By MyFM's Jake Archer - Let me first start by saying that I think the Celtics will still win this series. Being down 2-0 is not good but this thing is far from over at this point. With that said, the Celtics deserve to catch a lot of criticism for the way they have played thus far, and I plan on giving it to them.
On Sunday night in Game 1, I tried to chalk it up to emotions that got the best of the team and led to a loss. It was a tough night and Isaiah Thomas, despite playing fantastic, probably wasn’t totally in it, which is obviously understandable. When it came to the rest of the team though, I was pretty unhappy because they didn’t give it their all and get the win for their teammate. But like I said, I tried to brush it off and say that the whole team just wasn’t into it because who cares about basketball when real life circumstances are coming into play?
Last night though, I have no explanation for. How does a team that supposedly has this chip on their shoulder and is so motivated by people doubting them just no show like they did? I mean, they were pathetic. Yes, the Bulls played very well but the Celtics just turtled and acted like they didn’t want to be there. Rajon Rondo was even calling them out to his teammates and saying “they don’t want it” and “they quit!”
I knew that the Celtics didn’t have title hopes and that they’d probably go out in the second round but this is beyond what I could’ve imagined. I thought they’d take Washington to 7 and lose, not get punked by a Bulls team that almost didn’t make the playoffs. It’s not even just that they are losing either; it’s the way they look. Like I said, this series is far from over but the whole attitude of this team needs to change completely by Friday night’s Game 3 because they have shown nothing positive.
It’s funny too that so many Celtics fans and fans around the NBA wanted to write off Rondo. I’m a big time Rondo guy and I know what he is. He’s a guy who will play at a superstar level when he wants to. For better or for worse, he is a flip-the-switch type of guy. Knowing that he was in the playoffs is enough to know he’d go out and ball, but against his former team? Anyone who didn’t see this Rondo performance coming is blind.
I also had an inkling that Dwyane Wade would be able to turn back the clock a little bit because Wade is one of those guys. He’s old and not close to what he once was but for a short spurt in big moments he can throw it back a little bit. So I’m really not surprised by the play of guys like Rondo, Wade and Jimmy Butler when it comes to stepping up for the playoffs.
What I didn’t see coming is the Celtics getting abused by guys like Robin Lopez, Bobby Portis and that Zipser guy that I had never heard of until now. Those guys are just having their way with what is supposed to be a number one seed Celtics team. It makes no sense and it’s frustrating.
So now the Celtics have their backs against the wall and are headed to Chicago. They’ll have a few days off to do some self-reflection and probably get knocked down a peg by the heat that is coming from the media and the fans. Hopefully they use it as motivation and come out with a purpose on Friday. They’ll have no excuses anymore and they’ll need to fight for this series. I’m expecting the old Celtics to show up and make a statement because I have faith in what kind of guys are on this team. Hopefully I’m not wrong.
They deserved every boo they got at the Garden last night and they deserve to be questioned and ripped into. But this series can turn in the blink of an eye. Celtics in 7.