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Losing Ugly: Celtics 81, Sixers 82

Philadelphia 76ers 82 FinalRecap | Box Score 81 Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce, SF 37 MIN | 2-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | -3
Pierce played pretty good defense on Andre Iguodala but was otherwise invisible. Nine shot attempts and two free throws in 36+ minutes is not enough against any team, let alone the C’s second round opponent.
Brandon Bass, PF 24 MIN | 5-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | 0
Okay, he’s not back at all. I still love the spacing he’s getting but something is preventing him from knocking down shots he made with regularity during the regular season. Whether it be mental or physical, it is still very real.
Kevin Garnett, PF 35 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +16
We couldn’t expect Garnett to score 30 every game and definitely not when he only has 12 shot attempts. Despite the drop off in points, KG is still controlling the game with his defense, energy, and rebounding. After last game, Garnett talked about feeding off the crowd and he certainly did that tonight.
Rajon Rondo, PG 39 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 13 AST | 8 PTS | -3
From the very tip, Rondo seemed content to toy with the Sixers. He passed up wide open lay ups for assist attempts and it ended up hurting the Celtics big time. He messed around and nearly got a triple-double but there was too much “messing around” and not enough “making the right basketball play.”
Avery Bradley, SG 20 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +18
Really hard to knock Bradley for his game tonight. He dislocated his shoulder again and still came back and hit a huge three to keep it close late. Along with his customary ball pressure, Bradley gets a B+ for his troubles.
Ray Allen, SG 37 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -6
Allen struggled early with his shot and lost Jrue Holiday on defense a couple of times. He battled through it and knocked down some big shots, attacked the basket, and had one huge defensive play on Andre Iguodala. 37 minutes is a lot for a hurt player but maybe he’s just getting healthier.
Keyon Dooling, PG 12 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -2
Dooling didn’t do anything bad tonight, but he definitely didn’t do anything great either. Still, he’s an active defender and provides energy for nine minutes a game. Add in a three pointer or two and you have yourself a backup combo guard.
Ryan Hollins, C 14 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -13
Hollins finished two spectacular alley-oops, which is about the only thing you can/should expect from him in terms of contributions. He’s a 7 footer that had 0 rebounds in 7 minutes.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 12 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +2
It was a pleasant surprise to see Pietrus knock down those two threes. The first one was a prayer. The second looked like a confident curl and follow through. His defense was lacking sorely tonight as he routinely got stuck on picks and committed two fouls in 11 minutes. He made up for it by being really active on the glass. It doesn’t really show in the box score, but he was getting his hands on some balls.
Greg Stiemsma, C 11 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -14
Stiemsma played much better than he has been lately, but his defense left much to be desired. His timing on his block attempts is all off and he’s just fouling anyone who comes near him. I love the jumpers he took tonight even though he didn’t make them. He was open and he showed during the regular season that he can knock them down.
  • ripsonics

    pretty bad loss. IF we would have played like we did in the first six minutes, and in the last ten minutes, for the full game, we would have won. Barkley said it best – we are playing without emotion, passion or energy and just expecting this team to roll over and let us play.

    This game SHOULD wake us up, and I expect us to win the next three in a row – meaning Philly got its last W in the post season.

    Go C's

  • I_Love_Green

    Wanna hear a joke?

    Paul Pierce's energy and effort the last two games.

    • henry

      it's hard to keep the energy up when you're playing on one leg.

    • Phil

      People do realize that Pierce is being guarded by the best perimeter defender in the league not named Lebron, right? Its not the injury (though it doesn't help,) and its not energy. He's being guarded by a very good defender, and he's not good enough at this point of his career to score efficiently through him. Its going to be up to the other Celtics to make up for the scoring there, which was my concern coming into this series.

      • I_Love_Green

        Energy and scoring are not the same thing. His lazy turnovers, going through the motions on offense, and him just showing no emotions at all is frightening.

      • Anthony

        That's a good point that Iggy is a great defender but why were the Celts trying to post Pierce and giving him ISOs, especially when he's on 1 leg?

        Missed the 1st half and wish I missed the 3rd quarter too. There was NOOOO passion or aggressiveness whatsoever in the 3rd. It wasn't even like Philly was playing well, they were just playing harder. 21-11 is unacceptable.

