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Rapid Reactions: Celtics Owe Fans an Apology

Boston Celtics 74 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 Toronto Raptors
Kevin Garnett, PF 29 MIN | 6-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | +8

Paul Pierce, SF 35 MIN | 4-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | -20

Brandon Bass, PF 30 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -14

Ray Allen, SG 32 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -17

Rajon Rondo, PG 41 MIN | 2-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 5 PTS | -16

Chris Wilcox, PF 22 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -16

Marquis Daniels, SG 9 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +10

Mickael Pietrus, SF 27 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +4

JaJuan Johnson, F 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -6

Avery Bradley, SG 7 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +7

One Thing We Saw

  1. The Celtics easily played the worst game of the season tonight. Wait a second, that’s unfair. The Celtics were present for their worst game of the season. The truth is no one played in this game. No one played defense. No one played offense. No one put in the effort necessary to do anything.

    Tonight’s game puts Doc Rivers a giant leap closer to the hot seat. The Celtics were more unresponsive to Doc’s coaching than the Kings were to Paul Westfphal. Furthermore, despite having everyone available except for Sasha Pavlovic, Keyon Dooling, and Jermaine O’Neal who were out with injury, there were two DNPs tonight. If Greg Stiemsma and E’Twaun Moore aren’t good enough to participate in what transpired tonight than they aren’t NBA players. The truth is, they are good enough to play but despite the Celtics’ obvious heavy legs and dearth of desire to play, let alone win, this game neither Celtics’ rookie logged any court time.

    This was absolutely Doc’s worst coaching job of the season. The second game of a back to back and the starters play long minutes with Chicago looming on Sunday. Add that to the two DNPs and the failure to motivate his players and I wouldn’t be surprised if he brought his whiteboard tonight. Obviously it’s not all Doc’s fault. He can only do so much and the players have to do what he tells them. All I know it that if the Celtics don’t get destroyed by Chicago, it only further validates how much they didn’t show up tonight.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear some news in the next couple hours about injuries or sickness or something that prevented the Celtics from playing the type of basketball they should be capable of playing. The listless demeanor was so uncharacteristic I started to get delusional with my rationalizations. I literally considered that a terrorist plot was afoot and some nefarious characters were releasing some chemical weapon into the arena that made the Celtics so sluggish. Like carbon monoxide poisoning that was only activated by people wearing green. The lack of effort was that ridiculous.

    What bothers me the most is the fact that the Celtics weren’t the only ones that were on a back to back. I was at the Garden last night, writing the recap at CelticsHub, writing for the Daily Dime, Tweeting and I’m on recap and highlights tonight. Add working full days at my day job on today and Thursday along with walking, taking the T, and taking the commuter rail to and from the Garden and it just really put me in a foul mood. Why bother? I could have gone out tonight. I could have went to bed early. It’s not covering a loss or a bad team that frustrates me. There’s plenty of merit in blogging about teams that need work. It’s covering a team that had every opportunity to ramp up the effort and beat a bad team and just didn’t. Instead they got frustrated, argued with the refs, got into shoving matches with Raptors’ players, and did all this because they just absolutely sucked.

    I really cannot wait to hear the post game comments about this one. If this comes close to gaining any consistency than Danny Ainge needs to blow it up. If he needs anyone to light the fuse I’ll make room in my schedule.

  • yeah

    Lol @ the grading

  • High Rollers

    Dude, Brendan, chill. Last night may have been a regular season game between two teams considered (at the moment) less-than-contenders TO YOU, but to them, it was Game 7, 2010. And that Game was the last game that really mattered to four out of the five starters on this team. Three out of the four of those starters were All Stars last year and are NOT this year. One of the four has been serious trade bait (in the media at least) all season. That same one is trying to find a place on a team that found its early stride without him. The other three have been considered past their primes for an eternity now, and every once in a while they think about it long enough to be bothered by it. This may be the most lifelessness you see from the C's this season, but it isn't without cause. Doc may have been shocked in-game, but he's too good not to figure this one out.

    • dunny dun dun

      i think everyones giving Doc a little too much credit

  • IBleedGreen

    BLOW IT UP!!!!!

  • Matt

    Wow, this was a little bit of an exaggeration

  • Jivansky

    Not a good game but I still believe the C's can recover from this loss and win the game against Bulls!

    Let's go C's! I never give up on you guys!

  • Jim

    Thanks for the honesty! The grades were spot on! Oh one more thing was anyone surprised at who had the ball last night for the last shot. Come on Pierce always seems to have the ball in those situations and the Lakers were ready. Time for something new from Doc.

  • guest

    Doc wanted a win and he expected his starters to grind one out, even after a tough game on Thursday. If he'd have known that they would essentially have 48 minutes of garbage time of course he would have emptied the bench early, but I don't expect him to believe that Stiemsma and Moore had the answer to this game over KG, Pierce, Rondo, Ray, or Bass. They made more than a few mini-runs, and the only way you can make the "right" decision on when to put a player in and pull them out is in hindsight.

