That game had everything you could want. Players being unselfish, flying around the court playing very uptempo, and a rookie point guard who continues to show his opponents, no matter who they are, that he is not afraid. I, of course, am not referring to Lester Hudson, but to Ty Lawson and the rest of Denver Nuggets blowing out the Lakers.
The Nuggets blowing out the Lakers was probably the only good thing to come out of last night. To put it another way, this morning I had to stand in as a “patient” for my buddy Flynn’s EMT class. Being poked, prodded, wrapped, bandaged, shaken, felt-up, and trached (not seriously) was a better experience than watching last night’s game. For a Celtics fan, it’s very hard to see Mike Bibby win anything. The only case where Mike Bibby winning something would make me happy would be if he won a Dr. Evil look-a-like contest. (Seriously, look at this and then look at this and tell me who’s who).
It was tough, but no matter how you want to rationalize it with insulting guys like Mike Bibby or Zaza Pachuca Sunrise, the Celtics earned their second loss of the season. Zach touched on the statistics of why the Celts didn’t win and he also gave the Hawks some credit for being young and talented- of which they are deserving. However, I hate to cop out but the Celtics lost more than the Hawks won. While it’s true the Hawks hustled for offensive boards and played good perimeter defense, that still doesn’t directly translate to the amount of offensive boards the Hawks got and the amount of threes the C’s didn’t make.
The game essentially boiled down to three things:
Last night I also realized that when the Celtics take a shot, they have one guy in the paint left to battle for the board while the other four players have already set up their defense. The Hawks, on the other hand, hang around to pester the outlet pass or in some way hamper the quick transition. To be honest, I don’t mind at all if the Celtics rush back on defense immediately. I only wonder whether or not this quick recovery on defense is due to the fact that everyone on the Celtics loves shooting the three more than doing anything else. Which brings me to my next point…
If three more threes find their way in, the game ends much differently. Threes can be such a momentum killer depending on if they are made or not.
It was clear the Celtics were frustrated last night with some of the non-calls, which really hurt their momentum. I can remember two specific instances where the C’s stopped and complained about not getting a call instead of getting back on defense- once with Marquis and once with Perk. Seriously guys, what’s the point? They refs are not going to go back in time and blow the whistle and your team is, meanwhile, short-handed on the defensive end. I know players talk to the refs for the next call but there’s a time and a place- when the ball is dead, not when the other team is fast-breaking.
Last night’s game was a clear example of how I don’t like to lose. I have newly decided that I prefer to lose when the team plays well. While it’s awful to see your team play well and still lose, it’s not as painful to watch when your team is bricking shots and giving up rebounds. It would have been so much better if Jamal Crawford and Rasheed Wallace both lived up to their hype of being the potential sixth man of the year- instead of Crawford running away with it. It was also sad to see Shelden, in the midst of playing the best basketball of his NBA career, come in and play poorly against the team that gave up on him. He did have one great rebound but missed on some makeable shots and had one ugly take hoping in vain for a whistle.
Let’s look for the C’s to get back on the horse tonight with Indy. It won’t be easy seeing as how Paul’s knee’s a little tender and the Pacers have a nice young team like the Hawks. Still, I see the bench living up to its billing tonight and beating up on the Pacers, but then again, I saw the Celts beating the Hawks as well.