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Rock Bottom? Celtics-Bobcats Reaction

“They gave us a chance to win it. it’s just remarkable, because truthfully I did not think we had a chance to win this ballgame.” – Paul Silas

The dog days of March. Another midseason slump. There’s plenty of ways to explain another disappointing setback for the Boston Celtics as they blew a 13-point lead fourth quarter lead against the likes of Gerald Henderson, Kwame Brown, and Dante Cunningham. I’ll save most of the the direct game analysis for Brendan Jackson on Saturday morning, just know, from courtside, this was easily the Celtics worst loss of the year.

The Bobcats, as their coach indicated above, had absolutely no business winning this game after starting out 1-of-12 from the field and scoring just 4 points in the first 7 minutes of the game, all without two of their best players in Stephen Jackson and Tyrus Thomas.

Afterwards, the Celtics locker room reeked of frustration, disgust and flat out bewilderment, while reflecting on the variety of problems that caused this team to drop its fourth game out of its past six. Here’s a collection of the disturbing reaction, starting with the top dog Doc Rivers:

On The Shock of The Loss: “The way we’re playing shocks me. Our attitude, shocks me. We’re just not ready to win any games right now the way we play, the way our approach is to basketball games. I told them that with about five minutes left. I said if we win great, you find your own way. Right now I just think we’ve become very, very selfish. Not just as far as trying to get our own, but everything is about how we’re playing individually. Instead of how the team is playing. You can see it, a guy struggles, he pouts, he mounds. Everything is me, me, me on our team right now. Feeling sorry for themselves, instead of giving themselves to the team and playing. You can just see it manifest throughout the team. Until we can get through that we will continue to have results like we had tonight. Clearly should have won the game. I thought the starting unit in particular, came in casual in the fourth quarter, assuming they were going to win the game. No urgency. Then all of the sudden when the game got won, their butts got tight. When you got that eleven point lead, the shots aren’t easy anymore. I always say it, you screw around with the game and the game will screw around with you. Either I’m doing a terrible job getting to them or right now they just aren’t there. I don’t know why, it’s my job to figure it out though.”

On Slumps Affecting The Team’s Play: “I could care less about their slumps. It’s not hard, you keep playing. You play hard. You’re not going to play well every night, but it can’t be about you. It’s got to be let me do something else to help the team.”

How Will Team Get Through It? “Themselves. I’ve used it before, but sometimes you have to find your way. The guys have to. They have to be honest with each other first though. Until that happens we are going to have these results.”

Is This The Most He’s Ever Been Discouraged With This Team? “I don’t have a particular date when the last time was I was discouraged, I’ll try to look that up. It’s up there. We played great the first 8 minutes, then right when adversity came, and adversity came from we started turning the ball over, but that happens in games. Then heads dropped, to me the game was (over) from that point on.”

Is This Anything Like Last Year? “Nothing like this. Last year I shut them down. They were injured. They’re not injured. They’re not playing well. Last year we lost game 7 on the road.”

PAUL PIERCE (In contrast to Doc, notice how much Paul was worried about the defense)

Did Celtics defense get uptight as Bobcats when on run in 4th: “ I wouldn’t say that. It’s just our defense really broke down in the 4th quarter. We played good defense for three quarters, solid for the most part. Then we give up 30 points in the 4th quarter. Regardless of how our offense if going, which we’ve been struggling as of late; we still should be able to pull together a defensive run and hold this team off, especially when we’re up by 10 point in the 4th.”

Are Celtics playing bored: “I can’t speak for everybody. I’m not bored, if you’re asking me.

Need greater sense of urgency? “It has to come from all of us. One player can come out here and say it and “hoo-rah” around the locker room, but it has to come from everybody. We’re all veterans, we’ve all been here before, and we all know what it takes. It’s got to come from each individual to take a look in the mirror, and look inside and decide if that’s what they want to do. We can talk about it everyday, but until we look at ourselves in the mirror, that’s what it’s going to be.

Celtics playing selfish? “From time to time. That’s the reason why we don’t shoot a high percentage, or score a hundred points, because the ball is sticking when we usually make extra passes that’s when the offense is flowing, and we’re able to get out there on a break and get easy opportunities. You haven’t been seeing that, and that’s why we’re shooting a low percentage and that’s why we’re not scoring.”


How to fix the problem “We’ve just go to go to work. It seems like there’s a lot of thinking being done throughout the whole team, throughout the whole game, instead of us just playing; get out there and just play basketball. Offensively it looks like we’re thinking just transferring from the defensive end. We just need to go play basketball.”

Ball not moving as much “I don’t know. I know the ball starts to move early in the game, and it feels like it’s moving pretty well. By the second half, there’s just no rhythm or motion there offensively.”

Celtics playing selfishly “No, because I think most of the guys on this team are unselfish. It just takes each person to move the ball around. It’s such a weird scenario when I think about it. We can go games where we over pass, and turn the ball over. Now we’re in the situation were, if you’re saying we’re selfish; I don’t believe that any one is selfishly not passing the ball. It’s just a matter of swinging the ball once, twice, three times and somebody gets a shot and it goes in, and that catches fire and that’s how you create a rhythm. That’s something that has to happen. As much as it happens in the first unit, in the first quarter, you got the second unit to do the same thing, and some how we lose that throughout the game.

