Newest Celtics don't see 'tanking' in their future

Newest Celtics don't see 'tanking' in their future
July 15, 2013, 9:00 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — MarShon Brooks can accept the fact that the Boston Celtics probably won't fare as well as his former team, the Brooklyn Nets.

But the idea that he was traded to a team with plans to "tank" this season?

"I see the talent," said Brooks, one of the three newest members of the Boston Celtics roster in attendance at a Monday afternoon press conference. "I don't see this being a team that's planning on tanking. You can put a solid five out there; a solid 10 guys deep that can compete."

Brooks added, "we probably won't be at the top of the East, but as long as we compete hard against those teams, try to steal a couple wins and just handle home court advantage, I think we'll be fine."

While Brooks' optimism may play out well among Celtics fans, the truth is that the C's have taken a major step back talent-wise with their roster at a time when so many other teams either ahead of them or behind them this past season, are better either because of being a year older and thus more experienced as a group, or have added high-impact players to their roster either by trade, the draft or free agency.

Still, players know they will be considered one of the league's weaker clubs until they step on the court and give folks a reason to think otherwise.

As disheartening as such talk may seem to be, players like newly acquired Keith Bogans understands there's power in being looked down upon by others.

"I definitely think it will be motivating, to see some of the comments ... that we're basically just going to throw this season away," Bogans said. "That's not the case. We're gonna come out and surprise a lot of people. We're just gonna play hard. With the (Celtics) tradition, we have no choice but to play hard."

Bogans played his high school ball at national prep power Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md. From there, he went to the University of Kentucky that even in down years, still ranks among the more respected college basketball programs in the nation.

And now he is a member of the Celtics, winners of more titles (17) than any other NBA franchise.

"I know what's expected," he said of being a member of the Celtics family now. "That's going to make it a lot easier for me. The expectations are so high. They're not taking losing here, so you gotta win. That's how it's been for me in college. That's how it was for me in high school. So you have to raise your level of play to want to win and have to win every game."

The rumblings about tanking the season have been like white noise to new coach Brad Stevens.

"I have only heard that word (tanking) from the outside," Stevens told "I have never head that word inside these walls or within this organization. This place is about trying to do as well as we can today, so that we can be prepared for tomorrow. That's what I'm trying to do.

Stevens added, "I'm putting everything I can into winning the first possession of the season. And then the second one, and the third one from there."

Still, that won't stop the seemingly non-stop chatter about the Celtics tanking this season for as high a draft pick as possible in 2014 which is expected to be one of the more top-heavy drafts in recent years.

"We gotta take that and use that as positive motivation," Bogans said. "We're still professional basketball players. Who wants to just come and tank it and lose? I'm coming to win. If I get the vibe that that's not everybody's attitude, then I'm gonna have an attitude, definitely."