By Mark Paulette
I wanted to get excited for the Boston Celtics this year. I wanted it so desperately, I pleaded with the team to earn back my trust in a heartfelt letter posted to this very blog the day the C’s tipped off their campaign.
But they did little that night to show me times had changed, squeaking out a 122-117 win over the lowly Brooklyn Nets. Since then, they’ve managed just one more win than loss, going 12-11 while conceding 103 points per game.
This team was poised to take a leap. They had their marquee signing in Al Horford and they returned a stout defensive squad that was supposed to corral their opponents. The foundation was laid to take the next step in the east and contend with Toronto and Cleveland at the summit of the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately that foundation has been leaky at best over the last month, at times looking like mold has formed in the cracks.
Injuries have mounted and the season is only just over a quarter of the way through, but the Celtics simply have no schminckles to offer that grip my attention, and for that reason, I’m out.
I find myself checking box scores on a nightly basis to see how much the Warriors won by, or following personal favorites like Wichita State legends, Ron Baker and Fred Vanvleet before I find myself tuning into the green and white.
I hope the Celtics fate this season, should it continue down the current path, can be a cautionary tale for fans throughout New England who have mourned the loss of prospects in the Red Sox system. For years the C’s have stockpiled draft picks, claiming to have an embarrassment of riches which they can use to pry top talent away from other teams, only to in turn fail to see “Trader Danny” materialize such a coup.
Fortunately, there’s a new dealer in town that goes by the name of Dave, and rather than being content with perpetual mediocrity at the prospect of future wealth, he’s used his bargaining chips and gone all in.
That’s what the Celtics are lacking; the excitement and the pizazz. When you can’t beat a team in the top-half of either conference or shut down a superstar player, there’s little reason to expect anything more than another early postseason exit.
Coming into the year, the plan was good, the pieces were in place, but the execution has been lacking and my patience has run thin. And for that reason, I’m out.
Mark Paulette is the PVC of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.