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Ainge: C's problems can be fixed by practice, and more

Posted by shawn cassidy on January 4, 2013 at 12:30 AM

I love the optimism from the coach, and General Manager of the Celtics. They built this team, and they seem willing to stick with the guys. I was for it last season. For a number of reasons. It was a shortened season, and the guys didn't have camp. I've said this a few times already, and I think  you guys, and gals get the point.

ESPN Boston

"I think Doc is probably going to try and tweak the lineup again and do some things different. We'll just try to be patient with this team as long as we can," said the president of basketball operations.

He said the return of Avery Bradley adds a new dimension to the team that could help turn things around, and that once the new starting lineup settles in and players perform to their potential, many of the problems will be corrected.

"This will be the first game coming up against the best defensive team in the league right now in [the] Indiana Pacers where we have our best lineup that played last year, and that was with Rondo and Avery and Brandon and KG and Paul. That lineup hasn't even played one minute together this year, so I'd like to give that a shot."

On the Celtics' struggles at making stops, he added:

"For whatever reason -- I'm not sure if they're incapable or they're not or they can't physically. Time will tell on that. But the reality of it is they haven't. And it's not just the new guys. I don't think our veteran players that have been here have played up to their capabilities yet either. I mean, we went from being the best team in the NBA last year defensively to the 21st best defensive team in the league right now, so that's concerning. But, I do believe that  can be fixed with attitude and health and practice time. I really do believe that. Our guys know how to do that."

Like I said love the optimism, and I loved how you put this team together, and I loved how all of thought this team would come out flying, or at least better than this. I think it's telling, and more than just concerning when you drop from number one, and you move to 21 in defensive rankings. Danny mentions health, and frankly this team has dealt with more issues in he past when it comes to health. This has been the healthiest team at this point in years, and my concern is this. What if the injuries  to come? The Celtics don't have a cushion in the standings. They could fall further.

I strongly believe that the Celtics need to adjust this roster a bit. I have my list of safe players. The Big three, with Terry, and Avery. Outside of that everyone is fair game. Although I would love to keep Sully. The bench of Bass, Green, and Lee have been to inconsistent, and their not the greatest on the defensive end. Pietrus was a better defender, and so was Daniels last season. Throw in Dooling, and it was a better trio out there protecting the penetration into the paint.

I really want to believe in all of this. I really do, but much like real life. Humans often talk about change, but how many actually do overnight? Or in months? The Celtics have history on their side in a sense. They've turned losing streaks into championship runs in 2010, and a very close attempt in 2012. But this is 2013, and with the duo of KG, and Pierce a year older, and with new players with no urgency, and intangibles. This season is moving in one direction. 

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Reply paul
1:58 AM on January 4, 2013 
It just burns me the way Doc and Rondo seemed to have no plan, especially Doc. If you have no plan, why not then bring back the guys who helped you last year? Stiemsma, Pietrus, Daniels. These guys showed they have heart, and they understand the system.

Then again, the basic issue really seems to be communication somehow, and Rondo not leading the way he was expected to. His play on defense especially has been amazingly bad at times, and on offense, he's unaggressive most of the time. Again, he should study the Chris Paul film. Against the Cs, Paul shot poorly, and he didn't exactly attack the basket kamikaze style, but he nonetheless destroyed the Cs. Yeah, part of it was that his teammates were playing better than Rondo's have been, a lot better, but part of that came from Paul constantly pressuring the D just with his tempo, and his probing, and his feel for the rhythm of the game.

But again, I go back to the ending of The Streak. Rondo pretends to have a thick skin, but he really doesn't. How can all these media fakers explain the way they trivialized what he was accomplishing, especially when it was precisely what they had been demanding for years, as in, consistency?! I'm pretty sure that hate storm pushed him off track. It was rather insane. It really was. It was like Ryan and all his nasty cohorts were just waiting for an excuse to unload on Rondo.
Reply Birdman33
2:43 AM on January 4, 2013 
Its just killing me that their is no heart,no fight. We got that last season. Danny I don't buy what you say.
Reply paul
3:14 AM on January 4, 2013 
He's right though that they didn't look like they had much fight for a lot of last season. One of the best things Avery does, I think, is improve the balance of power between old and young in the starting five.
Reply insidious
3:34 AM on January 4, 2013 
paul, I agree with you here. there seems to be no plan from Rondo or Doc, last season if I remember correctly they corroborated to help the team from struggling. This season there is nothing but excuses and that is worrisome! I'm not sure I believe Ainge here. hopefull there will be some change.
Reply paul
8:45 AM on January 4, 2013 
insidious says...
paul, I agree with you here. there seems to be no plan from Rondo or Doc, last season if I remember correctly they corroborated to help the team from struggling. This season there is nothing but excuses and that is worrisome! I'm not sure I believe Ainge here. hopefull there will be some change.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like they just didn't see Ray Allen's departure coming, as incredible as that may seem. They didn't see it coming, and they still haven't wrapped their heads around the need to embrace the new era. Man, if so, I hope the time is now!

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