I know I have already wished all of my Hardwood Houdini readers this, but it’s worth repeating: Happy New year, everyone!
With a new year comes new resolutions that most people stick to for a few days, and then duly ignore. It’s a shame, because most of us could some change, at least in a few areas. Maybe the problem is that our resolutions are usually created by ourselves, for ourselves, which means they tend to be unrealistic and thus easily abandoned.
Maybe – just maybe – if someone else was in charge of making our resolutions, and was monitoring our progress, we would be far more motivated to stick to these bad boys. It’s that line of thought that has caused me to create a set of resolutions for some of the players and head coach of the Boston Celtics.
Rajon Rondo resolves to . . . take his time and ignore any talk of his timetable for return. As much as fans want to see Rondo take the floor to see if this year’s team can actually play well with him, he should learn from what happened to D-Rose. See you when we see you, Rondo!
Jeff Green resolves to . . . drive to the hoop more. Green is averaging 4.4 free throw attempts per game – not terrible (48th in the league), but not spectacular (Kevin Durant averages 9.4 per). It’s not just that shooting more free throws would put more points on the board; when Green attacks the rim, it’s a sign that he is aggressive and looking for his shot. The Celtics need him to be more aggressive if they want to challenge the Raptors in the Atlantic Division.
Jared Sullinger resolves to . . . practice shooting the 3-ball. Look: if I had my way, Sully would cut the long-distance shots out of his game altogether, as he isn’t even shooting 30% from behind the arc (29.3%) to the tune of one made three-pointer per contest. I would rather he take three more shots down low, since hitting two of those gives him more points that hitting one three . . . but he seems intent on shooting the 3-ball, and fans treat him like he’s Ray Allen every time he hits his one per, so if he’s going to keep shooting them, he needs to resolve to stay after practice until he hits 50 three pointers, every day.
Jordan Crawford resolves to . . . eliminate the 3-ball altogether. Sure, Sully shoots a worse percentage, but at least you can make the argument that he stretches the defense when he is making that shot, opening things up on the inside of himself and other players. Crawford, on the other hand, needs to worry less about stretching the D (the Cs have Courtney Lee, Avery Bradley, and Jeff Green doing that already) and worry more about using his athleticism to attack the rim, dish the rock to his teammates, and possibly draw fouls from opposing big men. Besides, when he starts falling in love with that outside shot, he winds up going 3-15 like he did against Atlanta. He’s not as likely to shoot so poorly if he’s driving the lane again and again.
Kelly Olynyk resolves to . . . get a haircut. Come on, man: this ain’t Canada. (Just kidding!)
Brad Stevens resolves to . . . channel his inner Greg Popovich. Stevens and Pop had a nice little
meeting of the minds earlier this year when the Celtics visited San Antonio. Having seen his team blow second half leads 4 times in the last 7, and a good number of times early in the season, too, maybe coach Stevens can draw some inspiration from his chat with the future Hall of Fame coach and discover a way to rally his troops when adversity rears its ugly head. Stevens seems to be the right coach for this team, but there’s only so many “Would, coulda, shoulda” games you can lose before perception changes.
The Boston Celtics as a team resolve to . . . create an identity. Pick a personality, Boston: are you the team that intends to run, gun, and harass your opponents for a frenetic 48 minutes? You are 8-1 when you score 100+ a game, after all. Of course, you could opt for becoming the discombobulated, turnover-prone, terrible jump-shot taking team that fans see show up in the second half of far too many games. I wish you wouldn’t, though – but at least you would be consistent, so please, pick an identity and be comfortable with it!
Have your own suggestions for a resolution that the Celtics, or one of the players, can use in 2014? Leave it below, or fire it off to me @theamazingMrS!