        Although I thought the ref called the Celts' side a bit tighter, the calls were fair enough. Guess Doug Collins' complaints went in his favor.

        I fully expect the Celts to take at least 1 if not both of the next 2 games in Philly.

    • Josh

      I agree with I_Love_Green 100000%.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Garnett is giving absolutely everything he has along with a handful of others. I can understand the Celtics trying to get Bass involved after Garnett had to do everything for the last two games, but when he misses nine f%$#ing shots in a row its time to look elsewhere. Yet they were still content to let him fumble the ball in the paint six freagin times. Pierce needs more touches and not in isolation sets. Ray Allen did everything he could do out there, Avery lego'd his shoulder back into place and did everything he possibly could. You've got to put the pieces into place. The last two games have not been a great effort from this team, and the total point deficit in two games is 2 points. Turn it on guys… At least we were screwed over with back to back playoff games like the Fakers are getting hit with this weekend.

  • jpbl1976

    We just couldn't get our energy — and more importantly, our offense — going in the middle portions of the game and Pierce was in one of those rare scoring funks of his. I haven't seen him this iffy on offense since he had to guard Lebron mostly by himself in the 2010 second round.

    That said, I was hoping for the C's to win it because a 2-game cushion would've allowed Doc to give Pierce, Allen and Bradley time to rest in Game 3.

    Now, I see Game 3 as a must-win and Pierce and the rest of the injured C's will have to wait for another day to rest their weary/creaky/beaten joints. Here's hoping for 3 wins in a row but it's looking more like Boston in 6.

  • James Patrick

    Sixers didn't beat us. We beat ourselves. We're playing down to the competition. I was expecting a 10+ blowout tonight. Nothing to hang our heads about Celtic fans. I expect a full recovery game 3.

  • someguyinsac

    Hope KG's teammates realize they're riding their iron horse into the ground, everyone needs to step up their game play before that happens.

  • Phil

    Honestly, I was gonna come on here and complain about Bass' grade regardless of what he got. He was the reason the Celtics lost today. The Sixers game-planned around giving Bass whatever he wanted, and the Celtics obliged. Bass is a bad defender, and when he's not making his jumper, he's useless. I would give him credit for trying to drive after his eighth straight miss, but he got stripped every time anyway. Its gonna be hilarious when some bad team gives him a contract like Big Baby got./Rant over, I feel a little better.

    I really don't know what to say about this game, the Sixers made plays late, and the Celtics just weren't able to match. Looks like this is going six or seven now, which really hurts this teams' chances assuming they make the ECF.

    • Ryan DeGama

      All the Bass misses are making me think he's Glen Davis. Except Baby's a better defender.

      • Let's not forget that Bass shot 48% per 40 minutes from 16-22 feet during the regular season. He'll be back.

        • Ryan DeGama

          No, Jackson. We're going to forget that.

          • I_Love_Green

            No, DeGama. We will remember that.

        • dslack

          Just 48%. There's no "per 40 minutes" in his shooting percentage.

        • Phil

          Bass does have a reputation of wilting during the postseason though, which makes me very nervous that we might not be seeing that 48% any time soon. We saw early on how unstoppable the Cs looked when he was hitting shots, then conversely how bad they were when every possession ended poorly once he touched the ball. I'd gladly take 40% at this point, or anything near his season averages at this point. Right now Hollins is an upgrade because 4 on 5 on offense is better than 4 on 6.

          Either way, the fact that Bass could easily end up with more FGAs than KG going forward has to please the hell out of the Sixers.

    • Anthony

      I agree that Bass hasn't been the same since he came back from his injury but let's not lose faith. He was and still is one of the best trade/ acquisition of the season. If our view of AB can change so drastically, let's not do the opposite with Bass. He will play a big part in #18.

    • tbunny

      This is not all on Bass. He had a bad game and took too many shots but some other guys didn't quite show up either.

  • GowGow

    I'm glad we lost, this way we will actually start playing. Cs are too confident and that cannot happen.

