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It’s Time to Panic!!!!!!

This seems to be the implication of this column from the usually level-headed Gary Washburn in the Globe. He doesn’t use the word “panic,” and he does acknowledge the extenuating circumstances in the C’s current two-game losing streak (the absence of Pierce, the back-to-back), but that sort of even-handed reporting gets overshadowed when you write something like this:

While the Celtics can be downright impressive in stretches, they are not impressive often enough for a team that hopes to play deep into June.

Really? For sure? Even though the C’s have the highest average scoring margin in the league and rank anywhere from first to third in various power ranking measures? 

Remember: The C’s lost to the Clippers and the Warriors on the road last season and the Warriors the season before. This sort of stuff happens in the NBA. The Lakers nearly (and should have) taken an L in Milwaukee two weeks ago, and they have been blown out twice in the last week. The 2001 Lakers, arguably the best team of the decade, went 56-26 in the regular season and inspired all sorts of stories wondering what the heck was wrong with them. Then they went 15-1 in the playoffs.

Sometimes regular season losses are just losses that do not signal any larger problems. Washburn goes on to say that the Celtics have displayed some mental weakness in the last two games (and to argue that mental strength and weakness is 90 percent of how NBA games are won, which seems slightly exaggerated). 

Like I said, Washburn does great work every day. But it’s early for this sort of alarm-sounding. 

The Herald’s Steve Bulpett has a similar doom and gloom column today, but his includes the following statement from Doc Rivers:

“If you look around, all the good teams have tight games against the lower teams,” he said. “These are NBA players, so they’re going to play well. And it’s tough to win an NBA game. I think if you ask the bad teams, they’ll tell you that.”

Case closed. I’m not saying the Celtics are fine. If you read this site regularly, you know I am concerned about the turnovers, the rebounding on both ends, the age of the team and many, many other things. And the team’s health will always be a concern as its key guys get older. 

Those are things to be concerned about. Those are things that should make you wonder about the team’s chances in June. A two-game losing streak on the West Coast is not such a thing.

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  • Rocci

    To address Washburn’s point…you don’t really have to be impressive in December to play late into June. Isn’t that like, the Spurs MO? That they look pedestrian in the early season, then they come on strong when the playoffs roll around?

    Talk to me about if we can make it deep into June when the playoffs start.

  • Jay P

    Excellent post, I hate all the doomsday talk right now.

    It’s a long seasons and the team is bound to go through highs and lows. Great point about the 2001 Lakers too by the way.

  • nowayout

    I’ve been following this blog for a while now without feeling the need to drop a comment. Not necessarily specific to this post but I just wanted congratulate you guys for the terrific work you’re doing.
    I love how you guys do the pre and post analysis of the games and how you get into details of some plays after the game. There is a lot of eye opening substance here.
    Zach is now officially my favorite blogger covering Cs. Keep up the good work guys!

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    word. 82games is a looooong season. everything is under control. (…still asking santa for a down-low sheed and a menacing perimeter defender before playoffs).

    +1 on the effort and quality of the blog. keep on, keepin on…

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    I love how you guys do the pre and post analysis of the games and how you get into details of some plays after the game. There is a lot of eye opening substance here.
    Zach is now officially my favorite blogger covering Cs. Keep up the good work guys!

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