Like Doc Said, ‘Don’t Bury The Celtics Yet’



.

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The next time Celtics coach Doc Rivers has something to say about his team and the resolve that championship outfits always show when things look bleak, I’ll just shut up and listen. We’d all be wise to do as much.

He warned us when Rajon Rondo went down with that torn ACL that the season would not end for the Boston Celtics just because they lost their All-Star point guard on Jan. 27.

His exact words:  “You can write the obituary; I’m not. You can go ahead, but I’m not. We won tonight and so, the way I look at it is, we’re going to stay in there. In my opinion, we’re going nowhere.”

We jumped to foolish conclusions around here and assumed that the Big 3 + Rondo era was officially done. But the Celtics have done exactly what Rivers said they would. Seven straight wins, including triumphs over the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and most recently Sunday’s triple overtime thriller to snap the Denver Nuggets’ nine-game win streak.

The remaining members of the Big 3 — Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — have played like the wicked warriors they’ve always been, but they’ve cranked it back up to 2008 levels over the course of the past seven games.

Pierce was magnificent yesterday, slaying the Nuggets with big shots, clutch rebounds and timely assists. Pierce’s 27, 14 and 14 was a throwback to the days of Larry Legend in Boston, as hallowed a ground as there is in Celtics lore. Garnett was just as devastating, finishing with 20 points and 18 rebounds.

But how about the rest of the supporting cast? Jason Terry came to life, finishing with a season-high 26 points off the bench, reminding us all of the crucial role he played in the Dallas Mavericks’ championship run two seasons ago. And Jeff Green, doing his own Mr. Big Shot routine against the Nuggets, chipped in with 17 points and three big blocks.

Rivers, of course, refused to take any credit for what’s gone on the past seven games, including yesterday heroics from Pierce and the rest of the crew.

“I mean that’s what great players do. I would love to tell you I had something to do with it,” Rivers said. “I was sitting just like the fans saying, ‘Please, Lord, Paul make a shot.’ “

But he’s short-changing the power of his words and presence in that Celtics locker room. As great as Garnett and Pierce have been as locker room leaders since they came together, this team has always marched to the beat Rivers plays for them. He’s the one who showed  the ultimate confidence in Rondo when he was still trying to become the elite point guard he has become. He’s also the one who knew when it was time to elevate Avery Bradley to a more prominent role on a veteran-laden team. He’s the one who made clear to Courtney Lee that he had confidence in Lee assuming some facilitating responsibilities in Rondo’s absence.

Rivers is doing what only the greats have done and can do: he’s making a mockery of conventional wisdom and showing that age is truly just a number where the Celtics’ aging warriors and young upstarts are concerned. His belief in his team, in every man on his roster, has paved the way for the Celtics to not only keep their season alive in the midst of what should have been devastating injury news, but also helps them remain as one of a couple of teams (along with Indiana and perhaps Chicago, depending on what Derrick Rose looks like in his return from ACL surgery) capable of complicating the Heat’s march through the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets need to be concerned as well, what with the Celtics having all the ingredients to mount a furious post-All-Star Weekend assault on the Atlantic Division standings.

Everything is still on the table for these Celtics with the momentum they’ve built over the past seven games, and counting.

As usual, Rivers was right.

We shouldn’t have written that obit when Rondo went down.

He didn’t.

And the Celtics are thriving because of it!

65 Comments

  1. john says:

    Celtic always find a way somehow to win even after everyone has left them out

  2. Try staying loyal to the Celtics even when they’re not doing good?

  3. YEAH! I tried to tell some of yall, “Never count out a Doc Rivers coached team”! This teeeam is so resilient!
    GO GET IT CELTS!!!
    CELTICS-HORAAH-UBUNTU!!!

  4. Kamote says:

    “We jumped to foolish conclusions…”

    Who is WE Sekou? The Boston faithful haven’t yet. Those who understand TEAM PLAY hasn’t yet. Some people still do believe that Boston is still a team every opponent don’t want to face in the first round.

