The Boston Celtics came away with a much-needed victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, snapping a four-game losing streak. Boston improved its record to 15-17, but has still lost eight out of its last 11 games. The return of Avery Bradley should help the Celtics get back on track — particularly on defense — but they need to improve on both sides of the ball. According to Rajon Rondo, they also need to start caring more about losing.
“The frustrating part is just losing,” Rondo told the Boston Globe on Thursday. “I’m a sore loser. It’s tough to lose. Everybody isn’t. You’ll learn that everybody isn’t a sore loser. Some teams are OK with losing. Some guys are OK with just getting a check. But everything I do, I compete. So, this four-game losing streak is frustrating.”
The Celtics went through similar bad stretches during the regular season last year, but they wound up one win way from reaching the NBA Finals. One of the problems that can arise with a veteran team like Boston’s is that the regular season becomes boring. Guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett just want to win another championship, and reaching the postseason in the NBA is not all that challenging.
Doc Rivers has a tendency to rest players and let his guys coast through the regular season, but the Celtics need to be careful this year. They hardly look like the defensive powerhouse they were a couple of years ago, and if they don’t establish an identity at any point during the season it will be tough to win when the playoffs begin. Giving old guys rest is one thing. Sleepwalking is another.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
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