    We're over 4 years into the Big 3 era, and I've learned to accept a few things, including the fact that 1) Doc Rivers really knows his stuff, and 2) this team will let us down at least few nights a year against unworthy opponents. They will get ripped deservedly by the coaching staff for the lack of effort and poor execution, but Celtics fans know better than anyone how much this team fails to bring their best effort against sub-par teams, and how much this team struggles in back-to-backs. It isn't the beginning of any trend, it's just the continuation of one we're all familiar with. A tough game against Chicago on Sunday could very well be our 3rd loss in a row, but I don't expect the same effort and execution against a top-tier team.

    If Ainge decides to blow it up, this is the last game he should use as motivation; we know that this team is better than what they showed us tonight.

  • Doc & Danny need to make a trade by tomorrow. Trade Wilcox,Bradley,Dooling, & Pavlovic to Phoenix for R.Lopez and S.Brown. During All-Star Break Ainge should go after B.Gordon and make a 3 team trade with Detroit and Houston. Detroit get J.Johnson,T.Williams,J.Flynn, & 1st round pick. Houston get T.Prince,W.Bynum,E.Moore,M.Daniels, & 2nd round pick. After the deadline Ainge should sign A.Brooks,J.Posey, & R.Wallace for 1 year. J.O`Neal should be waived if R.Lopez and S.Brown comes to Boston.

  • Tos

    ^ this guy hit the nail on the head.

    • CelticsBIG3

      No this idiot posts this crap all the time.

  • I_Love_Green

    My green goggles are starting to wear off with Rondo….

    • ripsonics


      • CelticsBIG3

        I'm open to moving him. The Celtics love passing him the ball when theres like 3 seconds on the shot clock so he can chuck up a brick.

  • IBleedGreen

    Bill Simmons is absolutely right about Rondo. He brings a lot to the table (passing and rebounding), but he also takes away a lot (poor shooting, stupid passes). If you average them out he's an average player…ok above average. There is no way Danny Ainge (or any GM) will build a team around him. Any team with Rondo being the best player will not go very far. He is good enough to be an important piece of a championship team, but no way in hell he is the franchise player that a lot of Celtics fan think he is.

    • ripsonics

      i believe i said this a few days ago and got ripped. im glad people are starting to see the light.

      • Cg12

        One of the worst things about Rondo when he is like that is his body language. He just looks surly and disinterested. This season is a grind and if he wasn't up for playing he should sit. The team was far better with Bradley who was apparently playing hurt. And where is his vaunted defense?! Rondo could be the most overrated defensive player in the league. I have always thought his D is overrated, because of his weak team defense, but now that he is apparently no longer trying, it's just flat out bad. He used to own guys like Calderon. Most discouraging subplot of the season, by far. It's my hope that things will turn as the season progresses, but I am not feeling optimistic.

        • dunny dun dun

          for real….rondo's as emotional and sensitive as a 16 yo at her sweet sixteen. time to ship his garbage ass. he can't ball. period. he can make some highlight passes, and an occasional nice drive. but we desperately need legit scorers. Doc is looking like a bufoon not an elite NBA coach. he so obsessed with the Big 3 and what they did in 07

  • leeboo1211

    Was watching Jeremy Lin pick apart the Lakers tonight. Finishing in traffic, making the passes, hitting all those outside shots. Caught myself thinking, damn that's nice to have in a PG!

    But seriously, the one thing that keeps Rondo from greatness is that outside shot.

    • dunny dun dun

      now that's a baller son! PG's are supposed to be fearless, the court leader, the best ball handler on the court, the cross you up take it to the hole or pull up and drain one in your eye type cat

      • CelticsBIG3

        Everybody needs to relax on Jeremy Lin… Unless he can keep this up when Melo and Amare come back to the lineup

  • smalltownID

    As bad as this is, there is consolation in the fact that folks on here are starting to see Rondo for what he really is. Freakishly good at passing, seeing the floor and freakishly bad at shooting and decision making in the clutch. That makes you average or maybe a little above average at your position. Not top 5 at your position.

  • Jabes

    Kinda drastic, when Garnett and Wilcox get B's for their performances (along with some A's in the Laker game) and then its all D's and F's vs. the Raptors. Regardless of stiffer D, KG went 6 for 23 in that game!?!! Unacceptable. But really, come on. They were 2 losses, even if the Raptors loss was even uglier than the Lakers loss. How can the games be that much of polar opposites. I guess the point comes across, but it still seems severe.

  • ripsonics

    Brendan. You just became my favorite writer on the blog.

    Your frustration with the 'game' tonight highlights my entire frustration with this team. There isnt one good thing to take away from tonights game. Awful. Truly pathetic, and the reason it is so damn pathetic and frustrating is because we have seen them play so much better.

    I dont care if you are 'tired'.

    I dont care if its shitty team, and a lame crowd.

    if you are an nba player. making millions. have some god damn pride and get the job done.

  • green-boner

    time to dump rondo,its been downhill since he came back.he is a cancer to this team.wed be better off with a 5 mill ayear pg who can shoot and an average young center.run the offense through pierce half the time.bam

  • SteveB

    I'm still a Rondo fan despite last night. But last night did show the one thing that has always worried me about him, he acted moody to say the least. Walking the ball up the court every play and only getting into the lane on a couple of plays toward the end. Not sure if Doc made him play the whole second half as punishment or what that was all about. I'm willing to live with the lack of a jump shot as long as Rondo is engaged, last night he wasn't. Rondo for Deron Williams and Ray for Noah?

