EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 8, 2009

Are Celtics finally feeling Posey exodus?

BOSTON — Here's a hard fact the Boston Celtics and several million of their ardent fans had better understand: James Posey, now of the New Orleans Hornets, is not walking through that door.

Through that 27-2 start and franchise-record 19-game winning streak, you forgot about Posey, didn't you?

Posey was the quintessential Celtic, even moreso than the Big Three. Minutes, points, rebounds, assists and fouls didn't matter. He cared about one thing: Winning.

Well, I will amend that a bit. He cared about defense first. He was that last line of defense. You remember him in the NBA finals? He covered Kobe Bryant, a guard, as well as he covered Lamar Odom, a power forward.

Posey played only half a game as a Celt. Sometimes he hit open 3-pointers and sometimes he didn't. But what he did every night was make sure hard-nosed defense was being played.

As the Celtics were trying to explain away their sixth loss in eight games over 12 days — this one a somewhat embarrassing 89-85 loss to the Houston Rockets — to a man everybody said their skid correlates to their desire when they don't have the ball.

"Our goal is to shut teams down," said Paul Pierce, who is as guilty as any Celtic over the recent stretch when it comes to defending the opposition. "We have to get our defensive swagger back. We've lost it the last 10 days."

That's not entirely true.

The winning streak, especially at the end, masked a defense that bent and broke. But because of a flashy offense, particularly with point guard Rajon Rondo and center Kendrick Perkins scoring, passing and rebounding better than ever, the wins kept coming.

That was until Christmas Day.

That was the afternoon the Los Angeles Lakers turned the tables and shut down the Celtics in the fourth quarter, allowing only 16 points, which was too little and too late.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch
Boston Sports
Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Merloni: Transfer Rule 'ruining the game' Gomes: Ceremony showed healing is ongoing Pedroia: Game-winning play 'kind of a crazy deal' Babcock: 'An exercise in skating up and down the rink' Rask: Chara's become better at screening Miller: Flu 'a scary situation' Florek: 'It's a feeling I've never felt before' Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday