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Fitting: Wizards 95, Celtics 94 (OT)

 

ESPN Box ScoreTruth About ItBullets Forever

The Celtics have made life hard on themselves the past two months, both from a play and management perspective and they put the exclamation point on things tonight with a loss against the lowly Washington Wizards as the Celtics Big Four rested their legs.

With the defeat, combined with a Heat win and a Sixers loss, the playoff seedings are now set, as the Celtics have drawn the surging Knicks as first round opponents in the 3 vs. 6 matchup. The Heat draw the floundering Sixers in the 2-7 showdown, and the Celtics have chosen a path where they have to get past (arguably) four of the best five players in the Eastern Conference over the next three rounds in order to get back to the NBA Finals.

We’ll have plenty of time to speculate all about that and the upcoming first round circus in the next 6 days, but for now a few important notes to take away from this horrific loss.

First and foremost is the injury to Delonte West. He went down in a heap during a freak collison with JaVale McGee in the third quarter, in which the center’s entire body came down on West’s right foot.

The tough guard let out a disturbing scream after the hit, and walked gingerly off the floor, and eventually to the locker room. He’s out for Wednesday with a sprained right ankle officially, but my money has him out at least part of the first round as there’s a bone chip in that ankle. We’ll obviously get more on this as it comes in, but it’s another big blow for this team’s playoff hopes if it is a more serious injury.

As far as the rest of the game goes, it was mostly YMCA fare. Jermaine O’Neal showed very positive signs, the biggest of which Doc left him out there for 37 minutes and he held up. 15 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks and a bit more confidence for a guy that will need to play a lot if the C’s plan on going anywhere this year.

Jeff Green hit the glass hard, (20 points, 15 rebounds) against a disinterested Washington team, but his offense was inefficent, if not uninspiring. A few glimpses of potential, but nothing to write home about. Then again, based on what we’ve seen, this was at least progress.

Von Wafer (after Delonte came out) was the unsung hero of this game. That is until overtime hit, where he had multiple goofs, including an embarrassing missed dunk and collision with JO which led to a turnover.

That should rightfully leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, but for a guy who hasn’t played in two months, this was a solid night overall, as he played strong defense and showed he was capable of creating on offense, something this team sorely needs. With West hurting, count on him being in the playoff rotation. Carlos Arroyo missed a lot of mid-range jumpers, but did plenty of other things right as well. We’ll dig more into that later, as he becomes very relevant too depending on West’s injury.

That’s really all that’s worth mentioning in this one. Glen Davis showed signs of breaking out of his slump, but made an ill-advised trap attempt on John Wall late, which gave Jordan Crawford an open look at a 3.

And Troy Murphy and Avery Bradley were awful in their own separate ways tonight.

In any case, bring on the Knicks. Rested legs will be needed, as both teams get a sneak peek at each other’s scrubs on Wednesday night.

  • I_Love_Green

    We got dis.

    Celts in 5 over the Knicks.

    • Batman

      Too cocky
      I say Celtics in 4!
      Of course Rojan Rando is a bandwagon Knicks fan so he might try to make us fail.

      • kricky

        If we can dispatch them in 4 or 5 this will be a really good sign.

        • James Patrick

          Don't jinx us. Shaq is supposed to be back though. I hate to put so much hope on the big fella, but if we can get him at 75% for the playoffs we've got a great shot. Great shot. It really does come down to him though.

      • I_Love_Green

        Nonsense Batman! RAJON RONDO will be playing against the knicks, and he will be in playoff mode. Watching Playoff Rondo is a beautiful sight to see.

  • Scott

    you know what… this doesnt matter that we lost at all. Here are some positive things to say about this team for once:

    1. With the starters resting, THE BENCH MOB came to mother effing play. They did not let this one go, it was close the whole time – the defense wasnt that great, but at this point of the season id like to see some inspired play – we got that tonight, and i think that THE BENCH MOB sent the starters a message – GET UP TO PLAY every night, not just against good teams, even though we havent seen that lately. THey played inspired, and fought hard. Nice Job guys.

    2. Hi Jeff Green. Its nice to meet you.

    3. Glen Davis must have read what we have been saying about him the past couple days. Pretty sure he led the team in +/- at +24… I dont remember the game, but it seemed like BBD played a lot better to me.

    3. JO GOT A DOUBLE DOUBLE. Where the hell did that come. You could justify the other guys because they got more minutes, but JO was rebound-less the past two games, and then he gives everyone a big FU and goes for double digits in points and boards. Thats something to get excited about.

    All i can say is, for once this team was fun to watch. First game since the Spurs. The sense of urgency, and superior play from guys that we need to play like studs if we want to do anything (See JG, West, JO, BBD). I know we lost, but this is a loss where you can definitely take some positives from.
    So.. that being said – WAKE UP BIG FOUR, cause the BENCH MOB wants MINUTES.

    Go C's

    • kricky

      Nothing to be proud of here. This was the WIZARDS. One of the worst teams in the NBA. And they couldn't even pull out a win. Just giving the game away at the very end.

