It’s going to be a long season for Boston — a couple seasons ago they were up 3-2 on the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, now they are looking at how many lottery ping pong balls they can rack up.
But for a professional like Gerald Wallace, what is inexcusable is a lack of effort — you can’t let the other guy outwork you. Effort is a key reason Wallace is still in the league.
The Celtics haven’t busted it like that this preseason and Wallace called them out on it after a 104-89 loss to the Timberwolves in Montreal, via CSNNE.com.
“Guys are out there being selfish, and their opponents are playing with effort, giving their all regardless of how the night is going,” said Wallace who led the Celtics with 16 points. “Tonight we ran into another team that wanted the game more than we did. And they came and played like it. We had some good spurts, but when it came down to it they were determined to win the game and we (weren’t).”
Boston forward Jeff Green agreed.
“They just wanted it more than us, plain and simple,” said Green who had 12 points off the Celtics bench. “We can’t allow teams to play harder than us.”
Welcome to having a young team — and a young team without its leader in uniform as Rajon Rondo recovers from his knee injury.
It’s up to Wallace, Courtney Lee, Kris Humphries and eventually Rondo to teach that lesson, by words and example. (I leave Green off that list because I need to see him bring his best effort every night before I would say he can teach that trait to others.) Brad Stevens plays a role in there also, this isn’t college where you can slough off for a night against a lesser conference team and still get the win.
Then we see who picks it up, who catches on and who will stick with the Celtics in the future.