Last season, the Celtics were a game away from their third trip to the NBA Finals in five years, but now they're just treading water at 13-12. The slow start might be cause for alarm, though it's not the first time Boston has played mediocre ball over a significant stretch during its latest run of success. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald believes it's clear that if team basketball president Danny Ainge engineers a roster move, it won't take place until after Avery Bradley returns. “The reason is because I like what I see out of individuals,” Ainge said. “I just don’t like what the whole team has been able to put together yet. So yeah, we need to be patient and see what we have when our whole team’s together.” Bradley said trainers are targeting January 2nd for his return. Bulpett revealed more from Ainge on his plans for the team, and we'll hit the highlights here.
On the need to make changes:
"I think that every year I feel like we’re constantly evaluating our team, but the danger comes when you feel like you need to do something. That’s just talk. What we need to do is progress. We don’t need to make a change. We need to get better. So between the players and the coaches and the management, we’re all working together to try to figure out how to get better."
On whether the team, as constituted, can succeed:
"I’m uncertain. I want to see more. I want to see more before I know. I’ve been uncertain the last few years, and they (the players) give me a lot of reason to be uncertain. But then they turn around and show what they’re made of and what they have inside of them. So I want to give it more time."
On the team's tendency to coast during the regular season:
"I’ve sensed that pattern over the last few years. At the same time, I feel like our players as people, especially our leaders, have this ability to have this incredible resolve, as we’ve seen in playoff basketball with this group. So I’m seeing that same thing right now. I just don’t see that resolve. I see really good effort to come out at the start of games, and you know, they’re into it. And then it goes away. It’s not just the bench, it’s not any one player. I just think it’s collective, and we’ve got to improve on that. I think that’s for every player."