Post-game Reactions

ESPN RecapSalt City Hoops

The Celtics’ hopes for a three game road sweep were dashed tonight as a hot second half by the Jazz cooled off the previously hot Celtics.  Before we get into the minor details, there a few things right off the bat that prove the Celtics did not deserve to win this game.  First, the Celtics regressed into their third quarter problem of being offensively inept, but also were far worse on the defensive end.  The Jazz had five of their eight offensive rebounds in the third quarter and the Celtics defense let Mehmet Okur beat them from everywhere.  Second, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were a combined 7-25 from the floor.  Thirdly, Rajon Rondo seemed to let a personal “I can do anything better than you” with Williams take over most of the game.

Given these three obvious facets of tonight’s game, it’s not hard to see why the Celtics lost.  The more troubling part of this loss is the fire and energy they played with in spurts in the first half, completely vanished in the second.  Lately, when the Celtics have played well for a half despite poor shooting from the starters, they have been able to come out and regain their stroke.  Tonight the opposite happened.  When the going got tough in the second half, the Celtics stopped moving the ball and tried to make up the deficit in one play every trip down the floor.  This, of course, is a proven poor strategy that hardly ever works (unless you’re Paul Pierce against the New Jersey Nets in Game 3 of the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals or Paul Pierce against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals).  Still, the Celtics’ players try to employ this strategy far too early in games.  Halfway through the third quarter is not the time to take on the world, it’s the time to tighten up the defense and wait for the offense to come.

It is what it is: one game.  Let’s not draw any concrete conclusions about the rest of the season or Championship hopes from this as they seem to change everyday.

  • This was a PHYSICAL game.  I know I got riled up just watching it.  I often wonder whether in games like this, the players take things as personally as I do.  I kept thinking as the Celtics continuously got outworked, outphysical-ed, and stifled by the officials- why doesn’t someone just lay Carlos Boozer out.  Or why doesn’t Big Baby run a pick and roll with Rondo, get Deron Williams in a switch, and just bulldoze him over.
  • The refs, by no stretch of the imagination, cost the Celtics this game but they were incredibly inconsistent.  Deron Williams was the beneficially of a call every single time he lowered his shoulder and bowled someone over.  I love Deron Williams, and I totally get that if the officials aren’t going to call the foul, then by all means he has to lower his shoulder.  That being said, he did a lot to break my heart tonight by continuously complaining to refs when he didn’t get a call.  The Celtics catch a lot of flack for doing this very thing, and I’m starting to see why certain players complain to the refs.  It’s not that whether what gets called a foul is technically a foul, it’s the frustration brought on be the inconsistency.  The Jazz were aggressive all night, tracking down loose balls and fighting for rebounds.  For the most part, the refs let the players play scrums out.  One particular mind boggling exchange  where the refs failed to be consistent occurred when Big Baby was called for a loose foul fighting for a rebound with Carlos Boozer.  The refs called a foul on Glen Davis after his attempt to grab a long rebound ended up in Boozer’s hands.  To make matters worse, the whistle blew after Glen had pulled his hands away and up as if to say “I’m not fighting for it” and the Jazz had it secured.  Bogus.
  • Okur grabbed 15 boards and shot four of six from deep which, to quote Wayne’s World, is “both bogus and lame.”
  • The Bench played really well tonight, which was refreshing for a change.  Michael Finley, Nate Robinson, and Marquis Daniels all had solid games while Glen Davis stole the show with his immediate impact in the first quarter.  Glen injected energy in to the first unit and showed that he was going to match the Jazz’ physicality pound for pound.
  • Paul Pierce had a terrible game.  Adding to his shooting woes, he also failed to step it up in the waning minutes of tonight’s game when the rest of his counterparts had decided that they weren’t going to quit.  Pierce stopped playing any semblance of defense in the final 4 minutes.  Attempting to take a handful of charges can take the fire right out of a person.
  • The best part of this game, aside from the bench and the end, was Doc’s ejection.  His ejection showed everyone that he still cared.  He still cares about this team.  He stills cared about that game.  He still cares about basketball, and he didn’t take tonight’s loss lightly.  I expect the Celtics to get back to drawing board tomorrow.

There you have it.  I’m frustrated.  You’re frustrated.  Let’s sleep on it.  We’ll all feel better in the morning.

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  • PierceTurth

    doc’s ejection was one of the best ejections of the season… laughing and mocking the officials… clapping at them and then as he walked to the locker room the whole team gave him a high five

  • Scott

    I love this blog, because you guys really get it. I am the same effing way when it comes to Celtics games. I hate watching games with friends cause they always either try to ask me stupid questions, or piss me off when the celts are doing poorly. I missed Doc’s ejection because i was too upset with the loss.. Great blog, read it every day.

