The Celtics jumped out of the gates this season with an extreme amount of confidence. After beating the Cavs in Cleveland on opening night, I think they deserved it. The one thing I saw that showed how much swagger this team had was on an outlet pass by Pierce. It is hard to explain, yet if you saw it, you would understand that Pierce wouldn't have passed in such a manner if he was not feeling the vibe of how great things were going. Even Sheed from the bench was knocking down in rhythm threes and celebrating them with his post 3 ritual. We had it going on and there was nothing that was stopping us.
That is until we hit a rough patch. We weren't playing as dominant, and because of that there was very little confidence. When our teams confidence lacks, so does their ability to move freely on the floor. Many times in the past few games, we have come down the floor and instead of analyzing the situation and getting several passes to an easy basket, we got in the habit of going one on one. Why? I think the simple answer is because we couldn't find any offense. We figured our passing was not where it was to begin the season, so get the ball in a scorers hand and let him go one on one. That isn't how we play.
The way the Celtics have looked in the past week reminded me exactly of how they looked in the playoffs last year. We were a team just seaching for an identity- one in which we never found. Everynight we looked for someone new to step up and lead us. Once we found them, we stuck with them and hoped they could lead us until the end. This year it will not be the same.
The Celtics are engulfed in a team mentality. We were struggling (as ubuntu says) to allow the next player to be all they can be. The crispness of passes, and even the excessive passing has been missing lately. I would look for the C's to go back to that unselfish style of play (although they weren't selfish during the tough stretch- just struggling to find a way to score). I would look for a rested club to come out and fire on all cylinders Wednesday night and put the Jazz in place. We must go out, create open shots through passing, regain the defensive flow, and through that, get that championship swag back, instead of the look we remember from last season. This year we have the drive, and the personnel to back up that confidence.
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