The first quarter of the 2012-2013 NBA has not gone exactly according to plan for the Boston Celtics. After an active offseason in which President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge totally overhauled the bench, bringing in more depth that coach Doc Rivers has ever had at his disposal, the Celtics were expected to race out of the gates and immediately put themselves amongst the NBA's top teams. It hasn't worked out that way through 20 games and the Celtics currently sit at 11-9, good for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have been showing signs of getting on track, playing high quality ball ever since their embarrassing loss to the Brooklyn Nets on November 28th. Yet despite their improved play the results have still been inconsistent since the loss (the C's are just 3-2 in five games following the loss).
All the things that Boston hoped for in the offseason have finally started happening over the past five games. Jeff Green is providing inspired play off the bench, Courtney Lee is finding his game, Chris Wilcox has become the perfect backup to Kevin Garnett, and Jared Sullinger is enjoying a solid rookie season. Rajon Rondo has improved his jump shot. Jason Terry has been streaky with his shot but overall very strong while running with the starters. Brandon Bass is struggling with his shot a little but has improved his rebounding, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are still the pillars that they always were. Best of all the Celtics defense, which was utterly awful to start the year, has finally come through with a number of stellar efforts. Looking at each piece individually one would think that the season has been a smashing success. Yet all these positives have not consistently translated into wins.
The good news is that in each of the past five games the Celtics have played well enough to win. Yet despite this they have still lost twice. Celtics fans are encouraged by the way the Celtics have been playing, and the glass is definitely half full. However the fans are also getting very tired of saying "yeah but" and trying to see the bright side. They have scored enough moral victories. It's time to string some real ones together. It's time for a winning streak.
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