Forget the late-game machinations that got the C’s to within 4 points of the Rockets in the final minute. Boston earned tonight’s loss with an ugly, mostly lifeless effort against a seriously undermanned Houston team, dropping the Celtics to 4-3 without Kevin Garnett and edging observers closer to not-really-that-rational-but-worrying-anyway concerns the C’s current winter blahs will morph into a full-on winter depression.
With few exceptions, the Celtics gave the impression they’d rather be anywhere but on a basketball court tonight. Marquis Daniels (7-8 shooting) and Ray Allen (8-13) lead the Celtics with 19 points apiece, but the Boston offense didn’t take advantage of enough favorable mismatches and the Boston defense allowed the Rockets to shoot 52.7% from the field and go 10-20 from the three-point-arc.
Rajon Rondo took most of the night off, suggesting the busy nine-day stretch since his return has worn him down (or he just decided to put it on cruise control). Glen Davis played passable defense on Luis Scola (5-13 on the night) but again lead the team in shots, many of them of the groan-inducing variety. That’s not all on him, but it’s indicative of tonight’s effort – just not enough energy and not enough smarts.
By the time the C’s started to pull it together, the Rockets had taken the reins of this one and weren’t willing to let go. They scrapped hard early, made tougher shots late and walk out of Boston with what they deserve: a win.
That’s it for now. Come back later on for a closer look.
Just don’t expect to like what you see.