The Celtics are not foreign to the issues that cropped up on Friday against Indiana. Kevin Garnett practically wrote the book on pick-and-roll defense and proper defensive rotations. At the other end of the floor, the team utilizes an offensive system predicated on both player and ball movement, as well as a number of players being capable of sparking the rest of the team with the necessary energy to overcome a pesky opponent.
But that doesn't mean they didn't need a healthy reminder that not asserting themselves in these areas can lead to trouble.
"These are learning points and I'm sure Doc's going to pull these points out and we will learn from them," Garnett said.
Boston next takes the floor on Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks -- another veteran club that's had its share of struggles this season, even as the defending NBA champs. The Celtics were given the entire weekend off (except for the second unit, which went through some reps at the team's practice facility in Waltham on Sunday), perhaps both to get some rest and to let Friday's loss stew a bit in their minds. They get back to work with a practice on Monday.
Don't expect to see a dejected group of men in green when they reconvene. These Celtics rarely get too down on themselves, an attitude that's been a hallmark since this championship window was opened with the formation of the Big Three back in 2007. They've never been a group that overreacts to a loss, especially so early in the season. Better to lose and solve the issues now, before the stakes get considerably higher.
"There's no need to put our heads down," captain Paul Pierce said. "It's early in the season, we've just got to clean up a few things.
"We know it's early in the season and we're trying to strive to get better. We know we're not where we want to be, regardless if we won four games straight. It's about building, it's about getting better through the course of the season and we know we're not playing our best basketball, even in the wins," he said.
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