The Celtics bombshelled yesterdays game as we all know. For the second Sunday in a row I was very pleased with the way the C’s were playing. Going into the half in games against both the Lakers and Magic, Boston looked like they had the game under control and were in easy position to win the game. I mean afterall, they are on their homecourt, so they should be able to hold onto leads, correct? Apparently not.
Late in the third quarter, after the Celtics had blown their 10 point lead, the Garden began to get a little restless. As the quarter wore on, and eventually the team was down by 14 points, the Boo Birds started to reign down on the Celtics. Now many people have different takes on this, so feel free in the comments to share yours, however I want to put out my opinion on what this means to ME as a sports fan.
There is a time for, and a time not for people to express their negativity toward their team. When the team is giving it all they’ve got, but they just don’t seem to have it on a given night, how can you boo? Remember a part to every sport is talent, plain and simple. The worst team in the league can give it all they’ve got, but the chances of beating the opposition who knocks down every shot, is unrealistic. The Celtics have those kind of nights where they just don’t have it. Those are the games I said- Do not show negativity. HOWEVER, during the games in which the home team has it going, but lacks hustle, heart, and determination to win the game, I say let if fly (if you are vocal and dont fear embarrassment).
Now many people may argue to never turn on the team. In my eyes, this is not turning on the team. This is like a coach staring them in the eyes and telling the player that he isn’t giving it all hes got. 99.9% of the people who boo are not going to go home and not watch the Celtics because of their poor performance- thats not how it works. What they do, is they expect more from this team. Fans want to see the effort. When I seen Rasheed Wallace out on the court just going through the motions, that doesn’t impress me, nor anyone else.
To go to a Celtics game, more than almost any other team in the league, you have to all but take out a bank loan to get in. When you pay that money, you expect to see a performance. Yesterday was not a performance. The Celtics gave up in the third quarter. Say all you want about how, “The Magic came out with a better plan”, or “The Celtics just went cold”, or “Every team has a bad quarter from time to time”. All of those may be true, but it sure as heck isn’t 36-11 true (third quarter point differential). 36-11 after leading by 10 points comes from a lack of focus and a lack of hustle to finsh out the game. As a fan, most of which are there to see their only game of the year, that frustrates you beyond belief (and that is a soft word for how pathetic some games have been this year). If as a player on the Celtics, you can’t do it for yourself, for the team, for your family, for the city, for anything else, do it for the fans who are live watching you at that moment.
BUT, and that is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge BUT, some of this is on you too (fan in the arena). For whatever reason this year more than any other, the Garden is quiet. (Chirp, Chirp, Chirp [the sound of crickets I guess]) How can you boo when the team is doing poorly, louder than you cheer when the team looks like an all star team? Your all access pass to booing is created through your ability to cheer on the team when they play awesome. Celtics fans need to limit their expectations. By saying this, I am not going back on how it was okay for fans to boo the poor effort of the team yesterday. What I am saying, is as fans, we tend to EXPECT them to play well. When they do, there is no cheering, when they dont, we get upset. EXPECTATIONS. You can not plan on anything to happen, because in the snap of your finger, Paul Pierce could be out with a broken foot, or Kevin Garnett could be done for the season. Think about it.