    Truth is, it is you guys and all your hype who is creating these stuffs. You guys counted them out 2 years ago (Boston lost the 2nd round due to Wade breaking Rondo’s arm), and last year (taking the mighty Heat to 7 games). The same with what’s been being done with San Antonio the past 2-3 years. You don’t count these team out just yet, because they play TEAM basketball. TD, KG, Pierce, Manu and Parker may be running with used up engines, but they will continue to run until these break down. And besides, there are headed by great coaches, still surrounded by team-oriented role players, and have their own young players they can build their new franchise upon. The league is stacked with powerhouse teams (Heat, OKC, LAC, NYK etc.), but don’t count out these “old guys” yet.

    Just go back to writing LAL articles, they need more fuel to the drama they have there, just to keep people interested in them instead of basketball.

  5. Kilroy says:

    It will be a first round elimination if the celtics face the heat.
    Boston fans better hope they make the 7th seed.

  6. bu says:

    On the note on Doc, I think that’s a no brainer. He’s right up there as one of the best coaches in getting the most out of his players as well as top X’s & O’s. Look at how many times he got the “unsung heros” to make an impact. Look at how many plays scored after timeout, not to mention the creativity. You may say he had 3-4 hall of famers KG, PP, Rondo, & before, Allen to do that. But just compare with other coaches who had hall of famers. Just look at how Celtics came thru with the injuries they had playing on a certain system without having KG, PP and/or Allen to dominate. Can the Heat or Knicks or Lakers & Clippers do that? No. The only other coach that has the same respect is Popovich. Great great coach!

    Actually, Stan Van Gundy is a pretty good coach & probably top 5 amongst current active coaches.

  7. Jenova says:

    again to all the doubtful kids out there… just watch the celts play and learn from it

  8. Jai says:

    yessir…love my team and our Coach! Lets Go CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (miss you Rondo)

  9. Shane says:

    Very rarely does the media or writers in general come out and admit they were wrong about something….I did not like you how you were so quick to write off the Celtics, they have proven you and the rest of the media wrong in the past couple of weeks….but for writing this article mr. smith you have gained my respect.

  10. Going 4 da gold says:

    I’ll give it to the Celtics.. But the Knicks are the best in the nba and Atlantic division

  11. SHOWTIME says:

    C’s are hot right now. DOC did a great adjustment as soon as he knew Rondo is out for a season. 7 games winning streak is awesome. BUT it tells me nothing. C’s can easily lose 7 games straight from the next game.

  12. ReallySekou?! says:

    I am so sick of this guy! Honestly Sekou? You do this every other week, sure you admitted you were a little ignorant with your comments earlier about the celtics. Really though, who is this guy? He probably makes way to much money to talk about a sport he really doesn’t even have a firm understanding of. If this was the first time than okay sure I’d understand, but I’m sick of this guy saying one this one week turning around and saying the complete opposite. Wake up Sekou! Stop letting us down!

  13. Henrik Jensen says:

    When the Celtics was most Hurt, They called the Doctor and he healed the problems !! Amazing

  14. gogoheat says:

    Right! Celtics is not done yet…………until Playoff. Let’s go Heat!!!

  15. Gillsy says:

    Is it true that Rondo has a partical tear in his ACL and could be back sooner than they thought. (Does that mean this year)

  16. Gillsy says:

    I think Rondo even though he is my favourite player going down was a good thing. New people had come in not everyone had found their place in the team. And as KG was saying Rondo does that many things well it’s easy to watch him try and do everything himself. The improved play from the back court and bench as well as PP and the BIG Ticket have been great. Espically Terry who looks like he has his game back. Who needs Ray Ray have you seen his shooting percentage lately.

  17. Steven Lamb says:

    Great read Sekou. I will be interested in your write up after the Celtics fall to Charlotte tonight. FYI i am a Celtics Fan from Scotland but we have a habit of losing games like this?? Hope we can keep this great run going. Slainte

  18. Boere says:

    Yeah wow, the C’s are doing better than Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Detroit. It’s a bit early for articles like this.

  19. TV63 says:

    Gotta Love this team!! True grit and resilience prevails!! How many times has the media written them off year after year? These players and this coach are the real deal on loyalty. Lakers should stand up and take notice instead of back biting each other getting no where!

