Post-game Reactions

(by Michael Pina)

Boston Celtics 86 FinalRecap | Box Score 99 Philadelphia 76ers
Paul Pierce, SF 36 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 20 PTS | -15In the game’s first six minutes, Pierce had 11 points on 4-4 shooting. Like most good defensive teams, the Sixers swallowed their pride and doubled him from that point on, completely taking him out of his rhythm. Fatigue may have been a factor, as the captain resorted to three-pointers and jumpers all night instead of aggressive drives to the basket, but 11 total shots after such a hot start was just one of the endless frustrating outcomes of tonight’s game.
Brandon Bass, PF 31 MIN | 8-18 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | -16Despite his above average ability to knock down mid-range jumpers, defenses continue to leave him wide open when they opt to double the likes of Rondo, Pierce, or Garnett. I like Bass’ shot just fine, but taking 18 shots just isn’t his game.
Kevin Garnett, PF 30 MIN | 10-19 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 20 PTS | +9Garnett was stupendous on both ends tonight, especially offense. The Celtics were over-reliant on his jump shot, but he kept knocking it down. Unfortunately, due to the pace of last night’s game in Milwaukee, he could only log 30 minutes tonight.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 12 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +12Getting the start for an injured Ray Allen, Mickael Pietrus suffered a devastating neck injury midway through the second quarter. Minutes after getting a step on Spencer Hawes and throwing down his most ferocious dunk in years, Pietrus collided with Lou Williams and awkwardly fell back to the court, landing on his back and experiencing terrible whiplash. After a 20 minute delay, he was carried off on a stretcher and taken to a local Philadelphia hospital.
Rajon Rondo, PG 39 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 17 AST | 6 PTS | -13It’s SO hard to criticize a point guard who tallies that many assists, but the expectations for Rondo in a game like this go beyond getting his teammates involved. There was no Ray Allen, and Pietrus wasn’t there for the second half, but Rondo still ended the game taking only five shots from the field. He didn’t attempt a single free-throw. It was easily the quietest, most discouraging 17 assist game I’ve ever seen.
Marquis Daniels, SG 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -16Getting unusual playing time due to a couple guys in front of him suffering injuries, Marquis Daniels wasn’t all that bad. His defense was solid, and on offense he moved well without the ball. Still, this is Marquis Daniels, and watching him play such a big role in a game this important was tough to swallow.
Ryan Hollins, C 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 1-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -1In his first two minutes as a Celtic, Ryan Hollins missed a wide-open layup, three free-throws, and was called for a technical foul. I didn’t expect him to play tonight at all so the expectations were in the basement to begin with, but seriously. Yikes.
Avery Bradley, SG 14 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -2When Avery Bradley hits a corner three—which he did late in the first quarter—it’s one of the prettiest sights a Celtics fan can see. It was the second three-pointer of his career.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Pinning this loss on the indescribable emotional let down that comes with watching one of your teammates get carried off on a stretcher is an acceptable excuse on most nights. Tonight isn’t one of them. The same weaknesses that have haunted this team all season long killed them against Philadelphia. Beginning in the third quarter, when they were outscored 37-17, the Celtics turned the ball over at an alarming rate, gave up second chance points, failed to move the ball, and got away from the layered defense that’s been their strength these last few years. The Sixers had 14 offensive rebounds to the Celtics’ three. The Sixers had 18 fast break points to the Celtics’ three. The Sixers took 92 shots, and the Celtics took 74. Gross.
  2. Lou Williams showed some class after the final buzzer, going up to Doc Rivers and, I assume, expressing his concern for Mickael Pietrus. Williams collided with the Celtic in the second quarter and sent him crashing to the court on what would normally be deemed a routine foul.
  3. The good news? Boston held Evan Turner in check. The bad news? Every one else scored at will, especially Elton Brand who finished with 20 points. In their last match-up, Brand had 18. The two games are his second and third highest point totals of the season. So, yeah. That’s neat.
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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • someguyinsac

    As much as I'd like to be inhuman by saying Pietrus getting hurt and carried off on a stretcher shouldn't affect the outcome of the game, I can't do that.

