(Editor’s note: This commercial is presented apropos to nothing.)
I don’t know exactly what last night meant. If you’re looking for a Titanic, ship is falling post, this won’t be for you. If you’re looking for someone to tell you the Celtics are going to rebound and finish 63-3, Greg Stiemsma will win Rookie of the Year and Doc Rivers will do the Moonwalk while accepting the Larry O’Brien Trophy this summer, this post won’t be for you either (although Stiemsma really is going to win Rookie of the Year, amirite?).
After three games, here are the things I know:
1. The Celtics are 0-3.
2. They’ve played a brutal schedule. First the Knicks on the road, then the Heat on the road, then the second night of a road back-to-back that followed flying from Miami to New Orleans after a night game.
3. That brutal schedule has been played without Paul Pierce.
4. Kevin Garnett looks significantly less agile than last season. Maybe I’m imagining things. Maybe I’m freaking out about the 0-3 start. Maybe he’s just struggling to get his legs adapted after such a short training camp. Maybe my biggest fears are coming true and he’s finally been kidnapped by age. After three games, I’m not sure about anything. I just know the early returns haven’t been sparkling.
5. If Garnett looks significantly less agile than last season, Jermaine O’Neal looks significantly more dead than last season. Watching O’Neal play offense (if you can call it that) has been sad. Legitimately sad. Through three games, he’s made 3-12 shots. And almost all of the attempts have been inside the paint. I still think (hope?) he’ll make a nice defensive impact this year. There’s always a chance he starts to convert bunnies near the rim. But at this point, O’Neal’s like a broke man’s Ben Wallace. Which is very sad, because his defense was a legitimate difference maker in the playoffs last season.
While I’m on the subject: playing with O’Neal and Sasha Pavlovic in the starting lineup is like playing 3-on-5, only worse. Because if the Celtics started games 3-on-5, at least I wouldn’t have to fucking watch Sasha Pavlovic. Can you tell I’m a little bitter?
6. Greg Stiemsma can block shots.
7. If Stiemsma, O’Neal, Pavlovic and Avery Bradley started a game of 21 now, they might be able to finish it in time for the playoffs.
8. Mickael Pietrus is coming soon. He’ll add shooting and defense, but he doesn’t help my next worry:
9. The bench has zero perimeter playmakers. I’m convinced that Bradley, Pavlovic, Keyon Dooling and E’Twaun Moore believe that stepping into the paint would cause them to grow a pig’s snout and simultaneously burst into flames.
10. I like Brandon Bass. Even if he played a lot like The Fat Power Forward Who Must Not Be Named last night, Bass can score the rock.
11. After three games, the Celtics are 27th — 27th!!!!!! — in defensive efficiency.
12. After three games, the Celtics are 15th in offensive efficiency.
13. The slow start is more about the defense than the offense. But it’d be nice if the C’s started hitting more threes (the Heat game aside) and stopped turning over the ball so damn often.
14. At least while Pierce is absent, the Celtics need Rajon Rondo to pull miracles out of his arm sleeve. Thirteen points and six assists just isn’t going to cut it. Not even against the Eric Gordon-less New Orleans Hornets.
15. The Celtics really lost to the Eric Gordon-less Hornets. By 19 points, no less.
16. Rondo is capable of scoring a lot of points.
17. Rondo doesn’t always bring the mentality needed to score a lot of points.
18. When Pierce returns to the lineup, Pavlovic will find his way out of the rotation. Pierce will help in a lot of ways, but that might be his biggest contribution.
19. When Pietrus lands in the lineup, Moore and Bradley will almost certainly be kicked out out of the rotation. I’d love to see more Moore, but I’m okay with his minutes going to a proven vet.
20. If you can see Greg Stiemsma, he can see you. If you can’t see Stiemsma, you may be moments away from death.
21. The over-under on “times Stiemsma is compared to a random white Celtic (i.e. Andrew DeClerq, Travis Knight, Brett Szabo or Brian Scalabrine)” is infinity.
22. It’s safe to say JaJuan Johnson is not ready.
23. What Doc said after last night’s loss to New Orleans: “We looked old tonight.”
24. Doc named Jermaine O’Neal the MVP of training camp. Must have been one hell of a training camp.
25. Ray Allen can still shoot.
26. I can’t say I love Keyon Dooling, but I like him.
27. It’s one thing to break out a desperation 2-3 zone against the Heat. It’s quite another to break one out against Marco Belinelli and the Hornets.
28. The C’s just can’t get stops so far. But how much of Boston’s defensive struggles is due to age? How much is due to the loss of Tom Thibodeau one season and Lawrence Frank the next? How much is due to small sample size? How much is due to having a ten-minute long training camp? I know the problem, but I’m not yet quite sure of the diagnosis.
29. Jeff Green would have helped.
30. And I don’t even particularly appreciate Green’s game.
31. The Celtics could really use a win against Detroit on Friday night.
32. After listing 31 things I know about the Boston Celtics, I want to A) cry, B) take a 45-minute shower to cleanse myself and C) stop writing things I know about the Boston Celtics.
33. I had to write one more thing. When writing a list about the Boston Celtics, always get to 33. Larry Bird, ladies and gentleman. The Greatest.