No Expectations, No Worries

Like the Celtics, I too do not respond well to pressure and when people are relying on me to come through. I too crumble and succumb to finger pointing when I fail to meet the expectations of those who mistakenly had faith in me. I go through brief periods when I believe everything is fine and then I revert and go back on my bullshit.

I will say, I am cautiously optimistic the bullshit aspects of this team are all gone and we’ll return to the scrappy, lovable underdog from the Isaiah Thomas-era. Kemba Walker has churned out seasons similar to Thomas at his peak for the majority of his career it’s just Walker’s never had someone as good as Horford to set high screens for him. Walker won’t have that luxury this season either, but he’ll have an assorted number of promising young perimeter players superior to what the Hornets have trotted out since Walker was first drafted there.

Walker looks to have embraced his Celtics teammates in ways Kyrie Irving never did. He’s laughing and jelling with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. “What is this?” I wonder. It’s players actually enjoying each other’s company. Grinding through adversities and learning curve periods without hot heads rearing their ugly heads. I had to say it, but Tatum and Brown — especially Tatum – came off as entitled last season. Brown less so because he accepted a lesser role for the good of the team. But Tatum complained endlessly for fouls that weren’t there. Hijacked possessions halting ball-movement to hoist up long-two points that clanked more often than not. Tatum has shown no signs of of jettisoning the latter flaw, but perhaps Greg Popovich can work his magic and convince him make quicker decisions with the ball and be less selfish.

It’s kind of liberating  to be free of the excessive burden of expectations. The steady rollercoaster ramping up its intensity yearly since the Celtics rebuild ended when they traded for Thomas finally came to its screeching halt. A lot has changed since then. Too much in fact. Luckily, 2019-20 appears to be a much needed cool down from the endless stress ridden previous years. At the end of 2019 I was tired. Tired of all the backstage politicking and diva mentality, and of my coach unable to effectively quell the situation. Seemingly throwing up his hands at the dysfunctional locker room.

ESPN RPM projected the Celtics to win a mere 47-games. However, the rest of the conference is viewed as collectively weak so that many wins could be enough for home-court advantage. 47-wins is one fewer than the 2015-16 mark. That team did not have Al Horford. It’s second best player was Jae Crowder. Is Brown and Tatum already a step up on Crowder? Well, yeah. But it depends whether they can cut down on the habits that make them inferior.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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