One thing we like to say when the Celtics lose is that they were just unlucky, and there’s not a lot you can take home from the game. “Fluke,” in other words. And it’s easy to say that tonight.
- KG had a pretty grotesque outing from the floor (5-19).
- Ray, Paul, and Rondo all shot under 50 percent against a terrible defensive team.
- Four important players were out injured.
- The team has five new players (they were all on the court at once tonight, for some reason), and they haven’t learned the system yet.
- Troy Murphy still didn’t make a shot, but he probably will at some point.
- A bunch of wild Mo Williams threes were more than the difference in the game.
And even with all that, it was kind of close at the end.
But there were a few nasty warning signs in this one, too. For example, Nenad Krstic gave up DeAndre Jordan’s season-high in scoring, almost exclusively on open dunks. And the offense appears distinctly less passing-oriented, which might be the result of Krstic hanging out on the elbow instead of underneath, where he’d give the shooters some space. And pretty much every Celtic had a tough time around the rim tonight, because there wasn’t anyone there to clear Jordan out (Krstic again).
There’s ammunition for Ainge-deniers to be found in tonight’s game, even though Krstic led the team with 20 points. Because if you score 103 points on the Clippers and they don’t have Eric Gordon and you’re a top-three defensive team, you should win. More in a little while.