Nate McMillan must be furious right now. Or in despair. Either would be understandable because this was the kind of game that could get a coach fired.
We’ll forgo the individual grades tonight because there was no competition. The Celtics were facing an utterly disinterested Portland team (with the exception of LaMarcus Aldridge who did some damage on the offensive end until he accepted that Portland’s modus operandi tonight was ‘get killed and then get outta town’).
If you didn’t see the game, ignore the score. It’s not representative. At one point the Celtics were up 43 points in the third quarter. Only a relaxed fourth quarter allowed the Blazers to make this one respectable. Even the Celtics that got pasted in Philadelphia on Wednesday night would have crushed Portland tonight.
The Blazers turned the ball over 28 times, an NBA season-high for 2011-12. The Celtics get credit for forcing some of these but mostly it was just the Blazers’ starters (a combine -115 on the night) who fumbled the ball away like they were trying to get themselves shipped off before the trade deadline.
It’s a nice win for the Celtics as they head out for the two-week road trip that may end up defining their season. The starters went short minutes (Kevin Garnett played only 22) and they can land in Los Angeles for back-to-back games against the Lakers and Clippers with some swagger.