Post-game Reactions

Truth About ItBullets Forever

We’ve reached a point with this Boston Celtics where nothing surprises you. A week after after putting up 118 points up against the best team in the NBA, the Celtics delivered an absolute stinker against one of the worst teams in the league, the Washington Wizards, falling 106 to 96. This one wasn’t even remotely that close.

The night started fine enough, when Rajon Rondo received the Red Auerbach award before tipoff. Both teams came out relatively flat with the Celtics nursing a 12-9 lead. Then the wheels fell off the wagon and this team’s offense disappeared. The Green scored 5 points over the final 6 minutes of the frame, as the Wiz built up a 13 point lead, capped off by a Nick Young buzzer beater 3 to give themselves 30-17. How many of these kind of shots have gone against this team this year? Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.

The carnage continued into the 2nd quarter as for a span of 7:35 over two quarters, the Celtics remained scoreless, while the Wizards built on their lead, going on an 18-0 run and building a 28 point lead in the process. Shaun Livingston looked like a world beater, Audrey Blatche was having his way down low, this team looked like they were playing the Grizzlies last month, except this Wizard team is less talented.

Offensively, the Celtics were an absolute disaster for 45 minutes of this game. Most of the damage was done in the 1st half with the C’s shooting just 30 percent from the field. A breakdown, after the jump

Let’s try to break this down quickly. Kevin Garnett looked pathetic tonight. He missed several point blank opportunities around the basket, going 3 of 12 on the night for 8 points. His game has been chalk full of ups and downs lately, but this one might of been his biggest downer of the year thus far.

There was no aggressiveness or sense of urgency in the rest of the C’s offense all night. Rondo, Pierce and Ray all had their chances and came up largely empty. Pierce was 2 of 8, Ray 1 of 4 from deep, (2 of 8 for the game) and the team overall just 20 percent from deep in the 1st half to compound the scoring issues on their way to a 31 point half, a season low for them.

The biggest offenders early however, may have been the C’s bench which scored just 2 points on 1 of 9 shooting in 38 combined minutes of play in the first 24 minutes. Big Baby, Nate, Finley, Sheed, TA couldn’t put anything resembling a competent offense. There was no rhythm, forced jump shots, missed open shots, missed free throws, just a little bit of everything. The scoring struggles by both units continued throughout the majority of the 2nd half to ensure the C’s didn’t threaten the Wiz until it was too late.

Don’t let the final score fool you either. The Celtics scored 54 points through 3 quarters and were on pace for a season low before Nate Robinson exploded for 13 points in the final 3 minutes of this one, closing the deficit to 6 with 48 seconds left. The Wiz hit their free throws though late and made sure the C’s would get no closer

We also haven’t even talked about the C’s defense yet, which appeared incapable of neutralizing the Wizards for more than a couple possessions at a time. Wizards dominated the glass (49-40) and hit big shot after big shot when it mattered, led by a career high 25 points for Shaun Livingston, who has appeared to come full circle after going down with a devasting knee injury in a Clipper uniform 3 years back.

As a team, the Wiz shot 48.7 percent, got to the line routinely (35 attempts on evening) and were extremely unselfish with the basketball (25 assists) in what the local play by play Wizards man declared, the team’s best game of the year since the Caron Butler trade.

And here’s the thing about this Celtic team right now. A lot of bad teams are having their “best games of the year” against this squad. That’s not a concidence. This team is vulnerable to younger, hungrier players. They are capable of laying an egg, any night, against anyone.

The sense of urgency may change come playoff time, but the flaws are out there and they are glaring. The ups and downs are there will be there, throughout the playoffs, no matter how far this team goes, unless they can figure out how to be consistent. It hasn’t happened for four months now and these guys are frankly running out of time to gain any semblence of momentum entering the 1st round next weekend.

I will say though, the only potential positive tonight, was the offensive firepower exhibited by Marquis Daniels and Nate Robinson at the end of this contest, combining for 21 points in the final 3:30 of play. Whether this rediscovered confidence will carry over is up for debate, but given how this season has gone thus far, I wouldn’t count on it.

More to come tomorrow……

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Cptn Bubbles

    Yes, the Cs shot bad, but where is the evisceration of their defense? The wheels fell off their defense too. Giving up over 100 to the Wiz??? It seems like a lot of those shots were layups or put backs.

    We all know the Cs can go on icy cold shooting spells (which are even more harmful because Doc’s strategy is to not offensive rebound), but I am even more dismayed that they can be so pathetic on defense. Shots not falling is understandable, but giving up layups & offensive boards & reaching/fouling instead of moving your feet is ridiculous.

    Where is the defense Doc?????

  • I love Green

    2008 seems like 10 years ago right now. We might not even win 50 games this season! It depresses me and I’m praying we don’t go through another 22 year drought.

  • disappointed

    this makes them 25-25 or so since christmas. in the last week they lost to NYK, didn’t look that good against a TOR team w/o its 2 best guys, and now they lose to WAS. we need to have more realistic expectations. this is not a championship team this season

  • RBD

    Dude, it’s totally nitpicking but you misused the word literally.

