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.
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.