Boston Celtics: When bad is good

The Celtics have lost their last two games in an alarming fashion.

There were blown defensive assignments, terrible shot selection and of course Brandon Bass's 13 rebound explosion in Sunday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It was all lost in their continued inability to protect the paint.

Russell Westbrook in particular feasted on the offensive boards, leaving Doc to wonder what will it take for his team to box out.

We knew that coming into this season that they have an aversion for pinching down in support of Kevin Garnett.  Yet there they are in the thick of things headed toward getting a possible 4th seed in the playoffs. These are your Boston Celtics and this is how they've done it since the 'ubuntu' era.


They are doing it with a third year player in Avery Bradley who has never played a full NBA season. He is important to this team and this recent two game losing streak could be linked to some fatigue on his part after being asked to bear so much of the load. Both he and Courtney Lee struggled at times to keep Westbrook off of the offensive glass.

Tuesday night in Charlotte saw more of the same as the duo were ineffective against the onslaught of new 'Celtic Slayer', Gerald Henderson Jr.  Dead legs may have aided in Henderson's 35 point line. Combine that with Bass's inconsistent play and Paul Pierce's DNP-coaches decision, it was a disaster.

KG played a combined 21 minutes and Boston's 10-day contract fill-ins, Shavlik Randolph and D.J. White, were often late on their rotations.

Yet, the Celtics have a 14-7 record after losing major parts to their roster.  Any other team would have been looking at the lottery.  Somehow this jump-shooting bunch have managed to keep treading water and teams are dreading facing them in the post-season.

This team wins with grind, grit and balls and they make it work.  Somehow Doc's propensity for not caring if his team hits the glass works well for them.  His way of doing things has kept them atop the Atlantic Division until this year.  Rivers coached the all-star game  twice, 2008 and 2011 and went to the NBA finals twice, one of which resulted in banner 17.

His tactics do work, its just that Boston looks so damned ugly executing it.  The second season is when the beauty of what he preaches comes into play.  Once the postseason starts, those head scratching mental lapses tend to disappear.

So, just sit back and enjoy this process Celtics fans. This is what they do. They do it with the understanding that it has nothing to do with who is not playing and everything to do with what they are playing for.