There’s a fine line between the confidence you need to carry yourself with in order to achieve greatness, and a hubris that belies an arrogance that will get you bit in the ass. Rajon Rondo is taking a whiz all over that line.
In an interview with HoopsTV, Rondo had some things to say about the fact that the Celtics’ record against the best teams in the league is something rather pathetic.
(It means) we beat ourselves if we don’t win it. I don’t think anybody
can beat us. Atlanta swept us already, Cleveland is up two to one (now 3
to 1), Orlando is up two to one, but at the end of the day I think that
we can beat any of those teams (in a playoff series).
Now, it’s important that Rondo says “we can” and not “we will” but the attitude shines through. Rondo, along with the Celtics, put absolutely no stock in the regular season games in which they’ve been beaten, outran, exposed, and outclassed. They refuse to consider the idea that maybe as they currently are, they are not good enough, and that they need to step it up. They’re fine, in their estimation.
That line I spoke about earlier is important. Not taking a team seriously could lead them out in the first round, which would be an outright disaster. But playing without the absolute faith they can win would probably spell the end of them as well. At least insecurity is one opponent the Celtics can still outrun.