THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

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THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:44 pm

Instant gratification is a wonderful thing. It's just a little elusive.

This team has been put in a big hole, as discontinuity has led to frequent dysfunction. It is now trying to dig out of the hole. The good news is that it most emphatically did not lose all its capabilities almost overnight.

To this moment, the team has not had the opportunity to operate from a position of full strength or anything close to it. And, even when that eventually happens, things won't transform instantly because—as Rondo said a day or two ago—this team has a lot of the same people but is a completely different team from previous years. From the instant this season started, it was ordained that they would
required considerable time to coalesce and reach their potential. They've never once had that opportunity to the maximum degree.

When they regain full strength, they'll just be starting down that road. Glimmer by glimmer, step by step, improvement will come. Those who can't stand the gradual nature of the process; those who require more instant gratification may be in for some disappointment. Unfortunately, when the playoffs arrive, their residual disappointment may find them in slumps as fans.

Those fans who can become excited by glimmers and gradual improvement along the arduous path will be working up to full momentum (hopefully along with the team) when the playoffs come. Those fans won't have to keep checking to see how full their glasses
are any more than the team will have to keep thinking on the court rather than acting on instinct. It will be full speed ahead for both
the team and those fortunate fans.

I intend to be one of the fortunate ones. I'll continue to read all the doubts and fears, because I can learn a lot from them; and I'm not at all trying to discourage or diminish such honest outpourings because they obviously come from the heart.

But this is a time when substantial experience as a fan means most to me. I think back to all those practices I attended. The
painstaking process of learning that transpired—even on a team of perennial championship repeaters. The little improvements that (like a child's growth) aren't noticeable in a week's time but only come into focus several weeks down the road. I hark back to an intimacy with players' psyches that revealed them as human beings who weren't immune to disappointment and frustration and malaise but, because they were professionals, realized the importance of persevering, persevering, persevering, no matter what.

Perhaps Danny will augment the team; maybe he won't. But, whatever happens, the post-all star portion of the season will be the "real" Celtics season in my book. Dramatically compressed, compared with the length of what their original window of opportunity was supposed to be. But a legitimate window nonetheless.

And I won't be ignoring the realities of the struggles along the way, especially as I write my post-game posts. But I'll consider the struggles to be a compass for improvement, and I'll view the glimmers as building blocks. I'll have increasingly little room for feeling negative because I believe the danger of an overemphasis on negativity doesn't befit a championship fan any more than a championship team. In other words, this will be the stretch run for not only the Celtics but also for me as a fan.

I invite others to experience how rewarding that approach can be.

In the meantime, I've decided to christen this "THE GLIMMER THREAD," to be devoted to an accumulation of the "positive glimmers" noted in Celtics games. Anyone is welcome to contribute. Opposing viewpoints are welcome on other threads, including any threads that may be started specifically for that purpose.

Glimmers to follow.

Go Celtics!

Sam


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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by MDCelticsFan on Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:52 pm

And I thought Steven Segal was The Glimmer Man!-MD.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:45 pm

Vs. Portland:

Glimmer #1: KG returns and immediately plays 30 minutes with no time restriction.

Glimmer # 2: Perk defuses a hot Aldrich toward the end.

Glimmer # 3: Tony cools off Andre Miller and fills in very well for both Pierce and Ray.

Vs. Clippers:

Glimmer # 4: Starters begin to click with a +13.

@ Magic:

Glimmer # 5: Ray shoots lights out, as Celtics find a way to get him in the flow.

@ Hawks:

Glimmer # 6: Celts make stirring 3rd quarter comeback.

Glimmer # 7: Pierce shows signs of recapturing his ability to put the team on his back in times of great need.

More will follow throughout the season.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by 112288 on Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:07 am

Sam you may be right on your points. I think the real down fall has been the bench. However it has put too much stress on the starting five in terms of them over working to either regain the lead or dig out of a deep hole. In addition because of the bench, it has added way too many for the starting five.

If we are to take a run at the title, Danny will need to change the mix for the second unit. Who may be the weak link in our armor? Davis, House, Scal and a lack of a turn point guard.

