The Celtics loss to the Nets last Saturday was devastating and embarrassing. However, it underlies a bigger and much more serious issue about this Celtics team. That issue is they have forgotten about "Ubuntu." This was their mantra for the 2007-2008 season and was the driving force toward their 17th banner. Its basic principle is one team, one goal. It embraced the principles of teamwork both on and off the court, and you could sense the team really believed in it.
This year's team lacks that sense of continuity. Sure, they are older and have had to deal with a ton of injuries, but that is no excuse for plain lack of effort. The whole "we are bored excuse" is a bunch of bull. You get paid millions of dollars to play the sport you love. It is your job to give 100% effort every night and if you don't the fans deserve their money back. I saw a lack of interest on the court last Saturday. The Nets were 2-27 on the road and they came in and dominated the game from the start. When did the Garden become such an easy place to get a road win?
Look, as much as we'd love to have our team come out with 100% effort every night the reality is it isn't going to happen. I guess in some twisted way I understand why some of the veterans are "bored" as they call it and are looking forward to the playoffs. But, there's a difference between not going 100% and just not caring.
The Celtics have had way too many games this year where they don't show up for quarters. Do they really think they are just going to be able to turn on a switch for the playoffs? Do they think they are going to be able to beat a hungry, athletic Hawks team? Or beat Lebron James who is going to be on a mission to win his first title? Do they think they'll just wake up and be able to beat the Lakers or Magic? Do they think Rasheed going to stop shooting threes because it's the playoffs?
No, this Celtics team is kidding itself if they think they are good enough to do that. The best teams in the league are way too talented for a good, but not great Celtics team to turn it on and roll through the playoffs. Hell, 2 years ago they barely squeaked out their first 2 playoff series’ and they had home court. This year they'll be lucky to have home court for more than a series and in reality do they even want it? Their home record is shockingly mediocre and they just lost to a historically bad team by double digits on that very floor last week.
So, am I ready to write off the Celtics this year? No, I am going to keep hope they can turn it around. I will say that I'm extremely disappointed in their lack of heart and overall passion they have brought to many of these games. Garnett is the only one that truly seems to care night in and night out. Rasheed Wallace can leave for all I care. I've had enough of him. Him and Randy Moss are perfect for one another. Here's hoping the Celtics find Ubuntu quick, but if not there needs to be some major shakeups in the off-season.