Celtics aren't tanking and Rajon Rondo's dunking (sort of)
For example, Hall of Fame basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski weighed in calling tanking 'un-american' in the press conference following the stellar performance of his player Jabari Parker against the Andrew Wiggins lead Kansas Jayhawks in the Champions Classic last Monday.
The Celtic players are as tired of anyone in the league of hearing about this topic especially the veterans whose time in the league will come to an end very shortly as it is.
According to Mark Murphy of The Boston Hearld here's what the well traveled Gerald Wallace had to say on the subject:
“I don’t know about that,” said Celtics forward Gerald Wallace, who has played in this kind of environment before, specifically as part of the 2004-05 Bobcats. “We only won (18) games, and there was talk of losing to get higher up in the draft, but we wanted to win every game, play hard every game, and try to prove ourselves in this league. Nobody wants to lose, regardless of what the coach or the organization wants to do.”
Celtic G.M. Danny Ainge weighed in on the debate as well:
“My players and coaches are doing their jobs,” Ainge said. “The draft is no incentive (for losing) whatsoever. But the way our team has been playing pretty much answers that question — it takes care of things. The teams that try (to lose) will be exposed in the long haul, because they’ll lose. I think it’s more talk than anything else.”
Though Ainge won’t point fingers, he does admit that tanking has been done in the past.
“I do have my opinions, but I won’t say what they are,” he said. “The perception is there because it’s been done in the past. It’s what we’ve seen, but I still think it’s rare. I just go about my job with my team, and preparing for the draft,
As I've mentioned many times in the past, I do not believe The Celtics are tanking and really the only team in the league that looks definitively as though they could be deliberately trying to lose are the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz waived guard Jamaal Tinsley earlier in the week, who had been starting for them at the point guard position, to try and lessen this perception.
On the opposite end of the point guard spectrum, help may be somewhat on the way for The Celtics as Rajon Rondo attempted a dunk in pre-game last night against the Timberwolves.
The only problem is, it was a pretty feeble attempt compared to the ease with which Rajon dunks when he's healthy.
It will be good to get Rondo back but Celtic fans should not expect any miracles when he returns. Looking at Derrick Rose as an example, Rose seemed to finally get in rhythm and start to become somewhat his old self last night as The Bulls handed The Pacers their first loss of the season.
To put that in perspective, Rose played the entire pre-season and The Bulls are eight games into their regular season schedule.
As a result, look for The Celtics to make some real strides later in the season once Rondo returns, but, for the most part, this year's going to be a trying one for both Celtic fans and players alike.
Follow Clint on Twitter @coolhandc