    Hoping that his prognosis is positive and the team carries on through it from here on out for the rest of the season, no matter what.

  • High Rollers

    "Pinning this loss on the indescribable emotional let down that comes with watching one of your teammates get carried off on a stretcher is an acceptable excuse on most nights. Tonight isn’t one of them. The same weaknesses that have haunted this team all season long killed them against Philadelphia."

    Those weaknesses were only so terribly glaring tonight because not only did MP leave just when his grit was contributing to the C's run, but also: 1) Ray Allen couldn't be counted on for a single point because he was out from the beginning with that ankle issue; 2) Avery Bradley left with an ankle issue just when his D was working its usual magic; 3) Stiemsma's been playing solid ball on an iffy foot, no surprise he ran out of gas doing that tonight; 4) this was the first time Hollins was even in a Celtics jersey having had no practice with his new squad and only some summer game experience playing with KG and Paul… for goodness sake, his first minutes as a C were predicated upon the MP injury; 5) everything that was going right was obviously just as dependent upon the little things being done by the gritty role players as it did the stars, and when they left or got mixed up with the substitutions, it really showed; 6) this was the last game of an eight game road trip to infinity and beyond, against one of the youngest teams in the league, a team that had last night off and had its own right-the-ship inner circle meeting prior to this second meeting with the C's. I think I could find more explanations, but I'll stop there. Explanations, not excuses. Excuses are for when you give up and want to rationalize it. Now that, I did not see. Like Doc said, they are passing the test. Even if it seems all evidence to the contrary. #perspective

    • Luke Walker

      I agree on the #perspective comment, 100%. This is a team hovering around .500 all year, got beat by 45 combined points against Philly in their last 2 games, has proven to collapse when the lights are shining bright, and is last in the NBA in rebounding (even when they actually had healthy big guys). I feel like a lot of fans are really setting themselves up for a huge let down when the playoffs start. Maybe it's just because I'm a diehard Detroit Lions fan that I know when my team just doesn't have "it" and I've learned not to pretend like they do. Watching the Cs the last few years has been incredibly fun and so much needed after a bunch of years of crappy basketball. But, as you said, for perspective this is really a .500 team. As Parcells says, you are what your record says you are. And it's Boston's case… it's the number SEVEN seed in the East. #reality

      • CelticsBIG3

        Who are you? When have you posted here before? Go watch the Lions and get the F U C K out of here with your negativity

        • Luke Walker

          Who am I? The owner of the largest photo+video studio in the state of NY north of Manhattan. My company's work is literally on every newsstand in the US every month, 12 months a year, every year. Who are you? What difference does it make? I wasn't aware that people could only post rosey things about the Cs or they weren't welcome. If that's the case and it's only about how awesome the team is, even after losing 2 games for first place by a combined total of 45… then I'll be happy to get out. So much for valuing other's opinions and having an open discussion. I see the lovely Boston hospitality is in full effect haha.

          • Jzr

            I thumbs-downed your post reflexively because of the way you started off, which I think a lot of people did. 45 points in 2 nights is misleading, and "proven to collapse" instantly sounds like someone with an agenda. They were two completely different games. The Cs were just going through the motions last time around. And let's not forget they've achieved and very nearly achieved under the brightest lights on two occasions.

            The rest of your post wasn't that bad, and at least you're factual. It's true the Cs are a .500 team right now, but it's also true that they are a very emotional team. They definitely have a different level of intensity vs. contenders, and their play is definitely affected when something so serious happens. They know there's life after basketball.

          • Luke Walker

            How is mentioned that the Cs lost to the 76ers by a combined 45 points in their last 2 games misleading? Should I perhaps lie and say the games were much closer? Would that make me more of a "fan?" They are a team who's flirted with .500 all year, their last 2 big tests against the division leader they failed (won't give the point total), and they have proven time and time again this season to have trouble executing down the stretch. If that sounds like "an agenda" then I'm sorry – to me it sounds like stating factual truth. Brian even mentioned those same weaknesses in his summary.