  20. Rafael says:

    Go Go BARBOSA!!!

  21. BOSTON#1FAN says:

    DOC RIVERS IS AWESOME!!! HANDS DOWN BEST COACH IN THE NBA! YES I SAID IT

  22. Daniel says:

    Is Paul Pierce a HOF’er?

  23. googergieger says:

    Denver got cheated. I want to hear the reason for that technical on Faried and why Garnett who loudly said the N-Word on t.v. three times didn’t get a tech. I want to know what that Pierce long two was ruled a three. I want to hear how a Denver team who attacked the paint more than double the times Boston did got less free throws? Granted Karl did plenty of decision making or lack there of to throw the game away as well, but the officiating was horrible. One can argue bad calls on both sides, but a lot of blatantly horrible calls benefited the Celtics and meant the win. It means nothing, but the league better apologize. An asterisk needs to be next to that deflating loss for Denver.

    • steagle says:

      Well you guys got away with one when you got the ball back after Faried knocked it out of bands on the rebound attempt. That was clearly off his hands (or Miller’s) and the call led to Lawson hitting the game tying shot. Also Pierce’s shot was reviewed thoroughly on the floor. That’s an easy call to make especially with the replays.

      • googergieger says:

        We attacked the paint double the times you did and got less free throw attempts. Ty Lawson got zero free throw attempts. Make that make sense. I have twenty/ten vision. That was a two. They showed one horribly biased replay to us, the viewer. That was a two. Anyway you slice it, Boston got way more calls that helped them win that game. Which was a back to back for us. With Boston resting since Thursday. Not only did Denver have to deal with the schedule(the worst one in twenty years) but it had to deal with horrible officiating. If Garnett gets a technical for yelling the N-Word what happens? Heck is he even going to get fined for it? Kids watching the game and all. Are we going to get an explanation for why one of the most happy go lucky kids in the game Faried was given a technical? What about when Pierce pushed Gallo out of bounds and the ball went to Celtics?! Heck literally three plays in a row Terry was holding onto McGee for dear life so Garnett could get an open jumper and nothing! The list is pretty huge in regards to an overwhelming favoritism for Boston and a complete disregard for a tired Denver team that had to play a game that went to three over times against eight people. Nine if you count Karl’s ineptitude. Ten if you count Miller’s sabotage.

    • brad says:

      The Pierce 3 was officially reviewed and it was clearly a 3. None of us have any idea what Faried said to get the T, so it’s counter-productive to even speculate on that. KG trash talking, however, is commonplace. That’s how he plays the game and gets in opponents heads. If he got Faried heated enough to cause the penalty, than it’s on Faried for losing his cool, not KG. It was an amazing game, calls went both ways, players played hard on both sides. There’s really no reason to complain on this one.

      • googergieger says:

        Who attacked the paint more? Who got more free throw attempts? Take away the one or two calls that went Denver’s way and the dozens of calls that went Boston’s way. Make that make sense. Bring up an argument to counter that fact. The more aggressive team that attacked the paint got less free throw attempts than a jump shooting team that is known for hitting people when they play defense. No argument against it? No acknowledgment by the NBA? Not even a warning for KG using a racial slur loudly on t.v. where I, my cousin, and his son could hear it? Okay. Happens all the time. NBA only cares about four teams anyways. Boston happens to be one of them. Us real basketball fans can only hope our teams that play the game the right way, can keep a sustained level of near perfection that is damn near impossible to achieve to hopefully have a chance to over come a built in bias against us.

    • n00b says:

      @googergieger are you serious?? nugs got a lucky lucky call when faried said himself he knocked the ball out. then lawson capatilised and it went to OT..

  24. Dan says:

    When the Celtics drop a couple of games, another article is going to come out saying how finished they are… But the truth is, they ARE going to the playoffs and they will be trouble for any team that faces them. The Celtics have something other teams don’t: pride and heart.

  25. Gabs says:

    I love these celtics but honestly, can anyone see them beating the heat in 7?

    • thatguy says:

      I actually think it’s more realistic that the Cs beat the Heat than the other way around…
      Got to game 7 last year, with all the BS officiating and a rubbish team. Now this team’s much deeper.

