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The Obliterati: Hornets 97 Celtics 78

 

ESPN Box ScoreHornets247AtTheHive

This is not good.

The Celtics were thrashed by a New Orleans team missing its best scorer tonight. They head home to Boston at 0-3, looking entirely unlike a championship contender.

There are certainly caveats available. No Paul Pierce, no training camp, no continuity amongst the new players, not enough effort. Eventually, these may all prove valid reasons for this sluggish start and the Celtics may find their defensive mojo (the biggest surprise of this slow start) and run off a long winning streak. But Boston looked meek and often lifeless in this game, like they were playing to stay in the game rather than win it.

Most of the Celtics played poorly tonight.

Kevin Garnett (8 points, 7 rebounds) has looked old this season, particularly in light of Doc Rivers’ stated intention to run more of the offense through him (it’s not happening). Jermaine O’Neal has faded badly since the first game of the season and was outplayed tonight by unheralded rookie Greg Stiemsma.

After two terrific games to start the season, Rajon Rondo wasn’t aggressive enough going to the basket, made some lazy passes and racked up 4 turnovers. His positional opponent, Jarrett Jack, raced around him on the way to 21 points and 9 assists. His backup, Keyon Dooling, cannot create anything off the dribble.

Let’s leave it there. There are more lowlights to revisit and we’ll get into them in detail overnight. But for now, feel free to vent, worry or rationalize below.

  • Mark

    Circle the wagons!!

  • Phil

    We knew going into the year that some of these brutal schedule quirks would be tough on the Cs, but I didn't expect them to be this brutal. Hopefully this was just a blip because of the caveats mentioned, otherwise there's gonna be some ugly games this year.

    Main concern for me is still KG. Missing Pierce is bad enough, but the Cs have no chance when missing him if they're constantly getting what they got from KG tonight. The scary thing about this is that its the third game of the year; fatigue and wear related problems are all downhill from here. Hopefully we're just overreacting to a brutal scheduling stretch (what did the Celtics, and Lakers for that matter, do to piss the NBA off anyway?) but KG is playing like a mid level role player right now, and that's not good enough.

  • Batman

    Sigh
    No way we can lose hope this early though
    gotta keep on trucking

    • I_Love_Green

      Why is this so sad Batman, WHY DOES IT FEEL LIKE THIS IS ENDING

      • Batman

        We’ll have to accept that the big 3 era is ending. Hopefully the Rajon Rondo era will bring us great joy
        It’s been a great 4 years though.

        • I_Love_Green

          Sad thing is, Lakers won more championships during this era.

          However on a bright note, the last time we started 0-3, 06-07 season, we had a very very very good offseason.

          • Morpheus

            Oh man that's so sad. but so true. We could have…..if Perk and KG's knees held up and Powe as well. 1 title? When we got KG and Ray i was envisioning 3 titles.

          • I_Love_Green

            I was thinking for sure 1, and possibly 2. After 08 I was thinking possibly 3. But you said it KG, Perk, and Powe's knee injuries hurt.

  • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

    STIRRING UP A HORNETS' NEST

    JO involved early, then RAY ALLEN FOR THREE,
    Can JO handle the pressure? We'll soon see.
    Stiemsma with a block, then score, then a block, 
    These are words that warm the heart of Doc.

    Okafor averaging double double all career,
    Thought it should be noted so I mention it here.
    Hornets created a "buzz," with an 11-2 run,
    Cs down 6 at the end of Q1.

    Q2  huge Hornets run, Cs feeling queasy, 
    Homecoming for Bass, he's from the Big Easy.
    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, then Rondo a driving two,
    Offensive foul on Ray?? What are the refs trying to do?

    11 free throws for the Hornets, for the Cs there are none,
    Four minutes left in the half, Rondo finally gets one.
    Stiemsma comes to life, with blocks so fine, 
    At the end of Q2, Cs are down 9.

    The young official in the house is ruining the Cs night,
    The way he is calling fouls just isn't right.
    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, Belinelli from farther away,
    Cs put their heads down and started to play.

    Cs kept getting the lead down to nine or eight,
    Seems it was–for the third time–too little too late!
    Doc's furious with the officiating, easy to see, 
    Cs still down 9 at the end of Q3.

    Bass strong to the hoop to start Q4,
    For the Cs, the appearance of Johnson and Moore.
    The Hornets swarmed, they weren't fooling, 
    Only bright moment, clock running down, three by Dooling!

    Of the three games so far, this is the worst we've seen,
    Three games in four nights too tough on The Green?
    The Cs will pull it together, stick around for the ride, 
    0 and 3?  Never underestimate Celtic pride.

    Coach Monty Williams is one of Doc's closest friends,
    None of that matters til the basketball game ends.

    • I_Love_Green

      Do these when we win. Not when we get smashed by a scrub team.

      • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

        Gotta stay positive, don't give up on our team,
        Pretend the "sting" of this loss just a bad dream!

        • I_Love_Green

          Dude…

  • James Patrick

    Sadly we don't have the pieces to do much this year. Probably why I was hoping for the entire season to be scraped . Ainge messed with the team too much and nothing has worked out in our favor. Am I wrong? Sure no one could've predicted Jeff Green not playing. Sure, Pierce hasn't played yet. But KG was right. They tried to rush this thing and this is the result of it. Hopefully, things turn around in a few weeks, but this all sucks. All the mistakes Ainge has made in the last 12 months are coming back to bite Celtics fans in the ass. Yeah, I don't like this comment either, but it is what it is.

    • Jocellyn

      What mistakes specifically? Danny made our bench much better than last season. I really have no idea why the rushed training camp that KG was complaining about was Ainges fault?

    • CG12

      Seriously – exactly what mistakes are you referring to? Ainge made moves he had to in order to position the team for the post-Big 3 era. You don't ride it until the wheels fall off, like the Cs did with the previous Big 3. They didn't plan enough for the future and went into a deep funk after McHale, Bird, and Parish were gone. It isn't like Danny can just go out and get awesome players any time he wants, especially with a lot of money committed to other players. This was always going to be a tough year for the Cs, but Ainge has done what he can to get some good pieces in place for this year (esp. Bass), while preparing for a semi-detonation this off-season and hopefully a splashy big acquisition.

  • Ron

    "No Paul Pierce"

    Hornets: no designated scorer (Eric Gordon)

    "no training camp"

    Hornets: ditto.

    "no continuity amongst the new players"

    Hornets: ditto.

    The difference is that Monty Williams' focus is defense, hustle and "no excuses". The players (even the ones who have only been in town for a week) seem to have bought in.

  • Morpheus

    Don't mean to sound like a jerk here, but i said the Cs won't get far this season.

    KG is done. Only 3rd game in and he looks finished. Doc is playing him and Ray way too many minutes, granted that last night was a nail biter. KG is showing no signs of getting through this tough shortened season without problems.

    JO? i don't even care what he thinks about trading him, trade him for a bag of peanuts and send him the bag via mail. Stiemsma is playing much harder than JO it's not funny, start Stiemsma from now on.

    I could see Rondo was absolutely pissed tonight, hope he didn't have one of those water bottle episodes in the locker room.

    PP and Pietrus couldn't return any sooner.

  • someguyinsac

    Well on a positive note, there's still 63 games to go to fix things.

  • misel

    Here’s hoping a win at home would turn things around…

  • blue

    Remember when they let coach Obrien go cause he wouldnt play the young guys. Rivers forgot why he got the job after the garnett/allen trades

  • http://twitter.com/Donnie_Peters @Donnie_Peters

    The Celtics just don't seem to have the fire they need to. It can be understandable if you're having an off game, or a couple games, when it comes to shooting, passing and what not, but there should never be a lack of effort. You said i correctly when you stated, "Boston looked meek and often lifeless in this game, like they were playing to stay in the game rather than win it."

    If this is the Big Three's last true year together as a contender, they need to start playing like it. The motivation, inspiration and drive needs to come back. Yes, Paul Pierce is out, but he could also get on their asses a bit and light a fire under them. We all know Kevin Garnett likes to get on people and hold them accountable, so why not do it right back to him?

    And if someone would please just tell Jermaine O'Neal to start actually caring about basketball again, it'd be great. Greg Stiemsma may not be the better skilled player of the two, but that guy WANTS to play. He wants to be in there and worked very hard last night in all minutes he was on the floor. He provided the Celtics with some great defensive mojo that they needed at times.

    Hopefully, coming back to Boston ignites something in these guys. The fans shouldn't quit on them just yet. They're sluggish right now, but they will right the ship. Old veterans coached by someone as intelligent as Doc Rivers will get things right shortly. Adding Pierce and Mickael Pietrus soon will also give us a bit of a spark.

  • -JP

    You could sort of tell this one would be bad from the beginning, they were walking every ball, setting lazy screens, playing lazy defense even in the first quarter. Way to early for a bad loss like this.

  • Ray TROY

    Are you all serious how has Danny ainge helped us he haven’t Allen iverson would have been a better back up than dooling but he don’t want the attitude josh smith asked the hawks to trade him to Boston ainge doesn’t want to do it and jr smith and Wilson chandler for pietrus and Jeff green bird rights they would have been gone but he to bz worrying bout the attitudes kevin has a bad attitude along with pietrus and rondo but they still dar ainge is secretly working for other teams

    • ozcelts

      Hey Ray

      a late christmas gift for you below- some punctuation- feel free to use:

      . , : ;

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