      • Dan

        I don't know. I think its encouraging that 5 guys from our bench can take a team to OT on their own court. Considering that Washington seemed to want this one, and how many minutes some of our guys played, I don't mind the loss.

        But image how Avery Bradley feels. Doc really couldn't find more than 6 minutes for him ?!

        • Jamie

          Bradley's +/- was -22 in his 7 minutes. The "2nd unit" with him and Pavlovic and Murphy was awful.

      • MikeD

        You are always so negative. Go away. Our bench put on an entertaining game. They didn't need the win, the game meant nothing, get over it dude.

        • SteveB

          Most entertaining game in a long time. I enjoyed watching the bench get minutes and thought everyone played well, except Bradley. At this point I'm worried if he has a future in the league, definitely not at PG right now.
          Jermaine was the most impressive, Green showed versatility, Delonte was great until yet another freak injury, and the refs bailed out the Wiz with that call on Arroyo.
          The outcome of this game was irrelevant all along. A win would have been nice but to have an entire bench with the 3rd PG for most of the night take it to OT against any NBA team is a win.
          The Wiz have talent which their record doesn't reflect. Wall, Crawford, Blatche and McGee are a nice core group down there. A few more number one draft picks and they might have something there.

        • kricky

          So I'm always Negative ?? How the FUCK else are you supposed to feel about the way the season has gone since the idiotic trade?

          • cml

            I'm thinking maybe you should be pleased about the fact that the bench, which has been awful lately, played pretty well against a team with lots of athleticism which is led by the #1 pick in the draft.

            But hey, I guess I'm just a wide-eyed optimist. Or something.

      • Zee

        Did you watch the game? The game was lost due to a pseudo call on a 3 that DID NOT happen.

        • kricky

          I live in GOlden State country and this is the shit you hear form their fans and commentators: "The team really fought hard and competed but just fell short".

          We are talking about the the Boston Celtics. All that matters is Ws and Championships.

  • Iamsuck

    Eff you Danny Ainge

  • Paul

    Let's just take them one at a time…Celtics vs Knicks…Lets get it on!!
    Go C's!

  • vivek

    i thought the bench starters did an amazing job against first string wizards in their own home court. i would forgive von and others because they did not get a lot of play time to iront out errors. plus he is young. this was celtics first OT this season. i was satisfied with the play celtics put today. definitely if i was doc i would have rested them. just they need to relax and not think of baskbetball and they can see clearly.

  • ElRoz

    Not at all surprising, Delote West goes down again…yes it is not his fault…but nevertheless, this is to be expected again and again and again. So the team will bewaiting for a 4th – FOURTH! – come-ack from this guye: suspension, broken wrist, sprained ankle in a walk-around, then another one right beforethe playoffs. Bad energy, bad luck, bad impression.

    Doc simply MUST give Arroyo mintes once again vs. the Kniks on Wednesday…this can be a perfect learning opportunity for Arroyo since they will play the Knicks right after. C' fans will be waiting for Delonte and Shaq until round 2, hopefully. But by then, the team WILL NOT BE ABLE to afford to "work them" into the line-up against Miami. So they got to play play play Arroyo and Wafer this Wednesday again….Arroyo and Wafer for 30 min or more each…no more waiting for Delonte.

  • TedL

    The ship be sinking. Damn.

    • someguyinsac

      That's when the bandwagon rats first start jumping off it, right?

  • bos7
  • NHBluesMan

    i feel like this is a good sign that J'O should stay in the starting line-up, then when (read: if) Shaq comes back he can beat up on other teams 2nd units.

  • Jon

    Ok I feel good about the whole game but I know these are bench players but you have to execute down the stretch. We couldve and shouldve won. Wafer missed a wide open dunk BBD double teams Wall out beyond the 3pt line and lets him man wonder into the paint which leads to a big 3 at the end. Then Arroyo doesn't pass the ball up to green as time is winding down in regulation and we don't even get a shot up. In OT Arroyo takes the last shot I'm pretty sure that's not how the play was drawn up. I think BBD or Green shouldve took that last shot.

    Like I said I was happy to see what the bench mob as yall say did but the playoffs can sometimes come down to crunch time moments. I'm not saying we wouldve made the shot to end the game but I would rather we get it in the hands of a very capable scorer and atleast get a shot at end of regulation.

  • Zee

    Delonte West will be back sooner than y'all think. Just like I said about the Krstic injury… this won't last long. He may even be back tomorrow.

  • someguyinsac

    Gather you didn't see the game and the starters in uniform "coaching" the bench players on the way they were playing?

  • kricky

    Doc is trying to regroup now. Get the starters rested and give the bench guys (particularly Green) some reps to give them confidence. We've essentially given up on chasing #2 and I'm fine with that. This is the right move. There are some pressing problems to deal with here to get ready to the playoffs. Let's hope it works out.

    Maybe Doc should have done this earlier (like Popovic has done in year's past) . But getting the top seeds proved to be too much of a temptation.

  • stephen

    I wish I could be as confident as some that are posting here.The way things are going now I wouldn't be surprised if we totally struggle to barely get past the Knicks.

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