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The Celtics of right now are not the Celtics of last month, or even last week. There have been a handful of changes in Boston lately, notably some new faces (which are really just old faces reincarnated), a loss (gasp!), and a trade rumor (which, for the time being, seems to be completely one-sided). As 2010 rolls in, it looks like the Celtics will have a handful of resolutions.
Tony Allen is back and making an impact off the bench (15 points on Sunday vs. the Timberwolves). Allen’s return closely coincides with Marquis Daniels’ thumb surgery, and while Daniels’ injury hurts the Celtics, Allen has capitalized on his opportunity to pick up the slack. Glen Davis, another Celtic who has yet to suit up this season, hopes to belatedly celebrate his January 1st birthday (and ring in the new year) with a January 2nd return against the Raptors.
Concerning Friday’s loss to the 76ers, these things happen. I was at that game, but left at the beginning of the fourth quarter, assuming the game was over. Oops. Then again, I was in the tippity top row of Section 328 (just about eye-level with the banners), so I was missing most of the action due to my distance from the court. But that’s not the point.
The point is that winning streaks are good (duh), but a loss every now and then, especially an unexpected one, keeps everyone (players, coaches, fans, et al.) in check. Confidence is good, complacency is not. No NBA team, no matter how talented, can win a game by simply showing up (unless it’s against the Nets). A good test for the Celtics will be against the Magic on Christmas day.
Nate Robinson: past Dunk Contest champion, current New York Knicks guard, future Celtic? Apparently Robinson is interested in playing in Boston. Frankly, if you were on the Knicks, or any one of about 20 other NBA teams, wouldn’t you want to become a Celtic too? At any rate, Robinson hasn’t played since December 1 (coach’s decision) and is visibly disgruntled in New York. What Robinson lacks in size (listed at 5’9″), he makes up for in athleticism (see: 2009 Dunk Contest), but also in attitude (see: current situation with the Knicks). If this doesn’t scream Stephon Marbury, I don’t know what does.
All I want for Christmas is for Nate Robinson to stay out of Boston, unless he is on a visiting team.
P.S. – Another Larry O’Brien trophy wouldn’t hurt either.
And finally, in a true display of hoilday cheer, the NBA rescinded one of Rasheed’s technical fouls from last month’s game against the Heat. Never fear though, Wallace is still the Scrooge of the league with nine technical fouls so far this season. Perhaps his new year’s resolution will be not to get T’d up anymore. On second thought, perhaps not.