  • Scott

    I love this, because you guys really get it. I am the same effing way when it comes to Celtics games. I hate watching games with friends cause they always either try to ask me stupid questions, or piss me off when the celts are doing poorly. I missed Doc’s ejection because i was too upset with the loss.. Great work, read it every day.

  • jazz fan


  • rasko

    Refs did not cost celts the game. There were tons of bogus calls against the jazz like two clean blocks from d-will on rondo where rondo should have been called for a charge, and when korver blocked daniels and they called a foul. then memo had a putback that they said was in the cylinder and it wasn’t. the jazz just played better and the celtics let their egos get the best of them like you said about rondo.

  • matthew

    just when you thought the celts were gettin’ back to their old, championship level. tsk tsk. they break your heart don’t they? can’t say i’m surprised anymore… :o(

  • James

    Any fan of Deron Williams knows his biggest vice has always been jawing with the refs. He usually plays good when he’s mad, but he’ll often get so into it with the refs it takes him mentally out of the game.

  • rondoislove

    The scariest part? They host Denver on Wednesday. Considering the Celtics’ homecourt woes this season, I’m very afraid for Denver to visit. =\

  • hari



  • What Can I Say?


    I am looking at it differently. Tough loss at the end of a road trip. Go home, get some rest, and know they have another strong opponent on Wednesday.

    I expect to see the C’s strongest performance on Wednesday.

  • urbeltic

    I’m giving a lot of credit to Utah on this one. First of all, I loved Deron Williams’ move when he steam rolled right into KG’s back on the fast break. Just a smart veteran move. Then he just kept on taking it right at Rondo with blazing speed. And there was a stretch there where every single call was going the Celtics way. I thought most of them were legit but some where definitely borderline, and Utah just hung tight and kept fighting. Plus, I love it when a team walks out of a half and makes a huge run. To me that is the ultimate sign of a well coached team. Tough loss, but the Cs already got their cup cake win when Utah played at the Garden last time.

  • Third game of a road trip at Utah is a tough game for any team. Let’s just chalk it up to that and move on.

  • GranTur

    I was very pleased with the game.

    Tough stretch of games…probably the hardest road arena in the NBA…played very well and just ran out of gas which is to be expected in this stretch.

    Add in the very inconsistent officiating which took the wind out of Paul and KG and SCREWED Rondo into foul trouble…

  • Jay P

    It’s the morning, and I don’t feel better.

    I’m sick and tired of the excuses everytime we see a game like this. “tough loss to a tough team at the end of a road trip…” “Well they had a good 4-game run, a small lapse is inevitable.” BS!

    Cut the crap, bottom line is it was the same ole Celtics we’ve seen for the past 3 months, and I really thought they were past that. They came out flat in the second half, Doc let Utah’s run get too far before stopping the bleeding, they let offense struggles effect their defensive intensity, and they got out worked on the boards… oh and TMI (obviously.) Sloppy, uninspired play.

    This team is better than that, this team has to be better than that. Enough excuses about tough road games and back to backs. Just get it done.

  • Jay P

    TMI = TMT

  • Ah, TMT. I haven’t written that in a while. I’ll have to start doing it again. You can’t give a team as good offensively as Utah a head start by coughing it up 20 times or whatever the final # was last night.

  • Conall Mac Michael

    Can’t believe I stayed up till half 3 watching this (getting up this morning wasn’t fun). However despite the result being really annoying I’m willing to chalk it up to the end of a tough road stretch. The fact that all our main weapons weren’t firing made this a tough game to watch, i actually went to sleep with about a 3 minutes to go so I missed Doc’s ejection, heard it was comical. Good to see he still cares about this team. Looking forward to Wednesday’s game, although I won’t get to watch it.

  • Karl Malone

    Boozer made the play of the game, blocking Ray’s shot and taking it in for the hammer. Attitude and confidence are the difference in the league. All are elite talent but they need to take it up a level as the playoffs near…

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  • I love Green

    Dumb game. It sucks the sweet sixteen starts on thursday, because that means i’ll have to watch the Nuggets game. Ruh Roh.

  • Referees at Utah Jazz home games are a JOKE! The Jazz get pretty much 8 out of 10 calls all the time. Look at their home record vs. road record for the last 5-7 years. The Jazz are mediocre at best on the road, barely .500

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