Why have the once NBA champion Boston Celtics, who used to be the epitome of team play and cohesiveness, lost their ability to work together to get through the good and the bad?
They have lost unity, playing solely for themselves. They have lost their clutch plays and untouchable swagger that used to spark their team.
All that is missing, is what this team needs.
While they are getting older, the Celtics are not only losing their talent so much as they are losing the intangibles that lead teams to success. When Kevin McHale had a broken foot and still played through it, did it dismantle a once flawless team? No, he pushed through with an outrageous will to win. The Celtics made the Finals that year, and lost in a grueling six games series against the Lakers. That toughness, and sheer desire to win, provoked toughness in every player on the team. Not only did McHale push through and play just a few minutes, but he rarely came out, playing nearly 40 minutes each game.
But does this Celtics team have that immense will to win as the Celtics of the 80s had? No, absolutely not. They rely on pure athletic ability and skill to win games. The Celtics are likely the most talented team in the league, and perhaps the deepest. But they refuse to exemplify any desire to retain the championship, a goal that was once their only agenda.
Now, the Celtics just want their own individual goals accomplished. Rajon Rondo’s mom was packed to go to the All-Star game a week ago. What does that show you? They just don’t care whether they win or lose anymore. A ring isn’t what they desire most, it is the MVP award. You don’t hear Kevin Garnett saying that Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo should win the MVP rather than him anymore. You see a team that once was the most passionate, unselfish team to walk the planet go one-on-one more and more frequently.
Kevin Garnett hardly gets any post feeds any more, even when he has a big mismatch. Rajon Rondo or Paul Pierce would rather take it to the bucket to get either their points or assists. This team is disgruntled and someone needs to fix it. Maybe Kevin Garnett needs to make another player cry. Or maybe Pierce needs to put the team on his back to single-handedly come back from a huge fourth-quarter deficit.
The Celtics don’t have the right attitude, and they don’t tough bench players. They don’t have James Posey to guard the opposition’s best player, or Leon Powe to rack up many rebounds and take a charge. Big Baby — or is it Uno Uno? — isn’t putting up big numbers and rising to the occasion.
The Celtics, somehow and someway, must get in sync.