Time will tell if management decides to tweak the bench.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:38 pm

112288,

Not to seem arrogant, but I know I'm right. I personally saw the things I reported. The fact that they are positive occurrences cannot be denied. They exist.

If I wished to go deeply into remedial needs of this team, I could do a darned good job of it, but a lot of other threads have already done that. More important, I feel it would be premature because, as I've said many times, the present does not equal the future. What's been occurring in the recent past (e.g., since KG returned) is no predictor for what can be—and that's not just wishful thinking.

One reason it's not just wishful thinking is that KG, after favoring his bad leg early, was beginning to look like his old self when he went down again. He's been favoring his bad leg again—a fairly natural and conservative approach to not doing too much too soon. He could easily look like his old self again. And if he can be close to his old self on a consistent basis, the dynamic of this team becomes very different from what we've been observing—which makes projections based on what we've been observing premature. (It's all pretty simple and logical.)

Another reason it's not just wishful thinking is that, early in the season, the bench was actually winning games when the starters faltered. That happened with this new bench (minus Davis). It's not a fig leaf of my imagination. The fact that it occurred means the bench has much more potential than it's been showing lately. But it has been prevented from working toward that potential by (1) injuries to key guys and (2) being raided to fill in for starters, and much of their play looks like playground basketball as a result. A far cry from the level it had achieved early in the year.

An important example of the bench challenges involves Glen Davis. He was out for a long while. He's still got a bad thumb (yet he's one of their best offensive rebounders—and don't they need that!!!!!). He ended last season prospering on his jumper, and I think he felt he had found a niche. Over the summer he kept practicing the jumper and reportedly even did a lot of work from beyond the arc.

Now he's back in a mix where he's best offensive role is very probably down low, and it looks as though the thumb is bothering the outside shot he thought was going to be his niche. He's also trying to learn how best to complement Sheed—a brand new experience complicated by the fact that Sheed's bench time has been limited by starter fill-in needs during the relatively few games Davis has played.

So Glen's struggling to find his proper role and his rhythm and perhaps the right attitude; whereas Williams demonstrated a while ago what a rebounding machine he could be (when he holds the ball). So it's natural for people to want to see more of Williams. But Doc must be convinced that a full-strength Davis represents a better complementary asset than a full-strength Williams, which must be why Doc is doggedly giving Davis the minutes. But the only way they have a hope of getting the very best out of Davis is to let time take its course—hopefully within the context of a fully united bench.

For a whole variety of reasons, this team is in its relative infancy compared to what it can once it gets its act together. In this thread, I'm just listing the positive occurrences as it goes through that process. I'm not listing hopes; I'm listing observations.

And I'm pretty much trying to dedicate this thread to that purpose, just to try to even up things a little with all the other more gloomy and doomy posts. I'm not denigrating the gloomy doomy stuff at all, because doubts are perfectly understandable. I'm just trying to apply what may my rather unique experiential perspective on the inner workings of basketball teams (practices, player psyches, etc.) to presenting the other side of the story.

If Danny and/or Doc decides to make changes, additions, substractions, I'll support those moves and will continue looking for positive occurrences as the again-altered team renews the process of coming together. I'll leave it to others to take the "toy soldier" approach (just replace the sputtering parts and everything will be okay). For the most part, especially when I know how many assets this team has, I happen to prefer the chemistry development approach—which I also believe happens to be more in keeping with the limitations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Best,

Sam
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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by 112288 on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:43 pm

Sam, I agree but the bench stinks!

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:53 pm

See my comments on the bench in my previous post. Earlier this year, it was a bench. Now, it's basically a ben.. The players haven't mysteriously lost their skills. They've just lost a player, gained a player, and had another player flitting back and forth between bench and starters. Perhaps some people call that continuity. I don't. They need some continuity of play together to get back in sync.

One of the glimmers regarding the bench has been the play of Tony Allen. But, like all of the other bench players, he would benefit from a more predictable bench rotation and a whole load of repetitions.

It all goes back to my "toy soldier" theory. You don't just plunk a mix of players on the floor and expect them to play at anything like their potential. They need to find a common rhythm, complementary roles. I guarantee it takes a while. So far, they're had precisely zero minutes to develop a natural collaborative style. That puts them at a bit of a disadvantage.

