The Celtics were riding high on a four game winning streak going into last night, but the 88-83 loss to the Bobcats was a reality check for this team. Failing to show up with the right mind set and energy is not an option... or suffer the potential consequences of losing winnable games. The silver lining of last night’s loss is that they played bad basketball but yet still had a chance to pull out that game within the final minutes. The buzzword around the locker room following the loss was lackadaisical and Gerald Wallace touched on their overconfidence: ESPN Boston
"We got cocky with the four-game winning streak," Wallace said. "Our confidence was up, we were feeling good about ourselves, and we just felt like we would show up tonight and, playing the Bobcats, it's an easy win."
Even new team leader, and Mike Saver’s player of affection, Jordan Crawford touched upon the L word:
"We probably got a little lackadaisical," Crawford said. "They played hard. I think that's one of the harder teams we've played this year. It's good to play them to see how hard we've got to go now."
It’s been no doubt that roles on this team have been fluid, Wallace moving from the starting lineup to the bench and Crawford to the starting lineup/facilitator. However nobody can question Wallace’s veteran leadership, just the way he’s gone about expressing it. Maybe he’s now learning that calling out his teammates isn’t necessarily the best course of action; in fact he did the opposite saying that this game could be something they build upon:
"We can't take anyone lightly, regardless of who they are," he said. "We have to understand that this is the NBA; it's always hard to win. Anyone is capable of winning on any night. You give yourself less of a chance of winning when you become lackadaisical and you expect to win."
The C’s did play solid D, holding the Cats to 29.7% shooting from the floor, which enabled them to climb out of the 16-point deficit. It was the little things that plagued Boston, not corralling loose balls and getting out-rebounded. Just like the win against the Heat, it’s a long season and teams can’t get too high on wins and too low on losses. They don’t have the talent to just show up and win, they need to out hustle and work teams. I think now they’re starting to realize that fact. It will be interesting to see if they bring the same amount of effort that they had against the Heat for games against the dregs of the NBA, because they can’t afford to be lackadaisical anymore.