Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paul Pierce says Celtics lack mental toughness

The Boston Celtics are clearly a team in transition. Once a team dominated by the Big Three (Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett), the Celtics are now a mix of veterans and youngsters with point guard Rajon Rondo being the bridge. The result so far hasn't been pretty. The Celtics currently stand at 20-21 with losses to the lowly Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers the last two games. Not the kind of results Celtic fans have been accustomed to the past five years.

Pierce, who has seen both the good and the bad, has spoken out about the team's current four game skid. Pierce told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe that the Celtics are lacking the mental toughness of teams past.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement of your teammates.

“I think we got pieces here,” the Celtics captain said before Tuesday night’s 95-90 loss to the Cavaliers. “We just got to come together. We got to figure this thing out. Can’t get discouraged.

“I think that’s the one thing this team lacks, that mental toughness, man. When we lose our confidence, I’ve never been on teams like that. We got to stay together, we got to play with confidence.

“Yeah, definitely, it hurts me to say that. It’s like I really sometimes don’t believe it.

“We get down on ourselves. We got to go out there and believe we can win every game. It’s tough sometimes.”

Now Pierce has been on some bad Celtic teams prior to the arrival of Allen (now with the Miami Heat) and Garnett, and this one isn't quite as bad, but it's probably wearing thin on Pierce's patience for the young pups to grow up.

There's still another half of basketball to play and it'll be interesting to see if GM Danny Ainge will make a deal to keep the team competitive, let things play out, or blow it up altogehter.

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