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An Affair Not To Remember: Notes From C’s-Pacers

 

ESPN Box Score 8 Points, 9 Seconds Indy Cornrows

Offensive Efficiency: 88.1 points/100 possessions (league-worst)
Defensive Efficiency:
103.6 points/100 possessions (bottom-third of league so far)
Pace:
84 possessions (slow)

WHAT’S THE MEANING OF ALL THIS?

The Celtics have lost to New York, Miami, New Orleans and Indiana. They have victories over New Jersey, Detroit and Washington (x2). That’s a damning tale but it’s also incomplete, and authored by one of the most notoriously unreliable narrators in the NBA. The Celtics could easily run off a series of impressive victories that alters how we think of their position in the NBA hierarchy. But they might not do it until March.

It would probably be wise for us to modify our expectations. This is not the team that sprinted out to league-best records the last few seasons. This is a team operating in an environment that guarantees wildly uneven play. It’s also a team that lost a key rotation player to a season-ending injury. Doc Rivers is also integrating a number of new players into his rotation. You can hear his frustration at the offensive output of his bench and his eagerness to get some new sets into place for them.

Of course, none of this is being inflicted on the C’s in isolation. Every team is dealing with this stuff, and some — like Memphis — have it much worse.

But here’s a piece of context that’s equally important: even if these January games prove useless as predictors of the C’s fortunes in the playoffs, they remain important for playoff seeding. And right now, Boston is just a .500 team.

Worry not about the aberrant shooting nights, or the growing pains of a team-in-progress. Worry about the wins. They didn’t get one last night. That’s the real problem.

Video highlights, stats, referee talk and Tommy’s Complaint Corner, all after the jump.

***

STAT’S AMAZING

Last night, the Celtics matched their franchise low for a half with 25 points. Here’s a look at the box score from the previous low-water mark back in 1995, although I’m sure it’s probably unnecessary since most of you will have committed every one of Dominique Wilkins’ 15 points and 12 rebounds to memory.

But that’s not all. Guess what else that 1995 game has in common with the one last night?

Eddie F. Rush.

That’s the same Eddie F. Rush who was one of the subjects of Tommy Heinsohn’s wrath last night and, in the 2010 finals, the victim of a Paul Pierce right cross, which you can see below as we enter the:

HIGHLIGHT GALLERY

3. How many players have punched a referee in the face during a game and not been thrown out of it?

2. Here’s a nice little bit of ball movement from last night, which I present to you in lieu of footage of the Celtics pounding the ball into the floor for 20 seconds before missing a jumpshot.

1. How many of these have we seen in 2011-12?

0. As a microcosm of what happened last night, this one is sublime in its awfulness.

TOMMY’S COMPLAINT CORNER

It was a strong night for Tommy on the complaints.

He’s in good voice here defending Greg Stiemsma from the dastardly officials.

  • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

    PACEMAKERS

    The Pacers are a young and athletic team, 
    The Cs will need their bench, so it would seem.
    Tommy praised " Killer Bees," Bradley and Bass,
    Who cares if David West on the Cs took a pass?

    Ray feels better, let's see what he can do,
    He had six threes the first night of his flu.
    Q1 Bass had a block, JO had three,
    14-14 end Q1, terrible shooting we did see.

    This fact is interesting, not just a filler, 
    Pacer longer than Foster? Only Reggie Miller.
    Q2 started out scary, the Pacers got hot, 
    Feel terrible that Marquis can't make a shot!

    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, at last in Q2,
    JO, used to be a Pacer, showed what he could do.
    The visiting team can choose the end where they start,
    Cs were at the  "wrong" end, is that why they fell apart?

    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, FOR THREE, JO's second charge, 
    Rondo coast to coast, the Cs playing large!
    Stiemsma with the block, he got all ball, 
    But, of course, a foul the ref did call.

    Rondo to KG for an alley-oop, 
    Still too few rebounds for the Boston group.
    Ineffective ball movement, setting up plays late, 
    Make the Cs at the end of Q3 down eight.

    Early Q4,   RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, 
    Then a George  Hill/Pacers run stopped briefly by KG.
    The lead got down to seven, but for the Cs no break, 
    Some ridiculous calls the refs did make.

    No matter how old or how much talent a team's  got, 
    Some nights even great players can't make a shot!

  • IBleedGreen

    Tommy annoys the hell out of me!!!!!

  • High Rollers

    Yeah, why it's been so long since the C's have been purely focused on just plain winning a ball game? I guess when the basketball gods (and the individuals egos in the room) create so much drama, the ability to achieve that focus becomes a monumental challenge. For the love of the game, just play basketball already!

    • High Rollers

      Doc said last night the C's were clearly focused on winning the game… it was just the manner which perturbed him. There's a difference between playing "desperate" (his word) and playing "solid" (also his word). It's like they channeled the same kind of hollow confidence we've seen expressed on Celtics Hub of late. I'm betting that over the next few weeks that transition from desperate to solid comes to pass… and impress. There's no divining the machinations of the basketball gods, but really, who doubts the Doc?

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