    As far as coaching last night that was another puzzle. Despite only being down 10 to 12 for most of the second half you had the feeling they were never going to win. For that reason, rest the starters and get the bench in there. It was the bench with Bradley that made it close in the second quarter. I know we don't know all that goes on and there was probably a reason that Moore didn't come in. It also seems that Pietrus is often a better option than Ray right now. He is playing better defense and rebounds in addition to the offense he brings.

    • dunny dun dun

      rondo's a phony! he's always had been a little biotch….just now it's like go the f away you suck dude

  • jimmy

    Al Jefferson and Devin Harris for rondo and allen?

  • dunny dun dun

    I'd rather see the celtics tank this year….lottery pick anybody? lol get rid off the old men, I'd rather see an entertaining young athletic growing for the future team that maybe takes a couple years to get back to the playoffs than watch this pathetic bunch

  • tbunny

    Maybe Docs attitude was that if the guys were going to suck he was going to get some painful conditioning in with them. These kinds of games are not at all surprising to me and I don't quite get why people get all hyped up about them. These guys just went 9-1 and they are probably processing the limitations of their development. I think these guys are physically in good shape and they will come out with a big effort very soon. They have too much pride not to.

  • red

    i love Rondo and i feel guilty when i am forced to point out the flaws in his game rondo is a true celtic to his core but he is flawed he dribbles too much is ineffectual without the ball and has a tendency to stand and wait for the ball when he doesn`t have it.Rondo's minutes need to be reduced and i would be open to trading him and dooling to the jazz for jefferson.

  • red

    Wilcox not knowing the plays is inexcusable at this point

    • smalltownID

      What a joke these comparisons to Powe. Wilcox hasn't had a solid game yet where he has played well for more than one stretch during the game. Glad we gave him the MLE and let Delonte go so we could pay Dooling more to ride the pine. J/J here obviously

  • CelticsBIG3

    When Doc called that timeout in the middle of a play in the 2nd quarter that was probably the most angry I have ever seen him.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Sad how I'm starting to like Avery Bradley more than Rondo

  • dunny dun dun

    avery and the rookies/new faces bring a fresh dynamic to this stale team

  • jj mm

    I am reading this blog less and less. First cuz this was an empty place during the lockout, like the writers of this blog were like the players, not allowed to perform. And now because this is so negative all the time. Sarcasm is good to a certain point. And I am going to give you an example:

    Everything is a matter of context: Garnett played 29 minutes last night, 17 points (6/9 shooting) and 8 rebounds. If the Celtics had won this game, you guys would have said that he had a solid game. If they had won this game, and if it had been against the Lakers, and KG would have had the same stats, you would have given him a B+ and praised him for his solid game even though he is older. But because the team was in a funk last night, you graded him so badly.

    Look, I know you graded everyone badly a little bit on purpose. But I just wanted to point out that the general tone of this blog turned a little negative all the time. You guys seem only positive when the team wins. It saddens me to see the Celtics not performing the way they used to a few years ago, but when I am reading a blog, I don't need it to be depressing and dramatic, and almost not respectful to this team. I feel like the people who write this blog write less posts, and are usually more negative. I don't want to visit a blog to see less production, and a production that's negative.

    No offense, but you guys are losing a reader little by little.

    • dunny dun dun

      i actually prefer the stories off this blog than the one's forsberg writes….this blog sounds like its written and analyzed by real fans like us…who see the celtics for what they really are. not the distorted, doc rivers can do no wrong, pipe dream reporters like forsberg

  • Anthony

    Although I didn't watch the game, I have no problem with Brendan's reaction and grading. The main issue is effort level. Everyone wants a championship but nobody wants to give the championship effort. At least that's how it appears from the highlights. Despite KG shooting 6-21 or whatever it was, personally I thought he played hard and most of the shots were good shots. I can accept that but I cant accept getting beat by Toronto because they didn't feel like putting in the effort.

    Anybody that's OK with a loss to Toronto is not thinking championship. Boston should be able to play a C-level game and still beat Toronto, if they want to be considered contenders. The SEGABABA shouldn't even be an excuse at this point because all teams go through it and prior to last nite's loss, the Celts are, I think, 4-2 on the SEGABABA this season.

  • BBynum

    Doc on the hot seat? Are you high? Even if he wasn't profoundly respected and appreciated by ownership and management (which he is), he is the highest paid coach in the league and has four or five years remaining on his contract! Was that extreme hyperbole or ignorance? Either way it is irresponsible reporting…err..blogging. No way Doc gets fired in the absence of hooker/drug scandal this year.

  • Rachel

    I didn’t watch the game but I was disappointed by the loss. But I have to second the commenter above– I’m a long time reader but probably won’t come back if every instance of underperformance is treated as a personal insult. This is our team. Sometimes they bring us profound joy and sometimes they let us down. Ease up yo.