Monday, January 5, 2009

The Celtics' Christmas Vacation and My Five Stages of Loss

Ah, the joys of Christmas Vacation. As a child, it was a time to receive presents, annoy your parents, and sled down every hill in the neighborhood. As an adult, it's a time to receive presents, annoy your girlfriend, and fall down drunk at every bar in the neighborhood. Like HZMLS, my employer was kindly enough to give me from December 23rd-January 5th off, giving me nearly two weeks to completely forget about work, filling my days instead with mass quantities of food, drink and Kenny vs. Spenny episodes. It was a glorious time, in which I got absolutely nothing productive done.

Unfortunately, the Celtics players were under the impression that they too were on vacation the last two weeks. That's the only explanation I can come up with for how a team that won 19 straight games has now lost four out of their last six, including an embarrassing ass-beating last night to the goddamned Knicks, who stopped actually trying to win basketball games sometime around 1998.

There are a few ways to interpret this downturn in the Celtics' play recently, and I'll try to at least run you through the gamut of my emotions regarding this recent downturn in the C's play:

1) Denial - "Whatever, they're still 29-6 and more than 12 games better than anyone in their division. Who cares if they lost a few games, they won 19 before that and they'll win 19 in a row after that. The Celtics never do well on that post-holiday West Coast trip anyways, even in the Bird days when they were winning championships left and right. Besides, the refs totally screwed them in Portland and LA, and the Knicks loss was more a result of having to play six games in ten days. The C's are still the defending champs, so kiss the ring bitches."

2) Anger - "WHAT THE HELL? The Celtics DO NOT lose, and now they're losing four out of six? And losing to the KNICKS? I hate Doc Rivers for his inane substitution patterns, I hate Danny Ainge for building a team with no discernable bench, I hate Kevin Garnett for having his statistically worst season since he got pubes, and I hate Brian Scalabrine for EXISTING. And why in hell has Rajon Rondo suddenly ceased to be able to make actual shots? STOP SUCKING YOU ASSHOLES.

3) Bargaining - "Look, I know that the C's core trio is well over 30, but how about just one more championship season, okay? If losing four out of six in the middle of the season means that they'll be rested and de-stressed during playoff time, then that's fine. Besides, the burden of a 19-game winning streak and the fastest start of any NBA team was far too much burden to bear, so I'll gladly accept these losses in exchange for a resurgence come playoff time. Just let the C's have a halfway decent regular season and a successful playoffs, and I'll be happy.

4) Depression - "Jesus Christ. The last six games have proven that we have nobody reliable on the bench, core stars that are suddenly streaky, and the 19-game winning streak has completely sapped them for the rest of the season and the playoffs. The loss of Posey pretty much guaranteed no championship for this year. If Pierce or Allen get hurt, Tony Allen will be forced to start and will ruin every game. Kevin Garnett has jumped the shark. The Celtics are old, they've peaked way too early, and they'll now spend the rest of January getting humbled by teams like Houston, Cleveland, Phoenix, Orlando and Detroit. The C's are fucked."

5) Acceptance - "This is a very good, but flawed team that has some easily fixable holes to fill and just so happened to face a rough patch in their schedule. The C's aren't necessarily as historically great as their 27-2 start showed, but they're also not as bad as they've been over the last six games, and luckily, they're much closer to the former than the latter. The depth issues can be solved with a few veteran signings, much like last year, and the starters have continued to play at a relatively high level throughout the last two seasons. While the Celtics may not necessarily win the championship this year, they're at least one of the top three or four contenders for the crown. Worst case, we'll get an exciting season and playoffs to entertain us for the next six months or so."

Must go to happy place. Must go to happy place. Must go to happy place.


Mathemagician said...

"The depth issues can be solved with a few veteran signings,"


Boatdrinks said...

I will say this about that: I am not a big follower of NBA.
But I know sports.
And few times does a Marbury *cough TO cough* style player do much and in the long run he ruins a team.
For my dear friends that are Celtic mad, please, please, there must be better available.