There was sadness, not madness, on Causeway Street when March dawned in 2012. It was fitting that the month’s birthstone is bloodstone, since the Celtics seemed to be hemorrhaging all over the parquet floor. The Celtics’ record was an even .500 after the team had just fought back from a five-game losing streak with a pair of wins over the lowly Bucks and Nets. Think the sports radio callers begging for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to deal Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett at the trade deadline were relentless this year? That was nothing compared to the alarm, and in some cases vitriol, that dominated merely a year ago. This is far from ancient history, of course, but as another March opens in Boston it seems as though the lessons of last season have already been forgotten. The Celtics are once again mired near the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff standings, have considerable concerns regarding their roster depth and battle to score enough points to win on a nightly basis. Still, the spirit that inspired the “Let’s go, Celtics” chant that serenaded Pierce and company off the court after Game 6 of last year’s conference finals seems to have been lost. History does not always repeat itself, and it cannot be ignored that the 2011-12 team had a healthy Rajon Rondo. If a cynic wants to base his entire argument for the Celtics’ impending downfall this year on that single fact, there is not much more he needs to say. Given the convenience with which things fell into place for the Celtics last season, though, it is tough to write off the Celtics again. They are 31-27 after Friday’s 94-86 win over the Warriors, and despite a challenging road-heavy schedule the rest of the way, they end the season with winnable games against Minnesota, Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, Orlando and Toronto sprinkled around tough matchups against the Nets, Heat and Pacers. Derrick Rose, whose torn ACL helped open the door to last year’s run for the Celtics, seems conflicted about when he should return from the injury. Brooklyn and New York can be beaten, as the Celtics have proved. And the Celtics already have one win over Indiana, so they know that can be done as well.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/03/paul-pierce-celtics-may-still-have-some-surprises-left-one-year-after-midseason-turnaround/