's the deal with this one?

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC, @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

Photo via Frank O'Brien/Boston Globe
















Tom Lane 11/26/2018 09:15:00 AM Edit
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