I have to say again, the present isn't the future.

Sam


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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by bobheckler on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:56 pm

Starting the season, we had the best bench in the league on paper.

Then we got hit with injuries to Daniels and Davis. Tony Allen wasn't quite ready yet at the beginning either. Daniels is a key player. He not only takes the ballhandling chore away from Eddie, which makes Eddie a far more productive player, he is also the much needed (and missed last year) backup for Pierce. Davis's bulk and ability to hit the outside shot creates matchup problems for the other team's 4s.

KG's injury woes hasn't helped either.

We need to get healthy but, I think more importantly, we need to get rested. We don't have a young team, so we can't burn them out mid-season. The hard part is how do we give them rest when we have all these injuries?

The good news is that Daniels, who had surgery on 12/9 and was expected to return in 6-8 weeks, should be starting to work out again soon. I expect his return, alone, to have a big impact on the team's play. Pierce will be able to rest, Eddie will be able to go back to being a pure scorer and the 2nd team's defense will improve. Davis is starting to round back into playing shape too. Tony Allen played well against Orlando.

Let's go Celts!

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by jeb on Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:21 pm

bobheck
You seem pretty hopeful by and large.

I think Davis will get better. It's really clear he does not have his legs but he has shown a willingness to rebound and is I think playing some good d by forcing his guy out another two feet.

I hope marquis can come back strong but he will also have to work hard and play 12 games to even get close to getting his timing and game shape back.

I dont think we will start really rolling til a month after the break. If everyone stays healthy. Frustrating times for the Boston Celtics.
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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by bobheckler on Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:30 pm

jeb65 wrote:bobheck
You seem pretty hopeful by and large.

I think Davis will get better. It's really clear he does not have his legs but he has shown a willingness to rebound and is I think playing some good d by forcing his guy out another two feet.

I hope marquis can come back strong but he will also have to work hard and play 12 games to even get close to getting his timing and game shape back.

I dont think we will start really rolling til a month after the break. If everyone stays healthy. Frustrating times for the Boston Celtics.

jeb,

I'm always hopeful, when it comes to most things. My painfully pragmatic side sometimes makes me come across as a grouch.

I agree with you about Daniels. I don't think he'll hit his stride until mid-late March. Let's remember that he not only has to get his game and timing back, he also has to learn his teammates. He's new to the team and didn't have the opportunity, due to the injury, to develop a good on-court chemistry with the team. He needs to do that AND get his own game back.

I also agree with what you said about Davis not having his legs back yet. I'm not sure why not, since his injury was to his thumb, not his legs. What concerns me is that he's not alone. KG doesn't have his legs. TA's legs are always problematical too.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by jeb on Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:39 pm

Bobheck

As a guy who played a lot of ball and had many crippling injuries...working out in any other fashion but playing does not get you into game shape. Too many stops and starts and lateral movements. Maybe if Glen could have played some tennis at a very high level he could approximate hoop. He will slowly get his legs back and I think in about 4 games will be a big contributor.

In regards to Quis I think he is a textbook gymrat and will assimilate his skills into the group pretty well. I just hope his damn hand is ok. I think he can guard people like Joe Johnson better than anyone we currently have which will be a huge help regardless. I also think he is young enough to run with Rajon. On a final note inre Quis he will rack up Tommy points that dont show up on sportscenter but win games.

I tend to agree with Sam that the bench just needs time and test INTACT to get better and back and perhaps beyond what they were early.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:20 pm

Bob,

You have no idea how refreshing it was to see someone recognizing that joining a new team environment is not a slam dunk. This is not fantasy basketball—plug 'em in and count their stats.

