Well, it certainly has been a while, eh, GreenHeadz?After a month-long hiatus from talking about the team I love to love, I’m finally back in the saddle (for a little while, anyway…).
So, what is it that’s brought me back this time? What troubling topic or sensational situation has stirred me out of my long winter’s nap (other than the overwhelming need to empty some words onto a site that probably only myself and MAYBE my Mom and Dad will read, that is)?The answer? “A couple of things.”
The first would be a loud and obvious skipalong down DUH’sVille Lane with me exclaiming as many, many others already have this season: “I really like this team.”
But, I wanted to also talk about Brandon Bass for a second. I know, I know…I’ve already talked about him at length earlier this season in reference to both he and Jeff Green being the keys to keeping the Celtics from going completely under while Rondo rehabs his surgically stigmatized knee. Here’s the thing, though. I didn’t do him nearly the amount of justice he deserved because plays like the one he made against Dion Waiters in the closing seconds of the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers are somehow still treated as the exception and not the rule at this point, which is dead wrong.
Bass has been, perhaps, the Celtics' most consistent defender this year, taking up for the team and filling in the rather sizeable chasm that was left when defensive heart, soul and all around wizard Kevin Garnett departed for bleaker times down in Brooklyn.Bass has not only rushed in to plug the breach, contributing to the Celtics ranking as 5th in the league in points allowed, he’s helped to bring along the young cadre of big men that the Celtics look to as the future of the team in Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani. He’s been one of the most consistent of these surprising Celtics thus far, and I still wonder aloud (to anyone who will listen) why so many people continue to believe he has to be part of some dump-and-run trade to land a player who may or may not be as consistent.
Don’t get me wrong, I do see how Sullinger is morphing right in front of us into, as some have somewhat prematurely called him, “the Kevin Love of the East.” And, I am still among the “Kelly Will Do Swell-ly” fan club members who united over Olynyk’s summer league success, but I still see a role for a veteran big man who isn’t afraid to defend the post, can hit the sweet 15-footer, and power to the hole when all else fails.
My other reason for coming out of mothballs after a month in the closet (yes, I DO know how that sounded, thank you very much)?
I have had a major change of heart with respect to “winning by losing.”
As you may remember (all three of you who have been faithfully reading this blog), I talked about how, while I was 152.08% against any form of tanking, I was also not sad about the idea that the Celtics would be bad, very bad, without Rajon Rondo as their sole superstar for a portion of the season, which would be good, very good, because we had almost as many first round draft picks as Keith Bogans will have DNP’s for the C’s and the lower the pick, the more likely they’ll click (or something equally rhymey and exciting).
The only problem? This team genuinely seems to want to win and, on most nights, just about plays its heart out. I really want to see these guys continue to develop their chemistry and collective ability to fight their way out of trouble to grab the win against more talented teams. I want to see these guys go through adversity together and come out on the other side with an understanding about what it takes to win in any situation. And, I want to see this team claw its way into the Playoffs and dare the other teams to tell them why they don’t belong there yet.
Of course, this means that they would play themselves right out of the Lottery, but you know what? I really don’t mind that. Did I mention that they had a bunch of first round draft picks?
Here’s my thought process on the whole thing:
The Baby C’s battle through the season, even taking it up a notch with the inevitable return of Rondo in the second half of the season; they get to the 8th or – gasp! – even 7th spot in the East, take their lumps in the first round against the top seed while gaining valuable experience; and then Danny “Trader Dan” Ainge wheels and deals a few of the picks and maybe a Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Courtney Lee and/or Bogans into a Lottery selection after all.Hell, with the way the season is going for the Nets, and the fact that they essentially took a large, stinky poop on any chance to contend in the not-too-distant future by making it rain on the Celtics with their former draft picks, the Celtics will still have lottery picks in the bank when they finally hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy overhead in the Garden.