            I think you guys are getting hung up on the Peitrus thing – I hope the guy is alright of course like we all do, and maybe his injury played more of a factor tonight than I realize. But that doesn't excuse last place in the NBA in rebounding, getting pounded by the Sixers 2 weeks ago by over 30 (ops can't mention point totals), the road losses to bad teams last week, and overall lack of execution at the end of games. That didn't all happen this season because Peitrus was going to get hurt on March 23rd and they all were sad all season because of it ya know?

          • Luke Walker

            Also I'm glad you think my post "wasn't that bad." Super welcoming over here 🙂 I guess I just view fandom a little differently than some of you. I'm a fan like I am a parent. I'm proud as hell of my daughter, always, but if she is late to class and gets a F on her test you're right I'm going to call her out on it. Just like I do my teams. Doesn't mean I don't love my daughter because I don't buy her a toy for getting a F…. just like it doesn't mean I don't love my Cs when I state some trouble facts about their performance after some disappointing games.

          • I can't help but wonder why you're here making so many aggressive statements. Perhaps you have something to prove. It sounds like you're a really impressive, wealthy, successful person in real life, so good job with all that.

            This is a blog comments section. No one is paying you or patting you on the back for how overwhelmingly you make your point. That being said, I hope you stick around, because clearly you have an intelligent outlook on the team.

            We're all down about the loss, and more importantly about MP. Soften up your tone and you'll probably make more friends.

          • Luke Walker

            That's 2 responses now, one asking if I've got a hidden agenda and one asking if I've got something to prove. LOL I'm just trying to chat some b-ball guys! It's a message board, absolutely zero to prove… I enjoy chatting Cs and since I read this blog so much I thought I'd start jumping in on the comments. Look I tell it like I see it, but I'm not rude, I don't swear at people, I'm polite, and I back up my opinions with examples and stats. I always welcome people to do the same. I'll try and stick around for a bit and chat ball with y'all but hopefully people just chill a bit with attacking anyone who does slurp the Cs every move. Doesn't mean I don't love em.

          • jujubean

            I honestly don't see the problem with your initial post, Luke. Like you said, you're just stating factual truth. You're just a different kind of fan, the kind that has the ability to put the passion aside and have an objective opinion about the real situation of a team. Now there are more die-hard fans who just can't stand to hear painful truths about their team, and I can understand that of course. What you did in your post is more of a journalist statement than a fan post. Yes it was somewhat negative, but the cold numbers you used to support your point also give important information about the Cs weaknesses. Stats are one thing, but chemistry is another one, and at the end of the day this is maybe the biggest concern this year. There is not enough chemistry between the players.

          • Sean

            As far as I understand it, the problems people had with Luke's initial post (and all of his posts afterwards), have nothing to do with the basketball side of things. Only the most optimistic of fans will say we're a serious contender. And the things that were pointed out are poignant and "to be determined" if they'll smooth themselves out in the playoffs (not good at closing out games, inconsistency from their starters, etc.)

            But when you start a post with #perspective, saying "Oh I totally agree with that, but not because of what you said… because of THIS". That just comes across as sort of "dick" ish, particularly because it seemed clear that Luke felt he was the only person who reads this blog or these threads who has any sense of reality and perspective.

            And then follow that up with a #reality tag, you're not inviting people to discuss anything. You're here to drop your wisdom and knowledge, and bow out. And then sticking around to someone's misguided comment of "who are you?" with the ownership comment? Have you seen the movie Dodgeball? Ben Stiller's character… that's how he talks in it. And nobody likes that guy.

            Look, Luke, if you were here to chat basketball with other knowledgeable fans, you'd treat them with the expectation that they're knowledgeable, and therefore make comments that are open, supportive, and critical.

            Using the "father" and "fan" analogy… just as you wouldn't walk into a room full of fathers and start saying "wow you guys seriously lack perspective, do you realize how much your kid sucks?", you don't post on a blog and say "You guys need perspective or a reality check that this team is not good for these reasons". It's rude, assumes you're the only one with all of the answers, and definitely doesn't invoke mutual conversation and debate.

