Celtics Central

Boston Celtics

Ray, Sheed Preach Patience, Perserverance

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Here is another solid article from Jay King, who represented Celtics Central at the game.

Through this dark spell, the Celtics remain optimistic.

The last few weeks have been bleak.  Marred by injuries, poor effort, and underwhelming performances, the Boston Celtics have suffered through an 11-game stretch more fit for the Minnesota Timberwolves than one of the NBA’s elite.  The 4-7 drought that has followed Boston’s gutsy Christmas-Day performance in Orlando has even left some declaring the Celtics window of opportunity closed.

Count the Celtics unconvinced.

“I’m not worried about it at all, man,” said Rasheed Wallace, “because each team in this league goes through some pitfalls at some point during the season.  No one has a perfect season where everything goes right for them on defense or offense.

“It’s not like that.  You know you’re going to have some pitfalls and some trials and tribulations throughout the season.  But the key of a good team is [to] focus on the main goal and make it better.”

For the Celtics, the main goal is to win an NBA championship.  Anything else, and this season will be considered a failure.

As it is right now, the Celtics aren’t ready to compete for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.  With three home losses in a row, they’re playing more like a team destined for an early-round playoff exit.

One could blame some of their struggles on the absence of Kevin Garnett, but they’ve had success without him in the past, and now shouldn’t be any different.

“We’ve been without Kevin; we won games last year,” said Paul Pierce.  “That’s not an excuse.”

While Garnett’s return will likely help solve — or at least hide — the problems, Boston needs more than the Big Ticket; it needs focus.

That focus hasn’t been there in recent losses, but Ray Allen believes this bump in the road — extended though it may be — will only help the Celtics in the long run.

“Kevin’s been out, Paul’s been out, Sheed’s been out  little bit,” Allen said. “I think, for the long run, that’s ultimately what’s the better thing for this team.  I think we’re building a lot of resilience.”

Allen noted that everything a team experiences helps shape it as the season goes on.

“Losing [three games] to Atlanta in the first round of the [2008] playoffs, I think it helped us in Detroit later on in the playoffs.

“You know, those things, we don’t forget.  Those are lessons that we learn throughout the course of the season.”

Lessons that will ultimately make Boston a better team.  Even if, right now, it’s hard to see the benefits of losing seven games in just 24 games.

“When we get into March, and April, and then May, we think about everything that we went through,” Allen said.

“Our bodies still remember it.  You remember those things, and it does help you push forward and deal with the circumstances that are in front of you.”

To Allen, one thing stands out as what the Celtics need to change.

“Consistency in what we’re doing is the ultimate objective.”

Thomas Halzack