  • JR99

    No question, Bass deserves a D or D-. Meanwhile, sixers were hitting their total-prayer shots… you know, the ones that go in less than <10% of the time? Arghh

    Avery is trying heroically to keep contributing. Kid's great. But BASS HAS GOT TO GO. Stick him on the end of the bench and give Pietrus and Pavlovich his minutes. Believe me, Pavs WILL NOT be worse than Bass on the offensive end, and a good deal better on defense.

  • ElRoz

    It is crazy how ineffective Bass is…probably this is the basketball that got him out of Orlando…now he is playing it here. Bass had more shots than KG or Pierce…and didn't do much with them.

    In any case I think the lack of practice time is showing on the Celtics….they get rest, but they don't practice. I think a practice tomorrow will help – they had about 3 days off between games and didn't practice. Maybe it is time to squeeze a practice in – 1/2 a practice for the starters and Ray; and a full one for the rest.

    Finally, it is hard to believe that Bass and Pierce are going to continue to play poorly on offense but Bass is making a believer out of me – you basically have 8 underwhelming performances from him for the 8 playoff games…he is NOT carrying his share of the load, and hasn't done it in a single playoff game.

    I'm also starting to believe that Pierce actually could continue being a non-factor on offense because if it is his knee, than why assume it will get better?

    But there is hope that both Bass and Pierce are going to come out strong and contribute in the next two games.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Hopefully Indy can win a few games to slow the Heat down a little.

    • Lantrell Walker

      They will, with Bosh out for probably the rest of the series, the bigs of Indy should have a much more easier time with the "bigs" of Miami.

  • janos

    Today very bad one. Son do bad morgage at work get trouble, not return voicemail on client to,

    then get my hour cut today and cannot go job tonight, money

    think s, is ok, watch celtic win on tv, but do a loose close then brayden make bad grade rondos. deserve

    today very bad.

    • JR99

      Today very bad

    • High Rollers

      It'll be okay, janos. Hope you get your hours back.

  • Lantrell Walker

    I said it in the 1st round & I'm gonna say again and probably many more times throughout the postseason: The playoffs are a chess match of adjustments. Checkmate, our move now.


  • Anthony

    I couldn't understand why Celts played the last 40 secs that way. I didn't think that Ray Allen shot wasn't the best option but even so, after the miss there was still 29 secs left. Why did Doc elect to foul after the clock was down to 15 sec? Why not let the defense see if they can make a stop? Or foul right after the Ray miss? I think that mismanagement cost the game more than the KG offensive foul call.

    • CelticsBIG3

      The foul was really bad. It gave Philly the ball back with 14.5 on the clock and reset their shot clock to 14 seconds essentially forcing the celtics to foul again in order to even see the ball again. I agree that we should have tried for the stop, as we would of had a little over 5 seconds to develop something on the other end. It couldn't have gone much worse anyway.

  • High Rollers

    Tonight’s consolation: Russell Westbrook’s post-game garb. Hoowa.

    Alright. Game Three. Philly. Wednesday. Play like Celtics and the rest will take care of itself. Not the cool Celtics. The real Celtics. Either way, it’ll be obvious.

  • Switcharoo

    In other news the Lakers got torched by OKC 90 to 119.. at least there’s something to feel good about.

    • Anthony

      I want the Fakers to get swept so Kobe can wipe the smug look off his face and Bynum can have more time to grow up. Fakers stink. Celtics rule!

      • Lantrell Walker

        Wouldn't you wanna have another crack @ them in the Finals again?
        I can't be the only one rooting for another Celtics-Lakers clash so that we can exact revenge, what sweeter way to supposedly end the Big 3's run the way it started by beating the Lakers one more time for Banner 18.


        • Hype

          Yes this way we get to see Ryan Hollins out-rebound Andrew Bynum

          • CelticsBIG3

            They asked Kobe last night in his press conference if they (the Lakers) could guard OKC, and he simply said "no", and the PR guy stopped the press conference.

        • Anthony

          Not really. If Fakers get to Finals it would only enhance Kobe's already overrated legacy. While I'm not saying that Kobe shouldn't be considered among the greats, I think he got bailed out many times by the likes of Shaq, Gasol, Bynum, and many refs. Also Bynum is just too immature to get rewarded with another Finals appearance.

          I was hoping Memphis could come out the west but unfortunately, CP3 and the Clips flopped their way to the next round. I still think CP3 is still a great player but watching that series made me lose respect for him with the amount of flops that he had. Guess that's what happens when you go Hollywood.