            Look, I don't think Luke's actually a rude person at heart. Nor are his points dumb. But to be surprised by the reactions of the people to your comments, and then saying nobody is hospitable? Slow down a bit, breath, and then come to the table to discuss and not to preach or teach.

            Just my two cents.

          • Luke Walker

            You're right, clearly I was the problem. I'm posting my opinions, in a respectful way, and I get the response "get the F U C K" out. Yea I'm the one who should slow down a bit haha. Whew good to see my good, honest critique of the Celtics is too much, but telling new comers to "get the F U C K out" is acceptable. Hard for me to take that serious right there. Besides Sean to be quite honest… I'm here to chat basketball. Not win a popularity contest. I tell it like it is – if someone agrees that's awesome, if they don't that's awesome too.

          • Sean

            Oh, I'm not supporting CelticsBIG3 by any means. Whoever it was clearly was agitated and didn't help the situation. I'm pointing out to you that what you might have seen as a "respectful" way was actually subtly disrespectful.

            And if you're here to chat, chat. I get that you're not here to win a popularity contest. But be honest, who wants to chat with people who subtly disrespect and belittle you?

            Telling it like it is would be saying "What I see here on the HUB is a lot of folks commenting as if the Celts are favorites to win or have a great possibility of winning in the playoffs. I agree with the previous poster, some perspective is needed… but I think he misses the point. We need to step back and see this team for what it truly is: …." then lay out your points.

            That's forward, to the point, says why you're posting in the first place (to give perspective and suggest that thinking we'll compete in the playoffs is going to lead to disappointment).

            I'm here to chat about basketball too. But sometimes we need to meta-chat, to make sure that people can actually continue to respectfully chat about basketball, and not react with comments like "get the F U C K out with your negativity".

            And lastly, I would never put the blame entirely on any one person. You just seem to be actively responding to posts, AND you were insinuating that one person's "get out" was "I see the lovely Boston hospitality is in full effect haha."

            Point being: You want to just chat about basketball? then just chat about basketball. Leave the peripherals and subtle jabs off the table.

      • tbunny

        19 games left and they are one game out of fourth place. Like Doc says, standings don't matter today. They matter on the last game of the season. If we lose Pietrus that really hurts but with him I think this team was starting to put it together. They aren't Miami or Chicago and no one pretends they are. But I believe they can and will compete to the end. There's way too much experience and pride for them not to. And I will enjoy watching them do so.

      • Sean

        Now to respond to your actual basketball/fan-perspective points…

        What you're saying is that this year's Celts clearly don't have "it". Well, what would you define as "it"?

        Because if "it" equals grit and determination and veteran swag, I think we've got that.

        If "it" equals consistently high level of play and mistake-free ball with plenty of sharing and dominating opponents, I think you're right, we don't have that.

        If "it" equals heart and an identity, I think we have that identity.

        When it comes to being a slightly above .500 club with the 7th seed, you're mostly right. That's what we are, and we can't be surprised when we bow out of the playoffs.

        But we've also seen flashes of brilliance from this group. When it comes to the slowed-down schedule of the play-offs, we turn out to be an opponent for any team to take seriously.

        I think to a man the blog publishers and people who comment on the Celts think we're due for a second-round exit. Regardless of what happens, I'm anticipating a rewarding fan experience. I also dread us looking dead and not playing inspired ball (we've shown we can do that). So, it'lll be a fun watch.

        Here's to hoping that Rondo tears it up a la the Bulls-Celts series and his triple double average.

  • High Rollers

    Yeah, but Luke, I’m a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan. Did you catch last year’s MLB postseason and World Series? #winners

    • High Rollers

      But to keep it in the hoops world, remember the last lockout season? Eighth seed was in the finals. Make it to the dance, you give yourself a chance.

