Feel free to consider this overanalysis of a throwaway quote, but Paul Pierce says the Celtics haven’t achieved the levels of chemistry they hope to achieve just yet.
Obviously, it’s preseason and this is far from something to worry about. Teams get better and better the longer they play with each other and while the Celtics made a series of excellent additions during the offseason, those additions will need some time to adjust to each other. Still, it’s certainly worth noting.
“I saw a lot of good things in the preseason that we can build upon,” forward Paul Pierce said. “As far as being ready, we’re going to continue to get better as the year goes on. We’re not at where we want to be but that’s going to come as we play more games, as the year goes along until we reach our peak. Chemistry sometimes doesn’t happen overnight like it did in ’08.’’
Rondo has been quoted saying that this is the best team they’ve had since his arrival, implying that the ’12-13 C’s are better than the 2008 championship team. I find this difficult to believe, not from a personnel standpoint, but because of quotes like this from Pierce. The 2008 crew was an absolute juggernaut because they all bought into the team concept completely, and they did it immediately after that legendary trip to Rome. They were so infectious because the defense was frenzied, almost chaotic in its intensity, but also because the offense was good (10th in the NBA). They achieved levels of offensive acceptability (something we haven’t seen since then, by the way) by working as a unit. Garnett, Pierce and Allen all gave up shot attempts and personal stats, and as a result, they were all rewarded with their first championship.
Team chemistry is one of the most tangible intangibles. A team that doesn’t work well together, no matter how talented, probably won’t win a championship (an obvious exception being the Shaq/Kobe Lakers). These players seem to be enjoying each other, which will go a long way toward establishing chemistry, but it seems difficult to believe that they will surpass 2008′s team. That’s not a knock, it’s a testament to that group.
What does this mean for this year? Remarkably little. We may see some growing pains at the beginning of the season (and yes, I’m looking at October 30 with some trepidation for this very reason), but it will be important not to panic. This team isn’t built for October 30, it’s built for May and (hopefully) June.
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