NEW ORLEANS There is disappointment, some frustration and a smidgen of disbelief among the Boston Celtics, who have lost their first three games of the season - a first in the Big Three era, which began in 2007.
But there's one emotion - panic - that's not being felt right now among the Celtics or coach Doc Rivers.
"It's so early. It's three games into the season," Rivers said.
He points out how the first two games - at New York and at Miami - were against "pretty good teams."
"And this team (New Orleans) is not bad," Rivers said. "Home opener, rested, waiting for us. I'm not going to overdue this. You should never lose three in a row. We should never lose three in a row. But we have, and there's nothing we can do about it."
While the Celtics try their best to avoid making excuses for losses, it's hard to ignore that the C's opened with three teams playing their first home game of the season.
So it stands to reason that those teams came out energy levels higher than normal, which may help account for why the Celtics seemed a step slow in just about every aspect of play in all three games.
"All the teams were the aggressors initially," said Celtics guard Keyon Dooling. "We were on our heels trying to bounce back. We can't be that type of team. We have to be a hit-first team if we want to be successful."
That would help, but solving all that ails this Boston Celtics team won't be easy.
As far as finding an answer, "If I knew that, I don't think we'd be in this situation, my man," said Kevin Garnett. "This is an adjustment league, and we will do just that. We have no choice."