With 2.7 seconds left to go in a hard-fought contest Amir Johnson knocked down two free throws to put the Raptors up by a single point. These key free throws ended up being the difference in the game as Paul Pierce’s shot at the buzzer failed to connect. One thing is for sure, both teams gave every ounce of their being trying to lose this game. “The ball just didn’t bounce our way today,” said Johnson after the game. “I tried my damnest to miss those two free throws. You saw, right? They both rattled in. I thought for sure they’d pop out. But hey, this is basketball. You win some, you lose some. Unfortunately, we came up with the ‘W’ today. The only thing we can do is have a couple of bad days of practice this week and try again to lose on Wednesday [against the Sixers]”
Paul Pierce, on the other hand, was ecstatic about the loss. “We fought hard for four quarters. Four quarters baby, that’s all it takes, ” exclaimed Pierce while holding three fingers up to the camera. “We played too well in the first quarter but hit our stride in the second, settling for jumpers, not exploiting the mismatches, and all out scrapping our defensive game-plan. It was touch and go from there on out. They tried their best not to make a shot in the fourth quarter and really forced our hand. I was just fortunate that the refs called that slap I put on Amir [Johnson] and his free throws went in. Then of course, the Raptors gave me a wide open shot to try and win the game, right in my sweet spot! So I had to take a couple dribbles in and shoot it over two defenders. After all that, it still almost went in. I was very fortunate it didn’t.”
Yeah okay. None of that actually happened but doesn’t it sound like it should have? Both teams played like they wanted to lose today. Regardless of the officiating–and I know a lot of you will be crying foul on this one–but everyone has to realize the Celtics did not deserve to even have a chance in this game.
For much of the game, the camera panned to Doc Rivers on the bench sitting there in exasperated perplexity. The Celtics failed to close out on shooters, failed to secure rebounds after shots, and let the Raptors do exactly what they way to do: outscore their opponent.
Much more on the way…
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