NBA  > General NBA  > Spurs Quietly Becoming A Force, Celtics Fading Fast
January 11, 2009, 01:06 AM
Anybody paying attention to the San Antonio Spurs these days? well since the Lakers, Cavs and Celtics have been grabbing all the headlines, not likely I would guess.

Tim Duncan looks like he's turning back time. Dominating like his old self. Tony Parker is playing with the kind of speed, skill and talent only he can display and Manu Ginobili has quietly made a name for himself again in the Spurs well rounded recovery from their worst season start in more then 30 years. At 24-11 the Spurs are quietly flying under the radar and have surged all the way back into 2nd place in the Western Conference thanks to Pop's excellent teaching of the young guns and the consistently excellent coaching of his top stars and cast of unselfish role players.

Dare I say? the Spurs are back. No doubt there's still room for improvement. But make no mistake. These guys for real. They are quickly but silently becoming a threat in the West once again trailing just behind the Conference leading LA Lakers, their long standing rival who fell to the Defending Champion Boston Celtics in last year's NBA Finals.

Speaking Of The Celtics, what in the world is going on? talks of racing to a repeat title, have given way to panic in bean town. The most storied franchise in NBA history that had just won a record 19 straight games suddenly finds itself in dissaray. Dropping 4 straight and 7 of their last 9 overall the Celtics funk continues.

The bleeding started with their apparent lack of ability to close out in the 4th quarter of their most recent games and all of a sudden, they are on their heels and can't seem to reverse the trend or stop the bleeding. Their defense has been lackluster at best. Their offense has fallen off a cliff and their sense of togetherness and toughness or killer mentality they once carried so proudly has all but been snuffed out but the outhustling and outmuscling by their opponents. Its so bad. They are getting shots blocked in the lane, they can't hit the broad side of a barn of they tried and the unforced turnovers are really a big killer for them.

How the heck do you go from a league leading team in nearly all categories to suddenly a team of nobody's in such short time as the Celtics have? The respect is gone. The fear they once instilled in their opponents is history. Its more like the Celtics are now afraid of facing their own foes they once dominated so easily with what seemed such ease and little effort.

Can the Celtics recover from this and stop the bleeding before their season slips through their hands or is it all coming crashing down the rest of the way from here? you decide.

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