  • legs-diamond

    Hopefully this is the Celtics’ version of the rope-a-dope–trying to lure opposing playoff opponents into thinking the C’s are actually the Nets, then miraculously (out of nowhere) start playing. For now, the only playing seems to be that of Cicero’s flute, … while the fantastic Roman architecture of the Celtics’ greatness crumbles in the breeze.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I could see 1 flukey loss here & there, but the Wiz had them beat last time too & barely lost it. In the rematch this time the Wiz made sure Boston was going down. A depleted shorty Houston team played with more heart & hustle. The worst team in the nba, the Nots (almost all time worst) beat us on our home court by almost double digits. The loss to the Knicks. Memphis beating us by 20 pts. AT HOME. This is all RECENT history. Add it all together & It is saying something….

    Something I’ve been trying to block out…

    The way this team acts I don’t think there is much point in watching the final 3 games. They’ve pretty much checked out till the playoffs. I don’t see any way possible for them to change all of these chronic bad & lazy habits on both sides of the ball. You’ve got a coach who is not stood up to ONE player this whole year. You run the same dead end iso plays at the end of quarters/ games. Only 2 people know how to take a charge! 2! Less than that know how to physically put their body against someone to block out for rebounds. Then you have the paradox of paradoxes having the fastest point guard in the association who can’t stay in front of ANYONE. Why can’t Rondo draw a charge? Because he is always behind his man.

    No one is really talking about how bad all this is from official sources because they want to sell whatever playoff tickets they can….. Remember the ploy last year? KG is coming back for the playoffs = sell a lot of tickets…then, oh, KG can’t play, dag! Think they really didn’t know KG’s condition???

    I think Doc & the rest of the team know they are in deep trouble, but the party line is we’re gonna bring it in the playoffs– ya’ll got your tickets yet?

  • Jrmz

    I don’t care what Doc or the team says about conserving energy for the playoffs if thats the latest excuse they plan to give. Playing like punching bags on their home court is disgraceful. The hard earned money of their fans is being wasted. If they don’t plan to play then give the fans a refund because I’ve seen a more hobbled, injured and depleted Larry Bird give more of an effort than these “old” vets.

  • James Patrick

    Well, at least they play a better second half. It’s usually the other way around. Still too little too late, but that’s the kind of 4th Quarter we need to see more often!

  • God, I’m so glad I DVR’d this game to watch later. Maybe I’ll just delete before watching and give myself a day off from this debacle.

  • Jason

    I only want to say that I 100% agree with every single word Cptn Bubbles wrote in this thread.

  • DRJ1

    If you’re thinking the remaining games aren’t worth watching, you’re absolutely right. It’s clearly pointless. There’s no reason for them to even play these games, other than that they happen to be on a schedule. So just fuhgetaboutit…. do something useful, come back for the playoffs.

  • Dan

    If you think the playoffs are going to be any better, you’re deluding yourself. This is a team with no pride and obvious chemistry issues. The best thing that could happen is to be swept in 4 games by the DWades and embarrass the management into doing something.

  • Jrmz

    @ Zach : Just delete it. Its a horrible watch. Horrible and painful. Why torture yourself? The only thing worth watching was Rondo getting his award at the start of the game..it all went downhill from there on.

  • dslack

    I’m inclined to think you might be right, Dan. If they lose in a tough series with Cleveland in round 2, they might be able to delude themselves (or delude the fans) into thinking that everything will be fine if they just re-up Ray and spend the midlevel on Camby or something. I’m not too jazzed about watching 2 more years of slow decline, with Pierce and KG hobbling around, Sheed playing his way into shape all season long, and the team playing .500 ball or so with no youth but Perk and Rondo.

  • steve

    @Jrmz Absolutely the reason Bird is the greatest Celtic in recent memory. I don’t remember Larry ever giving 60% effort like some of these guys appear to be. It doesn’t matter the importance of that particular game. Where is the pride, especially at home. A fire needs to be lit to get this team going. If someone is not getting the job done out there pull him and put someone in who will. Don’t wait for the 3:30 mark to make substitutions when you’re getting embarrassed out there.

  • Brian

    I’m 31 and have been watching the C’s for over 2 decades now, and I watched awful C’s teams for years, but I can say unequivocally that this is my least favorite C’s team of all time. The effort and focus of this team is beyond pathetic. All of these players, save Rondo, ought to be ashamed of themselves. I refuse to even watch them in the playoffs. I hate this team.

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  • haha

    what happened to a 70+ win season now? what happened to being so cocky you raised a banner at the start of the season. celtics really are sad.

  • dslack

    The real question is: How much of the decline is heart and how much is talent/health? If it’s heart, then I agree, I hate this team. But maybe this team just isn’t very good anymore. Yes, they beat Cleveland and LA in recent memory, but in the NBA any team can beat any other team on any given night. LA has several bad losses on their record this season; Cleveland has a few, too. Orlando does too. Phoenix does too. All the top teams occasionally drop stinkers. Maybe LA and Cleveland’s losses to the Celtics didn’t reveal that the Celtics still have greatness in them and they just often don’t show it; maybe, instead, those were LA and Cleveland’s stinker-losses.

  • The real big three—Bird,Mchale and Parrish have got to be totally embarrased with these imposters. These Celtics simply don’t care.

  • Carlos R.

    1-4 in the last 5 home games, 2-5 in the last 7 games overal, losses to NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, two of the worst teams in the league…And all this in the final days of the season, which, according to Doc, was supposed to be the time when everything would fit. If this team advances to the second round will be destroyed either by Cleveland or the Magic.