Originally Posted by AngelEyes
They didn't shut anyone up the last couple of seasons. They were defeated each of the last two seasons by the Heat, soundly defeated in 2011, in only the second round. I assume their goal is to win championships and I don't know how not even making it to the finals, or in 2011 not even making it to the eastern conference finals, is shutting anyone up. They're only getting older, things are not just going to stay the same or get easier. Miami has the better team and has beaten them the last two seasons. Boston's title chances are diminishing.
This is a team that was not expected to make the playoffs at one point last year, and they make it to Game 7 of the ECF and you wanna act like that's not an accomplishment? I guess you think highly of the Celtics.
For a team so written off and disregarded, yes, they have shut a lot of people up. They were supposed to be done in 2010. Go back and look at the series predictions against the Heat and Cavs. No one had them winning in 5 against Miami and even fewer people had them winning at all against Cleveland. They literally came as close to winning a title as you can without doing so.
In 2011, they got bounced by the Heat, yeah, but the series was a lot more competitive than the score indicates. The Celtics led late in the last few games despite :
A. lacking their starting center and
B. their PG and marquee player playing with one f*cking arm, quite literally.
I'd argue they fared better against the Heat than the Bulls did, actually.
Last year, there were calls to blow it up before the All-Star break (and rightly so, perhaps), but they went on a run and were a few baskets (and perhaps a few missed calls) from the Finals. They won three straight games against the eventual champions, something no other team did, and (depending on which side you ask) were a hair away from winning a fourth.
Just because they've had higher expectations than most teams (in part due to their high team standing, but a lot of it is the tired "last run" drivel that's spewed out every f*cking year), doesn't mean they've not shut people up or entirely underperformed.
That said, they're clearly not "pacing themselves." They're having identity issues brought on by introducing a handful of new players to a system they may not be perfect for. I was excited when they added so many pieces, if only because it was interesting to see new players in Celtics jerseys, but they may have gone overboard in beefing up the offense at the expense of the defense. But, if we somehow do get back to game 7 in the Finals, at least we won't have to watch them struggle to score the ball for an entire freaking quarter.