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.
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:
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.