BOSTON — The Boston Celtics have only eight matches remaining in their regular life.
Perhaps they require someone to tell them that.
After dropping his fourth match in a row — losing 115-96 into the San Antonio Spurs at TD Garden on Sunday night — Boston is now two full games behind the Indiana Pacers for home court at the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and remains mired in exactly the exact same cycle of inconsistency which has dogged them all season long.
Instead of worrying with it, even though, that the Celtics stay optimistic — or, at minimumyou’re projecting an air of confidence — which, when the game begin, they are going to be just fine.
“We are all trying to — we have lots of guys back, and now all of us are trying to work out exactly what everybody’s favourite things to accomplish and exactly what spots that everybody excels and ensure we get everybody in the ideal spot,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. However, I see great progress, and I’m excited, I’m thrilled, and I’m contented in everything we’re carrying out.
“Yeah, we’ve been losing, and it’s been frustrating, but that’s the best thing about this particular game. We get to go play the next one and also we have another opportunity to go on the market and focus with matters we need to work “
It’d be something if that was the mindset Boston’s lockerroom in October. In January. Nevertheless, it’s now the past week of March, the start of playoffs is less than three weeks away, and came after Celtics coach Brad Stevens took almost 20 minutes to leave the lockerroom post game, also it wasn’t opened for 40.
For months, the Celtics have already been carrying themselves with a mindset like that of those Golden State Warriors, at that the standard season isn’t anything more than a moot 82-game tune-up for its postseason.
The difference is that Golden State includes four Hall of Famers at its starting line up, and is coming off four straight NBA Finals appearances and a few championships in the last 4 seasons.
And, as he’s for months today, Irving triumphed after Sunday’s match which these matches don’t have any significance .
“Oh, it’s not hard,” Irving said, when asked if it is hard to keep patient through the team’s recent struggles. “I’m utilised to gearing up for something larger than myself around this moment, and what it happens, and I have to do a much better job of communicating that for my own team mates and being a much better listener and also sort of determining how to best convey with those guys there.
“at this time of the season, I’m on the VersaClimber, I’m on the treadmill, I’m getting ready to play with 40-plus moments and preparing for the wars and conflicts. At the close of the summer growing season, it’s just exercise timing. That you don’t feel right about your jumpshot, you don’t feel right about the team. … We are still developing as a team.
“It has been a whole season doing this, but there is light at the end of all this. That’s probably where my patience will always lie, is realizing that something is beyond this. This battle is all happening for a reason, and I’ve got to think in that.”
The Celtics are the NBA’s most perplexing group in 2013. Even following this four-game losing series, Boston remains tied for ninth at the NBA in offensive efficiency, and fifth in defensive efficiency. Being at the top ten in the defense and offense is regarded as one the trademark qualities of a true championship contender.
Boston was certainly supposed to become one such season. And, being those amounts prove, there is some statistical evidence to back up that. But even Stevens said the other day that the amounts don’t match up with the attention test. And anybody who saw the Celtics lollygag their way through Sunday’s loss to San Antonio — one by which LaMarcus Aldridge torched Boston’s defense for 4-8 points — are more difficult to think differently.
“We’ve got to be better,” Stevens explained. “We’re a much better defensive team at the initial two weeks of the summer growing season than we’ve played any moment in the past month. So, to me, it is not all about what we’re doing. It’s all about how well we perform it every single night.
“That’s where we now need to return back to. And so, we’re getting exposed by good teams”
There was something fitting about the Spurs being Sunday night’s competitor for the Celtics. San Antonio was abandoned for dead after printing away Kawhi Leonard last summer, and losing assuring young guard Dejounte Murray ahead of the season begun to your knee injury. Yet, despite that, the Spurs are still perform coach Gregg Popovich’s machine and play hard on a every day basis.
“It is satisfying.”
There has been nothing satisfying, but relating to that Celtics season. As an alternative, with eight matches to go, the Celtics will probably have to win three straight string without home-court advantage to achieve this.
Yet, despite their season-long issues, they remain confident that, once the playoffs arrive, they will have the ability to right the boat.
“I really don’t believe that is exactly what it is,” Smart told ESPN when asked when he thought the Celtics were waiting for the play offs to flip a switch and fix matters. “I presume that it’s that we’re so blessed, that we’re not stressing like everybody else isbecause we know once we do get it done clicking — once we get thatwe feel as if we will be back once again to ourselves.
“We are not as stressed because we are so blessed, and everything going on right now can, and certainly can, be mended.”