Very few people expect the Boston Celtics to be good this season, but that does not mean Gerald Wallace is willing to accept losing. Wallace, who came to Boston in a trade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets, has tried to become a vocal leader for his new team since the preseason. He was furious when the Celtics blew a 22-point lead against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
Boston dominated the Bucks at home and took a 63-47 lead into halftime. They lead by as much as 22 with around 7:00 remaining in the third quarter, but it was all downhill from there.
“We got selfish,” Wallace said, according to NESN.com. “Instead of worrying about winning the ball game, we were more worried about our stats and getting points. It showed. We went from a team that was together and moving and playing together in the first half to a team that was five individuals out on the court, everyone playing for themselves, and it showed on the defensive end.”
Rajon Rondo is still recovering from knee surgery, so the Celtics are lacking veteran leadership. Even when Pierce, Garnett and Allen were with the team, Rondo was always the head of the snake — at least on offense. Wallace said he had no explanation for the blown lead.
“I really don’t understand it,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out what’s more important, winning or padding your stats. This was a game we were supposed to win easily, without even the starters playing the fourth quarter. Instead, we got selfish as a team. We didn’t move the ball, we let the ball stick instead of pushing the ball and their second unit came in and they handled us. We didn’t really know what to do.”
The Celtics have 80 games remaining in the regular season. General manager Danny Ainge has already had to deny rumors that he was the anonymous GM who recently admitted he is setting his team up to lose so they can secure a lottery pick. Wallace ripped his teammates for a lack of effort after a preseason game earlier this month. It could be a very, very long year for one of the best franchises in sports.