    • Luke Walker

      Haha did I catch the STL Cards in the postseason? Ugh yea just a bit 🙂 My teams are the Cs, the Cards, and the Lions. I was in the first row for both game 2 and game 7 of the World Series this year in STL. I was also at Game 5 of the World Series in 2006 when they won it. I was in the Garden the last time the Cs played in the Finals too. I'm a fairly hard core sports fanatic to say the least 🙂 That's why guys (or girls?) like CelticsBIG3 swearing at me like he's a "real" fan make me chuckle. Look I love the Cs dearly, go to more games than guys like CBIG3 even though I don't even live in MA and watch every second of every game. That doesn't mean I have to put on blinders though. This Cs team has been sentimental for a lot of us, but I think fans would be wise to look at the Cs objectively and be prepared for the postseason. The Cs are a .500 team, like their record states, and if they go up against a motivated LeBron and the rest of the Heatles in the first round? Let's just say I won't be buying plane rides and game tickets for that series 😉

      • lakershater13

        If the Cs play the Heat you wont buy plane tickets? Real fan?

        • Luke Walker

          I'll watch the games, of course, and be glued to them… but buy plane tickets? No. Must be you are though and if so have a great time. Miami is a fun town 🙂

          • Luke Walker

            Oh by the way, it looks like I was not customary in my response to you… being nice and all. From the looks of it around here I'm supposed to end my posts by questioning your ability to be a fan. That's seems to be the customary way of ending a comment correct? So hope you have a fun time in Miami – it's a great town and gotta love Miami beach. Oh and…. ugh…. you have the word "lakers" in your name so you must not be a real fan!! There is that now more acceptable to read?

          • lakershater13

            Yep your right. Having Lakers in my name that is…LakersHATER13…makes me a fake fan. Well that aside i would just like to thank you for taking time out of your successful lifestyle to blog on Celticshub. I personally will believe in the Celtics in the playoffs until they pick up loss number 4 or until they put banner 18 up. I know this isnt 2010 but they were a 500 team that made the finals. Have some faith.
            Also you say your not from MA and when I call you out on not buying tickets for a Miami series you only talk about Miami being a fun town. Boston will have home games as well…
            Oh and did you catch the 04 world series? Maybe front row?

          • Luke Walker

            That's totally cool for you to believe in the Celtics until loss #4 in the playoffs – seriously that's awesome. Doesn't make you any better or worse as a fan. I just like to view my team a little more objectively and support it with stats and reasoning in a supportive way. Why can't both exist? I think my viewpoint is just a little more "Danny Ainge" a little less "normal rabid fan."

      • CelticsBIG3

        I don't live in MA and how the hell do you know how many games I go to? You step in here and start bragging about your high profile photography job then start talking about how many games I go to as if you could have any idea of this.

        • Luke Walker

          Hahah I start bragging? You said "who are you?" And I answer your question and you tell me I'm bragging. I even put in there what difference does it make. Wow. You can't decide what you want. The tough part about boards like this and seeing people like you so mad and pissed off at life. Just chill and talk some Celtics in a civil way man… all good.

          • CelticsBIG3

            I'm not pissed off at life bro, you just come in guns hot for the first time posting, relax man.

          • Luke Walker

            I'm as relaxed as it gets, and have been in all my posts. You're the one swearing at people and using the F word. No need for that. We're all grown adults with a passion for the Cs. Let's just keep it civil whether we agree or disagree…. especially if the other person is posting supporting facts and examples.

          • CelticsBIG3

            Well good then. Here here, fresh start status

  • Lantrell Walker

    Good news is that Pietrus won't need to be admitted to a hospital, they'll just keep him overnight & run some more tests on him. Very encouraging to hear. As for the loss to the Sixers, think of it as a Mario Kart race, the Sixers left a red shell on the track & knocked us back a little, the C's may be behind right now, but there's still another lap to go.

    • High Rollers

      Good call, Lantrell. Lots of laps.

  • I_Love_Green

    Man I hope Petrius is gonna be alright. Dude's been great off the bench this year, and you can tell he really loves being here. Don't want it to end for him on an injury like that.

  • lakershater13

    Not sure how MP gets a B here…he was +12. When Philly got within 4 he had a huge dunk to put the Cs up 6 and then he went to the bench right after they went up by 8 in the second qtr. When he came back in it was tied and after about a minute in the game he gets fouled. He was very productive. What hurt the Cs the most was having Allen and MP out. While MP was in there he really spread the floor. He isnt the best 3pt shooter but he makes you cover him opening lanes to the hoop for Rondo. I felt the rest of the game with no deep threat the Cs spacing was terrible.