For the record, the Celtics had just 15 assists tonight, their 3rd lowest assist output total of the season. They have lost all three of those games with 15 or fewer dimes. And in more good news, Delonte West aggravated his ankle sprain once again on Thursday, which limited his shooting Friday night (1-of-6) and caused an early exit for him in the fourth quarter. He will return to DC tomorrow for a court appearance regarding his gun charges and meet the team in Minnesota Sunday.

The team will also have a practice tomorrow in Waltham before it departs later that afternoon. With just 11 games left, there’s clearly a lot to sort out and not a lot of tie left to do it.

  • spnose1

    great article

    • Kobe Bryant

      hahahahaha rofl rofl lol lol lmao hahahahhhaha
      Poor, Poor Celtics Losers :)
      3rd Seed in the East rotflmao
      XD xD tooooo gooodd
      Its good to be a Laker 😀

  • I_Love_Green

    Love all the quotes, but unfortunately we've heard this before. We heard this last year, and we've been hearing these types of quotes for the past couple weeks.

    • Kobe Bryant

      Yea and the result has been losing Games
      And losing to the Champs in the finals – us – the LA Lake Show 😀

  • Phil

    I'm tired of speculating on what's wrong with the Celtics to be honest. I don't even think the members of the Celtics are entirely sure what's going wrong, as it seems to be a litany of things piling up at once; working a new bench in, Rondo's struggles, missing open shots, injuries. At this point, I'm not sure its particularly important. The chances that the Celtics held on for the 1 seed were waning even when they still had a game lead. With a 2 game deficit, I'd say that race is all but over. They should still try for it until the Chicago game, then use that as a referendum on whether to pack it in a la last season or not.

    We can act like the sky is falling, but the truth is that this point of the season will be long forgotten as long if they get right by the playoffs, and that's all that really matters. If these problems persist, and they go out and lose to the Heat or Bulls, then we can spend all offseason picking the struggles apart. I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

    • Kobe Bryant

      Yea dat worked out well last year?

  • no fool

    I think this is conditioning. You see it all the time in Celtics games. The starters are tired in the 4th, and the offense takes forever to get up the floor and start, and the ball stays still as our offense stagnates. On D, we are tired and don't rotate crisply or put effort into staying infront of the man, instead gambling for steals. This is the time of the season when everyone is tired and you can see it. It's not about effort or coaching or gameplan or the opponent. It's a tired, old (I don't mean this in a bad way, it's just true) team, that's at the end of a long season. They'll be better in the playoffs if they can win their first series in 4.

  • Kobe Bryant

    hahahahaha rofl rofl lol lol lmao hahahahhhaha
    Poor, Poor Celtics Losers :)
    3rd Seed in the East rotflmao
    XD xD tooooo gooodd
    Its good to be a Laker 😀

    • rob

      anyone who's childish enough to write "rofl" "lmao" and smiley faces doesn't belong here. Go get a life you little girl

      • Kobe Bryant

        Yo mama needs to get a life fatboy hahahaha

        • Batman

          Oh no he didn't!

    • diehardceltic

      I thought truehoops had a fakers blog…….go find your own space!!!! IDIOT!

  • Chris

    Way to fuck up the chemistry Danny

  • GowGow

    Delonte West = selfish. 1 of 6? Man, if I miss twice I don't take another shot in the whole game and Delonte was shooting three's having team members wide open.

  • rondeezy

    wana talk about selfish what about big baby. he keeps talking about how hes the leader on the second unit which im starting to think he thinks its okay to shoot like 2005 kobe bryant.. or present kobe. and yeah just ignore that "kobe bryant" kid.. little kid is just embarrassing all the laker fans out there and just like you do with a little kids when they bitch or whine.. just ignore her.

  • torpid bunny

    I didn't watch enough of this game to judge but the intensity hasn't been there. That's my guess. They're just not going out there with a consistent level of intensity from starters to bench and from the beginning to end of the game. Probably all the new personnel hasn't helped in that regard. The complacency against mediocre teams has been a problem since January.

    It would be nice if the celtics could be a 1 seed, which looks unlikely now. Honestly they could go 5-6 or 4-7 the rest of the way, the way they have been playing. I'm just going to give up on playoff seeding and hope they get healthy and focused in time for the playoffs. They need Shaq. I think they can come out of the east at 2 or 3, but winning the title on the road on top of that seems like a stretch to me.

  • torpid bunny

    The Laker trolling is all in good fun but maybe Laker fans should be worried more about some extremely tough teams out west. Like the Spurs, the Thunder, the Mavericks, the Trailblazers. You're not going to just roll through the playoffs whatever you might tell yourself while staring at your poster of a kinda creepy and overrated late game ball hog.

    • meen

      We’ve already took care of them within the past week and on their home floor….Lakers and their fans don’t worry about anything we’re accustomed to success no matter what adversity we face…That’s what we do baby…Focus on the Celtics and stop worrying about what we’re doing in LA.

