By: Michael D. McClellan | Editor-in-Chief
Something is fundamentally wrong with our Boston Celtics, as evidenced by their three-game destruction at the hands of the Clippers, Warriors and Kings. It has nothing to do with talent. It has nothing to do with supposed shortcomings (e.g., height, size). The problem, it seems, is between the ears and down deep in the heart – and no, I’m not talking about the life-threatening conditions faced by Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox last season. This has to do with the will to win, and a willingness to battle through adversity. Even head coach Doc Rivers acknowledged as much in the Celtics / Kings post-game press conference:
Obviously I think everybody shows up to compete, but I think a little bit of frustration breaks certain guys. Not every guy, but it doesn’t take but one or two a game. And the frustrating thing is this year it’s been different guys. You know, a guy will get frustrated because he’s not making shots. If our offense is not working, our defensive spirit goes down, and then we end up losing the game. Guys get frustrated and they give in. We’ve got to figure out how to fix that. – Doc Rivers
Translation: When the going gets tough, there are players on this team that fold like a cheap suit.
Before you start ragging on me, take a long look at what transpired on this four-game road trip. Forget about the Christmas Day win over the Nets. Brooklyn was a mess at that point in time, and in the process of quitting on Avery Johnson. No wonder our Celtics looked so good from start to finish.
Instead, focus on the West Coast swing. Two playoff-caliber teams put the spank down before the Kings did the same.
The Celtics traveled to the West Coast. The C’s played three games in four days. The opponents were more athletic, shot better, had more size, blah, blah, blah…
And guess what? We caved.
Not everyone, mind you. Doc says as much. But there are certain players on this team that don’t have what it takes to fight through adversity and battle until the end.
Doc wouldn’t name names. I suspect he wouldn’t even if pressed.
But I have my suspicions as to who he’s talking about.
I won’t name names, either – at least not in this post.
I just hope the Celtics in question figure out that they’re being paid handsomely to compete and to represent one of the greatest franchises in the history of sport.