5 ways for Celtics to develop consistency

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5 ways for Celtics to develop consistency

BOSTON - The Celtics revamped their roster this summer to boast one of the deepest teams in the league. With weapons at every position, their pieces easily fall into place on paper. Now, it is a matter making it click in games on the court.

After falling to 0-2 with a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, the Celtics (new and old) shared their suggestions for developing consistency and flow when playing with teammates for the first time.

Kevin Garnett: "Practice, being around each other, knowing each other. Off the court, our chemistry is very, very, very, very good. We're very alike in some ways. I've always said teams that hang out, get to know one another off the floor simultaneously it makes it a little easier on the floor. When it comes to basketball, knowing the different things a guy likes to do, preferences and other things, that's just playing with each other, continuing to practice, we're no different from any other team just trying to get our chemistry together. Those things will come."

Courtney Lee:  "I think time. That was one of the things Doc emphasized coming in, that we were going to focus on defense and we had another lapse in that area today. The only thing I'm guessing is time and repetition. You can't put a time on that but it has to be quick. These games are coming. We've got another one tomorrow night so we've got to figure it out soon."

Leandro Barbosa: "Stay together. I think that's the main thing. Everybody knows it's the second game of the season, but everybody knows this is a defensive team. We're going to get together, we have another game tomorrow. We talked about it and hopefully everything will be ok for tomorrow. We have to stay together, work together. I think communication is the main thing for everybody. It's easy for everybody when you have the communication and today we didn't have that. It was really quiet on the court. The guys that were on the bench, you could see there was no talking at all. But it happens. I think we we know what we've got to do and get focused."

Jared Sullinger: "We've got it continuity, obviously we haven't been playing well as a whole. Things are going to get better. Rome wasn't built in one day. Like I tell everybody, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. With all these games coming up, it's going to be really helpful. Building chemistry on the court is kind of tough because that's just when basketball takes over and you've got to be able to hoop. I think the more and more we do that, the more and more it's going to help us out. Communication matters a lot. We've got to talk more as a team. We'll see what happens in the next couple of days."

Jeff Green: "Practice. Practice, practice, practice. It's a long year and we're going to have our bumps, we're going to have our road blocks, but we've just got to keep practicing, keep at it, and just continue to play and work on what we do. Things will come."

The Celtics play their third game of the season against the Washington Wizards on the road on Saturday night.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.