  • Steve B

    Let me throw this theory out there. Maybe, we need that selfish scorer some nights. Pierce is the closest we have to that but not really what I'm thinking here. I know we dislike Kobe and Lebron with the Cav's dominating the ball all game long. But, think back to Larry Bird for a minute. Granted, he got his other team mates involved a lot. When Larry was on though, he was going to get the ball. Sort of like Melo except Melo never passes the ball. The team would ride Larry or McHale, or whoever had the hot hand that night.
    I would love to see this team get the ball to guys like that. Instead of equal opportunity for everyone where Big Baby is an equal option to Pierce, KG, Allen or even Jeff Green when he is on. Forcing the other team to stop a guy somehow seems to open things up for other players at times. In addition, you are putting the ball in the hands of a reliable scorer.
    This isn't the same as a Pierce iso at the top of the 3 point line and trying to beat his man. It's getting the ball to that guy in his sweet spot and letting him score 10 or 12 in a row.

    • talesofJP

      good theory only no one has been hot in this slump, so I don't know who you give the ball to

      • Steve B

        Maybe random drawing at the start of the game at this point. I think Ray said it best that they need to stop thinking and go out and play ball. Nenad is definitely overthinking out there from how he started with the team.

  • Chris O

    Ok let me explain something, this is on the Starters. The established verterans, not the new guys or some 'chemistry' issue. The starters with BBD had a 9 point lead when they all came in together in the 4th quarter and THEY lost the game. I don't want to hear its the new guys, or chemistry, or whatever. They looked tired, and I think they are tired, but if the BIG 4 + 1 can't close out games then let the bench do it….JESUS H. CHRIST I can't watch another game til the playoffs that's how much this hurts me

    • diehardceltic

      Exactly how I feel on not watching a game until playoffs!!!

  • Chris O

    BTW why did we not scoop Kwame Brown?

    • Mike

      Say whaaat

  • phil blackson

    To me its obvious the Celtics are saving gas by going into cruise control mode. I think they are over the regular season; now whether that is wise or not reamains to be seen.

  • jim

    Big Baby takes way too many shots. Rondo always seems to get him the ball when he is on the floor. Baby never took a shot he did not like. I am tired of hearing about chemistry with the new guys. Perk is not walking through that door. The starters look bad. Rondo has been the leader of the losing streak. His assists are way down , he does not score and he makes some really bad turnovers. Get him back on track the rest of the team will follow. If Rondo does not get back on track soon our season will be over early in the playoffs.

  • kricky

    When you think about it the struggles are really offensive. D has not given up too many points. And this is all on Rondo. He needs to get the other guys the ball in right where they need it and he is not doing that. Tommy pointed this out time and again in his (very critical) commentary last night. BTW: I've never seen him as critical of a team, even when they were up by double figures.

    • Steve B

      Rondo also seems to not put 4 quarters together. The last couple games I thought he started aggressively, penetrating and getting his shot or other guys the ball. 4th quarter rolls around and it's half court offense, pass the ball around the outside and hope for the best. I'm not sure if the other team is preventing Rondo from getting in the lane or he just stops doing it.

  • Mike

    Three games coming up that are going to tell us more about whats going on, at San Antonio, Chicago and miami. They have to show us something good there cause those games will be playoff-like

  • talesofJP

    We can't slip into the 3 seed and risk facing Philly in round 1

    Although at this pace, Philly might be the 5th seed and Atlanta might sink to the 6th seed. We have a half game lead over the Heat right now, and they are playing well. Last night probably all but eliminated us from the 1 seed and gave it to the Bulls. Not sure what is going on, but we're playing the starters too many minutes to lose games. Either reduce the minutes and lose or keep them up and win, don't have high minutes and lose.

    Also interesting: Kristic had a team high +/- at +17 against the Bobcats

  • Federico

    Federico · 3 weeks ago
    i think march will be a bad month record-wise. i think cs will play near 50% ball.

    i just called…to say…i told you

    • someguyinsac

      You should have called collect, so we could have declined your call. =)

  • John

    Since the Perkins trade, this has been going on. Discombobulated team chemistry.

    Ray Allen is right: winning has an element of elusiveness. Winning is not pursued, it ensues.

    My gut feeling this past two weeks re the Celts has been the H word — hubris. One hears a lot of chatter about the Celtics concentrating on their performance in the playoffs. Yet what's growing obvious is that the Celtics may not even make it that far.

    Post-trade, the collection of wonderful individual talent aside, the team – as a TEAM – is broken.

    • kricky

      Pithy, yet loquacious analysis. Thumbs up!

  • meen

    Look I am a die hard Lakers fan…but everyone goes through these slumps…Lakers did..and Even though MIA is playing better ball then the Celtics…Celtics would kill MIA in the playoffs!!! But sorry ya’ll Go Lakers!!!!

  • meen

    And yes this was said by a Lakers fan…I’m just being fair…But honestly do hate the Celtics.

    After such terrible losses, Doc and we fans lack words….
    What has happened to our Cs? They have UBUNTU backwards.