  • Morpheus

    I hope Pietrus is ok, we need him right about now.

  • felix

    all that matters is that pietrus is ok. I was totally in shock – and i am sure the players were as well. it certainly affected them, the meltdown in the late third was no coincidence.
    The only thing that bothered me in the second half was PP not demanding the ball more. And Rondo shoulda shot more. And Bass needs to rotate on D, this is just so awful and makes all of KG's efforts worthless!!!
    As for the rebounding conversation above – well, the C's are a bad rebounding team because they only have ONE good rebounder on their team- KG that is. It's not a matter of attitude, they just don't have rebounders at the 4 or 5 position.
    what is most frustrating about this season is the injury bug. Heck, Ray should have been on the floor tonight, we could have used the experience of o'neal in the post and wilcox would have been running in the third with lobs from Rondo.
    And Bass just looks akward everytime he drives to the basket. he should stick to his beautiful j
    then again – it's not like the sixers, hawks or pacers are that much better. for all that's happened this season, it is only a couple of games in the standings! don't forget that celtic fans!

  • felix

    oh,and i forgot Green for the injury list, of course. C's are haunted.
    Hollins looked ok on the floor, because, well because……he was tall.

  • AussieCeltic

    HAHAHA! I just read thus whole comment thread and, well, that was fun! Luke Walker and the guys had some good times here. LOL.

  • High Rollers

    I just wonder if perhaps it’s a little more helpful as a player to hear your fans yelling “Beat LA!” or “Beat Miami!” from the stands or the street rather than “I calculated your PER all by myself and it’s God awful!”

    Aren’t sports all about transcending limits and boundaries and doing amazing, memorable things after hard work through adversity? Why should that attitude stop with the players? How does anyone ever break through and reach the mountaintop by sticking to their “realistic” expectations, if those expectations are for the most part based on numbers crunchers and generalized assumptions? Just a few thoughts.

    Glad to hear through the grapevine that MP’s on his way home. Will continue prayin’ for him to make a full and fast recovery. His brains look shook up pretty good, but those doctors are fantastic nowadays. Get him rested, tested and back out there slammin’ on 7 footers.

    Go C’s! All the way, baby!

  • Sophomore

    The Cs' weaknesses were exposed against a taller, younger, more physical team. In the third quarter, even when the Celtics were scoring, they were always hitting jumpers. Meanwhile the Sixers were manufacturing layups and dunks. While the Celtics never got more than one shot at the rim, the Sixers got two and three chances. Worst of all, Jrue challenged our bigs and scored. You can't win in the long run if you have to play that way. You just can't.

    The only matchup advantage we had was when Stiemsma played Brand straight up, and Brand let his ego get the better of him and tried to hoist jumpers over the top. I loved that. But any time they passed and worked to their athleticism and passing, they manufactured a great scoring chance.

  • lucidsportsfan

    Thankfully it looks like Pietrus is going to be OK. Man, the C's bench has just been decimated by freak occurrences though… http://www.lucidsportsfan.com/2012_03_01_archive….

  • tbunny

    I was touched by the way KG was talking to Pietrus while he was on the floor. I know KG gets a rap as a punk but he's got a big heart and I love to watch him play.

  • Anthony

    Bass did not deserve a B-. He missed a number of open jumpshots and tried to force a few drives to the basket. He was horrible defensively, on pick-and-rolls and on help defense. Elton Brand hit so many 12-15 footers, he looked like an All-Star and Bass.

    Rondo's grade is also questionable. His defense was also pretty bad. Although he had 17 assist, his control of the tempo in the 2nd half was bad. He brought the ball up slowly and forced a few passed that led to turnovers at a time when Philly was making their run. With Bradley out, Lou Williams was able to get going.

    The Celts played pretty well in the 1st half and while it's certainly understandable to come out a bit slow after the Pietrus injury, the strength of this team is the veteran leadership.

    Lastly, why is Dooling even playing? What does he offer that Etwaun doesn't?