  • Agrajag

    Looking at the box score, two numbers stick out: Nine total free throw attempts and nine shot attempts for Pierce. Sounds like we've got to get the Cap'n to the hole.

  • CG12

    The thing that worries me about Bass is that it looks like his shooting issues aren't a random statistical fluctuation that you can be sure will come around at some point. He looks like he is short-arming his jumper and not getting the great elevation and extension he usually does, which tells me it is a mental thing. He just isn't playing with a lot of authority right now. But if he is playing he needs to take those shots, since that is pretty much all he brings to the table. If he isn't doing that, he gives you very little, and the Cs would be better served to simply play someone else.

  • CG12

    I'm very bitter about Avery Bradley's shoulder injury. He is one of the most critical guys on the team against this Sixers squad. The Cs need the athleticism and D to help slow up Philly's transition game and give the Celts some energy.

  • Marko

    I wish Doc would have left Pietrus in a little longer after he hit those two 3's instead of bringing Pierce back who was having an awful game.

    • Josh

      This is the dirty little secret nobody is talking about. As great of a coach Doc is, that was a huge and fatal mistake. You don't take out a guy who's hit 2 threes in a row for somebody with one leg shooting 2-9.

      • CelticsBIG3

        Thus is the saga of Doc Rivers. He ALWAYS goes with "his guys" down the stretch regardless of shooting performance. There was no way Pierce wasn't going to be in the game at the end; whether he had shot 2-9 or 9-9.

  • red

    Rondo plays like a good player on a bad team, but he happens to be on a good team, so disappointing, he is too selfish, and yes looking for assist can be a selfish thing.

  • Josh

    Someguyinsac said it well earlier here. This team is going to ride KG into the ground. It pisses me off because KG and Bradley are the only guys I see that seem to bring that professional intense mentality EVERY night. This is the playoffs. Somebody needs to tell Pierce and Bass that.

  • tbunny

    I don't know why they played so bad last night. Honestly it felt like one of their worst efforts. This is the first time all season I've actually been mad at them. I know they're hurt but the effort looked pitiful at times. And yet, somehow they only lost by 1. It's tough when it feels like they checked out of the second and third quarter entirely. Admittedly, Philly can hardly score, but they are taking the Celtics entirely out of their offense.

  • High Rollers

    Just remember, not long ago people had the nail in the C's Game 2 against Atlanta. And then Paul Pierce pulled it out with his teeth. I like our habit of rising from the dead. Which was the obvious state of our O last night. Only an offense that has somehow lost its pulse can so ruffle the Celtics' D. But that doesn't change the priority. Stops. Stops. Stops. Lou Williams? Stop. Andre? Stop. L.Allen? Stop. Stops. Stops. Stops. Then do you on the other end. A simple plan.

  • g

    Under a min, guys cutting to the wings, rondo misses the cuts, dilly dallys outside of the free throw line, takes a jump shot! Four point swing. Game over. Phillys tough, the capo is actually more hurt than we realize. If we all come together, give our knees to the capo, shoulders to AB, ankles to ray and confidence to Bass AND appreciation to KG – energetically speaking, we’re rollin’ through doug collins best doc impression of inspirational speaking and his toys, allday! I’m just sayin, take it or leave it fellas .. Energy is real, we are all beings of energy – period!

    • High Rollers

      Channel it, g. Hostile environment tomorrow night.

    • CelticsBIG3

      One thing I have noticed lately is Rondo not getting the ball to Ray on the wings anymore in transition on the break. It used to be that you could see the play developing at halfcourt where Ray would be jetting to the wing and you KNEW Rondo was going to get him the ball at the perfect time for a 3. Since Ray has been back playing, I don't think I've seen that play yet. Somebody has got to remind Rondo about that play. In short, that last sequence was terrible. I could hear Tommy Heinsohn from here in Connecticut yelling about walking the ball up and people standing around.

  • Jman

    Just run your offense through KG and penetrate.
    Make them commit fouls and they'll relax on their defense. As always if your shooting sucks for the night penetrate. KG who is hot(even hit the final 3 pointer with 1 second) is not getting touhes, then we're going to lose