One day after threatening to shake up Boston’s roster if the Celtics did not show signs of improvement, Danny Ainge said he’s not panicking after a slow start. (CSNNE)
“Our team’s success is going to be determined by the play of our four all-stars,” Ainge said. “I always believe that. KG and Paul need to play at a certain level. Rajon and Ray have been playing at a high level. That’s going to be the determining factor.”
Ainge added, “I’m seriously not panicked. I want to see our team play as well as we’re capable of playing, and we haven’t. I’m not going to focus as much on the record, as what I see on the court. I have a lot of faith in Paul, Ray and KG. And obviously Rondo, who has consistently been our best player.
“I’ve just seen the pride; I’ve seen the way they go about their business. Paul had zero training camp, and is basically working his way back into shape in games, trying to do what he can to help our team. As he gets healthier and we get closer to being at full strength, I like our team and our chances at success.”
If you ask me, all this panic talk is foolish. The Celtics played their best ball of the season during certain stretches against Dallas. Yeah, they also made mistakes and went through droughts, but there was real progress during parts of that Dallas game, including a bench that showed signs of being a defensive terror, in a good way.
If Dirk didn’t hit a ridiculous and-one, or even if Ray Allen had caught Rondo’s low pass in the corner and sent the game into overtime, the Celtics might be 5-4 right now and we’d be talking about their gritty win against the Mavericks. Instead, Jackie MacMullan wrote a column about how it’s time to press the panic button, Ainge started discussing the possibility of making moves and Celtics nation is freaking out.
Relax, people. Even Garnett, who has rightfully taken a lot of criticism for slowing down, outplayed Dirk on Wednesday night. He got beat by a superstar in crunch time, but that happens. The Celtics are okay. They’re better than the way they’ve played so far.
I think. I hope. I believe. And if I’m wrong, well, damn.