Celtics understand losing is part of the process

Celtics understand losing is part of the process
November 5, 2013, 10:15 am
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It's shaping up to be one of those kind of seasons for the Celtics, the kind where the usual measuring stick for success -- wins -- is not applicable.

That's why there's so much talk about the "positives" and the "things to build on" following the four losses which now leave the Celtics one more consecutive loss away from matching the worst start in franchise history.

These are indeed head-scratching times for a Boston team that has been competitive in every game but unable to take that final, necessary step to secure a victory.

With so many new faces, these are the kind of struggles that could easily splinter a team and lead to finger-pointing and lots of second-guessing. But the players and coaches all seem to understand that these struggles are part of the rebuilding process.

"We're players," Vitor Faverani told reporters after Monday's loss at Memphis. "We like (to) win always. But it's not so bad. It's a new team, new coach, new everything for us."

He's right. 

But there are other teams in a similar situation to the Celtics like Phoenix and Philadelphia who have managed to find success early on this season. Although those teams have players primarily in roles that play to their strengths while Boston's hodgepodge roster has lots of pieces that don't fit neatly together.

And when you throw in the fact that they don't have a glue guy to keep it all together, the result is what we are seeing: a team that doesn't know how to close teams out when the opportunity presents itself.

The Celtics are being asked to do more than just rebuild their roster. They are trying to rebuild a culture, a style of play, an identity that is very much in to-be-determined mode right now.

"Back to the drawing board," Jared Sullinger said after the most recent loss.

While it may sound cliche, that is the only way the Celtics can move past this transition period. Because there's more than enough empirical data to believe that this team is close, real close, to finally getting Brad Stevens his first win as an NBA head coach.

But it's not easy for morale to stay high when the loss tally continues to rise with the sun everyday.

Celtics forward Jeff Green doesn't believe morale is an issue now.

"At this point I don't think so," he said. "It's only a couple games into the season. We're just trying to find a way."

The hope is that once the Celtics find their way to one win, the path to more will be much smoother.

"We're anxious to get a win," Sullinger said. "Once we get the win, we'll get the monkey off our back and start rolling from there."