Last night was a really special game in that it was especially terrible. To give it the proper due, we’re going to extend the
highlight lowlight gallery beyond our normal 3 or 4 clips. To gain a little perspective about how bad the game was, let’s look at the numbers courtesy of our good TrueHoop friends HoopData.com. According to their awesome advanced box score, there were 82 possessions and the Celtics’ offensive efficiency was 90.2. These two numbers are less than the slowest and most inefficient teams in the NBA by a wide margin.
All season Doc Rivers has been begging his team to push the pace. Two nights ago, he bemoaned the Celtics’ lack of execution. Last night, the Celtics played completely antithetical to what Doc’s been asking them to fix. All of this frustration came to a head in the first quarter as Doc Rivers FREAKED out after the Celtics’ failed to execute a play even after a timeout:
After reading my rapid reactions, Ryan DeGama and I discussed the game in the context of the season. Ryan sees last night’s loss as a “scheduled loss”. A game in which a tired team failed to show up on the road after getting shown up at home. There is was one specific reason why I will not concede the to the “scheduled loss” sentiment: the Raptors are terrible. So terrible that they could have easily lost last night despite Celtics’ inability to run plays, play defense, listen to their coach, or care. So terrible that Ryan’s grandmother could defend any of their starting five (yes I asked, and yes she is referred to as “DeGam Gam”).
I could go on and on about how terrible last night’s game was (let’s face it, I already have) but I’d rather let the tape do the talking. First let’s look at some of the plays that really embodied how the Celtics played last night on both ends of the floor and then we’ll end the post on a slight high note.
1. Both Rondo and Allen are allergic to composite leather.
I really want to know: is this the worst basketball sequence you have ever seen? Rondo tries to pull up for a transition jumper and the ball inexplicably back-spins out of his hands. Ray Allen, taking exception to how badly the ball has just treated Rondo, chucks it as hard as he can at Jose Calderon.
2. Speaking of Calderon…
I would start an internet campaign to make “Siesta” Calderon’s on-court persona for the way he lulled the Celtics to sleep on this layup. I would, that is to say, if the Celtics had been awake in the first place.
3. When there’s some bad defense, there’s more bad defense…
Can someone tell me who Pierce was guarding here? At first he doubles Aaron Gray for some reason (gravitational pull?) and then he recovers to no one as his man dribbles down the lane for a dunk. The answer is “no one”.
4. Stay of Execution
Rondo was wildly ineffective in this game. I still have no idea why E’Twaun Moore didn’t play.
4. Avery Bradley’s Wide Open
Two obvious questions: why is Bradley out of bounds and why is Kevin Garnett passing to him?
5. Finally, There’s Life
This is the Celtics style of basketball that I know. Multiple passes and pick and rolls ending in a layup. The Celtics may have been running this play in a walk through without the defense. It’s just so frustrating considering that the Celtics should have been executing like this all game.
Major props to JaJuan Johnson. Look at how he runs the floor on these two consecutive plays. If Rondo is anything close to the All Star Rondo then Johnson gets a dunk here.