Sam
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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:13 pm

Vs. Lakers:

# 8: Tony Allen's inspired play at both ends of the floor—especially his drives to the hoop

# 9: The huge comeback by the bench (augmented by Rondo)

#10: Consistent defensive effort in the second half by the Celtics

#11: Celtics outrebounded the Lakers (albeit by small margins) at both ends of the court


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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by MDCelticsFan on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:26 pm

Bottom line is another loss against a Laker team weary from a long 8 game road trip and far from at their best either. After the next loss to Washington tomorrow night the team will have drawn the collar 0 for 4. They may as well have been facing Bob Gibson in his prime! What was Pierce thinking about when he shoved off on Artest. Artest was in his head even before the tip. The game in LA in 3 weeks will be a double digit loss for the C's. Garnett's as good as he's going to be and Marquis Daniels isn't a savior. Time to dump salary and get younger!-MD.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by dboss on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:32 pm

Sam I love your optimism

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by MDCelticsFan on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:41 pm

Sixteen points in the fourth quarter is choke city! No way you could play like that vs. a D-League team much less try to close out a win against the defending champions!-Perkins and Pierce cannot finish their shot and Perkins can't consistently hit free throws. Perk makes 2 more field goals or 3 more foul shots and we're not having this discussion! The C's may as well be a baked potato. Anyone got a fork?-MD.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by jeb on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:42 pm

MD

Damn dude things aint that bad. It was I think terrible coaching down the stretch and imho in the whole second half. Why not keep doing what worked? I just don't quite understand that.

I think in earnest we match up pretty well with the Lakers and will fight them just as hard in LA.

Another just hearbreaking loss. I feel like hurling. But we went against the very best the last three games and SHOULD have one two of them. Plenty of room for hope and i think you are being too negative MD.

Later

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:02 pm

This thread is about glimmers. If someone does not understand the concept or disagrees with the concept or takes issue with my specific selections, I'm happy to hear about it.

To analyze the ins and outs of specific games, there is a regular post-game thread, and people are welcome to start their own threads. This one is for discussion of glimmers.

Thanks,

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:12 pm

Dboss,

It's not simply optimism. It's a matter of building from positives. People building companies, marriages, and all sorts of things from assets rather than liabilities. Yes, they have to be cognizant of the liabilities and work to overcome them. But the really successful ones are those who make the most out of their assets. And first the assets have to be recognized.

I'm simply applying that principle here. There is plenty of coverage of the Celtics' liabilities elsewhere on this forum (including my own post-game threads).

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by jeb on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:17 pm

well hows this for a glimmer. Tony Allen in the first half. Rondo's at times dominance of the game with penetration and just plain point guardin. If we can keep the ol franchise glued up to work back to health and cohesion I think as I always have that we match up pretty damn well with the lakes.

They dont have an answer for rajon. I saw considerable vigor from KG and the whole damn front line in terms of interior D. Including bench.

I thought the ball movement during the comeback was breathtaking. And I thought there was EFFORT throughout.

Win or lose I can live with that.
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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by Sam on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:29 pm

Jeb, yes I posted #8-11 glimmers above and included Tony. I think we're starting to take Rondo's brilliance for granted (which really isn't fair to him).

By the way, for anyone who's interested, there is now a post-game thread set up for discussing this game.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by beat on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:30 pm

jeb

we knew goin in today it wasnt goin to be easy street and as much as I wished we'd won wishin and hopein isn't going to change the score. We gave this one away. without lookin it up how many of our final possessions were either turnovers iso or pounding the shot clock down to 5 then a prayer.

At the very least our clear best weapon is young ansd healthy and really the lakers had no answer to him. He should have gone to the hoop a lot more in the end.

TA really stepped up and played his best game and as much as I love RA he allowed Kobe to get by him too easy to many times yeah he played it about as well as you can on that last play but dang TA "might" have done better I don't know.

Just not a fan of slow ball.

We had a darm 23 point swing in the first half. And although I felt it would be a slower paced second half I still thought we'd at least push the ball up a bit more and try to get some stuff in the paint but we just didn't do it near as much as we should have.

At least we know we are close, but we need to play a whole 48 not 43.

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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by jeb on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:33 pm

damn beat you better take that action to the post game thread! Glimmers only.

Thought Bynum and Gasol were goin to walk on us and we slowed that crap wayyy down.

My glimmer of the game. Really tough interior d.
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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by beat on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:36 pm

already done it jeb
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Re: THE CELTICS GLIMMER THREAD - 70+, STILL GOING STRONG!! GO CELTS!!

Post by jeb on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:38 pm

Beat


so gimme a damn glimmer! i need it. very discouraged.

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