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Celtics-Sixers Takeaways (And Other Notes)

The Celtics have won games of this type more often than not in 2010-11. The energy deficit, the 41.8% shooting, the trouble with athletic frontcourts, the fourth quarter scoring problems — these phenomena have been common all season. But the end result hasn’t.

In that sense, the Celtics failed to grasp the only real prize here: an upward tick in the standings. Because most of what happened tonight will be irrelevant come the playoffs.

So, let’s try and pull a few meaningful pieces from tonight’s loss, and touch on a few other pertinent Celtics-related items as we go:

  • All the missed shots tonight (and Wednesday against the Clips) were not a function of the new players on the roster. The offense actually generated a lot of good looks in both games. Boston just didn’t convert the way you’d expect them to. This feels more anomalous than indicative of some trend, considering Boston’s 8-2 record over the ten games previous.
  • If a few more of those shots did fall, we could easily be on the backside of two wins, and focused on the team’s continued ability to close out tight games under difficult circumstances. We’d be talking about resilience. Instead, we’re talking about how the team is tired, how the starters are in a slump. It’s a make or miss league, goes the cliche and it seems an appropriate one right now. If the Celtics go win a few games behind renewed play from the starters, this will all be forgotten.
  • After 43 brutal minutes on Wednesday, Rajon Rondo played only 35 tonight, three below his season average. Carlos Arroyo had 13 capable minutes behind RR and is great backup PG material for now, much more than Nate Robinson ever was. It’d be nice to see Arroyo (or Delonte West) up near the 15-18 minute mark over the next few weeks, with RR falling back to 30-32. But I don’t believe it will happen. Not for a second.
  • Nenad Krstic is more than just a throw-in to the Jeff Green deal. Even if Jermaine O’Neal is healthy enough to contribute in the playoffs, Krstic may be a better fit for this team. He’s more mobile than J.O., and he and Glen Davis should work well together, with both able to play inside and out. The 16 points and 15 rebounds he put up tonight included another 4 rough ‘n’ tumble offensive rebounds and the Celtics could desperately use some second chance points to juice up the offense. If Krstic is working in the paint, he can provide exactly that. And if he’s stretching the floor, he gives Davis the opportunity to work in the post and crash the offensive boards himself. He used to do that all the time, and with legitimate efficiency. Of course, this kind of rotation talk assumes Doc Rivers will be able to take his pick of big men because they’ll all be ready to go for the first playoff game. Maybe not the safest bet?
  • Speaking of Davis, ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg reports that he’s due back Sunday.
  • Jeff Green had his second solid game as a member of the Celtics. He got up 14 shots from all over the floor, and hit 7 of them. Royce Young of the Daily Thunder warned us we’d be frustrated with him at times and that’s already proving to be true. Green seems like the kind of player who can be invisible for a half and then light up a defense for a dozen quick points — and then go right back to being invisible. I can already see how I’m going to dislike him standing on the wing shooting threes. He’s not a good long-range shooter. It’s early, but I like him much more in transition than anything else. I also look forward to seeing him play some lockdown defense on elite wings. The upcoming game against the Knicks looks like a good place to test his mettle on that front. He’s got the length to play Carmelo Anthony straight up.
  • It looks like Doc is going to play Green at both the 3 and the 4. One of the excuses made for Green’s lack of production in OKC was that he was played out of position. That’s not going to change, apparently.
  • Rondo’s mid-range jumper. You got excited. Admit it.
  • The Celtics repeatedly got to the rim against the Sixers but how many shots did the Sixers either block or alter right at the goal? They’re only credited with 5 blocks but the number of point blank shots they turned into misses/turnovers must have been around a dozen.
  • By the time Troy Murphy is back into game shape, he’ll be completely out of the rotation.
  • Now that we’re all obsessing about Chicago, here’s one that might have slipped through the cracks over the last couple days. They’re without Carlos Boozer right now. He sprained his ankle on Wednesday, missed Friday’s game against Atlanta and will likely miss another game or two beyond that.

Okay, that should do it for tonight.

Everybody have a good weekend…

  • I_Love_Green

    Lets just win like 8 straight games or something like that. That should secure the #1 seed for us.

    • Chris O

      We can only afford to lose about 4 more games, and with those 4 we MUST beat the Bulls. They have an easy schedule and are playing great with the leagues MVP.

      • kricky

        I think we'd have to go 14-5 and get 60 wins to get the #1 seed.

        Not impossible. But tough unless we get some of those bench players back.

  • Jeremy

    with the bucks comin up. another young team, another problem for us. its like we've suddenly gone on cruise control.

  • MBNZ

    How slow is Kristic though? Garnett fired a missle to him under the basket early on, he was on his own and yet by the time he got up to make the shot he was blocked by a sixer who had been out past the foul line.

  • Batman

    When Rondo hit his five jumpers I cried and the Angels came down and I went off to paradise, because i had no more regrets in life.

    • Chris O

      Beautiful Batman, beautiful. I cried reading about you crying lol. Are we on the Miami Heat?

    • kricky

      I cried because I thought he might fall in love with it and start jacking up shots he shouldn't really take. (I think that only happened once or twice down the stretch though)…

      I'd really be stoked if he started converting FTs and started going to the rim late in games to draw fouls.

  • Josh

    Hahahahaha yes Heat fans, you guys are pathetic. Hope theres some reading!

  • celticfan

    KG, RAY PAUL AND RONDO really sucked .boy Danny really meesed this team up. Kirstic was great but it takes a whole team to win the celtics are sure not a whole team anymore. they are going to let the bulls walk right up and bite them in the ass and take over. the celtics are playing really sloppy i love you guys i bleed green for you but you suck lately.you sure don't show you want to get banner 18 withthe way you guys come out on the floor. it shows in your faces you really don't want to be their. it's really sad. you had it going for you.. now i just sit and cross my fingers you win a game here and their.

  • kricky

    The starters just look tired. Shots are front rimming, rotations are late, guys aren't getting back in transition D.

    I still don't like the Perk trade. But we'd be in this same mess even if the trade didn't happen. The guys that we got in the off season to give us depth and the starters some rest (Shaq, JO, Marquise, DWest, Wafer) have all been injured. This is the real problem with the team right now.

  • kricky

    Absolutely. This would vastly improve the offense at the offense at the end of games, which has struggled all year.

  • Morpheus

    Low blow on Murphy. Too bad it's true, 4 minutes of action….OUCH. I would've been happier with Powe or the return of Lasme.

    I don't think Murphy will ever contribute now.