Karalis: Random thoughts on eliminating corner 3’s, COVID’s impact, and Marcus Smart

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

We’re about to enter the final month of the regular season. This long, stupid season is about to wind down over the next couple of weeks. 

There will be plenty to talk about in that time. For now, it’s time to crack my skull open and pick out the few thoughts I have rattling around in there. 

What will it take for people to understand COVID-19’s impact on athletes? 

I’ll scream about this forever, but it’s especially bugging me this season. Explanations do not equal excuses. 

An excuse is when you find a plausible reason to justify something even though it might not be true. 


“Why did John put on 20 pounds over the winter?”
“Well, his family has always had weight issues so it’s kind of easy for him, and he’s so busy it’s hard to get to the gym.” 


“Why did John put on 20 pounds over the winter?”
“Well, he spends too much time sitting at a computer and by the time he finally gets around to thinking about the gym he has either no motivation or the night’s games have started. Plus, he loves pizza.” 

They sound similar, but the first one takes the burden off me. It gives me an out. The second one is just how it is. It’s a fixable thing. This is the reason, now get the solution.

And by the way, I’m working on it. I bought too many cool shirts before the winter that I want to fit back into. 

My point is that there are explanations for a lot of what’s happened to the Celtics this season. Some of it is in their control, some of it is not. But one of those explanations is COVID-19, but some people just don’t want to acknowledge that. 

Romeo Langford, for example, missed half the season recovering from wrist surgery. When he was about to return he got COVID. Now he’s back, but his play is up and down, and there is a segment of Celtics fans that are fed up with him. 

What is he supposed to do? 

This team is a bit of a mess with its inconsistency and somehow a second-year player is going to step on the floor after missing the whole year and after contracting COVID and suddenly just be good every time he goes out there? 

The same goes for Evan Fournier, who has shot terribly since his return. The team says he’s still “foggy” after coming back and he’s struggling to get caught up. 

I know people are upset about how the season is going, but this virus isn’t checking in with Wyc Grousbeck to find convenient times to impact the team. Fournier will just need time to get up to speed. So will Langford. And, frankly, Jayson Tatum might still be impacted as well. That’s just how it goes with this thing. 

Marcus Smart being Marcus Smart

I’m not sure what Marcus Smart said to get suspended last night other than the league’s statement of “threatening language” towards a referee. Danny Ainge, on his weekly radio appearance on Toucher & Rich, disagreed with the league’s decision to suspend him, though he did acknowledge Smart probably should have been better in that situation.

“Marcus is just a, he's just an emotional kid that plays with his emotions on his sleeve,” Ainge said. “He was very frustrated with a couple of calls he, I thought he should have been frustrated with. But ideally, we don't want him having conversations with the officials postgame as they're leaving the court.”