  26. BP says:

    Celtics dont need rondo, it time for them to consider trade him to get few better players.

    • Heatles631 says:

      wow trade rondo. Um, think a little dude. Rondo is the best on that team. Granted they have played good ball without him. But thats because they probably feel like everyone has to step up now, because the guy who carried them every night is gone

      • bballjunkie1 says:

        Boston has always still been a better team with Paul distributing period. Too bad they stuck their necks out on Rondo, play hurts players that can create their own shot. Green and Jet were reduced to catch/shoot with him, look at them now. Thank God he wasn’t asked to go back to Olympic team.

  27. Patty says:

    THE CELTICS PLAYED THEIR HEARTS OUT!!!

    GO KG!!!

  28. Matt says:

    People forget how close the Celtics came to winning it all last year with their star players all hurt in some way or another … the bench is starting to play well (finally) and Pierce and Garnett can’t be counted out yet. Let’s go Celtics!

  29. thesniper321 says:

    SEKOU SMITH aren’t you the same guy who said” the chamionship door is closed in Boston! time to move on.”????
    How are you feeling NOW? Please tell us

  30. me says:

    For once y’all own up to your faults, well it’s about damn time!n and y’all need to show more respect towards this team instead of always hoping on that Lakers/ Heat bandwagone

  31. manny says:

    i was counting on the reptors to grab the 8 seed from the celtics it turns out celtics will be going up in the stands

  32. jose says:

    It is like when an ill person is dying out…..and all of the sudden , starts showing recovering signs that,ultimately can be confused with the real ones…..and at the end of the day ,the person ,finally dies
    that’s what is going on with these celtics…they are saying good bye to the season with certain amount of dignity…
    Bye Celtics , you are about to get buried!!!!
    GO HEAT

    • steve says:

      yeah buddy this year your heat aint winnin it all haha stupid heat bandwagon fan

    • aaaaaa says:

      Lol see you in the playoffs, I’m sure this summer you’ll be having fun thinking about how 18 Banners is a lot more than 2….

  33. Brandon says:

    Thank you for writing your wrongs Sekou, it’s the least you could do for writing the Celts off so easily before! You should know better!

  34. jeotb1 says:

    I just laught at those “celtics fans” (bandwaggoners) that when the celtics were losing they were moving to other teams and now are like they never said anything bad about the celtics a true fan always stays with his team…winning or losing always a Celtics fan!!!

  35. NHbleedsGREEN says:

    doc should be the next team usa coach

  36. Allen Iv3rson says:

    Awesome game

  37. nlitinme says:

    Though I am a C’s fan- they’re my team- I too wrote them off- too many moving parts then a stab to the gut with Rondo out. The beauty of a championship team is that they represent the essence of b ball played at the highest level. A coach who does things like putting Nate Robinson in at a critical juncture in a playoff game- taking a star out. A coach who knew Rondo would come around. The two stars on the team are some of the oldest guys in the NBA…..
    Everyone stepping up. Totally awesome.

  38. Jaypreet says:

    CELTICS TO WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP…….would be a great show of heart and determination.

  39. Skip To Ma Loo says:

    Good article Sekou.

  40. prix says:

    Like Doc said…Dont bury the Celtics yet…but Miami, OKC and NY burried them already and more deeper that they dissolved into the depths…only the Lakers got burried more deeper than Boston…

  41. Minandz says:

    the DOC is In !

  42. yousAkuncklehead says:

    sekou smith yous a knucklehead…. a goddamn kucklehead… didnt yo momma ever tell you to respect your elders…. its a goddamn shame….. celtics aint dead boy!

  43. Vasilis says:

    Very nice article Sekou!!!!!
    Celtics are still in it baby! TRUTH!

  44. Manny C says:

    The true Celtics faithful didn’t write the obituary. As long as we have our HOF Forwards and Doc Rivers, this team always has a shot. The Ghost of Red watches over us!

  45. Jenova says:

    like i said… I HAVE FAITH IN THIS TEAM… LETS GO CELTICS HOOORAHH

  46. mrkC says:

    Doc is a proven HOF coach!