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Obliterated: Celtics 96, Kings 118

The Celtics are a bad basketball team.

In years past, the Celtics have played poorly, taken games off, and had bad losses. In the end, however, they still beat really good teams and took care of most of them bad ones. It was more about how the Celtics were pacing themselves because they had old legs. Or the Celtics just didn’t respect their opponent and in the end it didn’t matter because they would be in the playoffs and other teams wouldn’t be.

This year is completely different. The Celtics can’t defend. They can’t score. They can’t keep up with young teams despite the addition of young, athletic players like Courtney Lee and Jeff Green. They have absolutely zero identity. They started the year trying to go small in order to compete with the Miami Heat and were woefully unsuccessful, so now they’re trying to go big by inserting Jason Collins into the starting lineup and moving Kevin Garnett back to the power forward position. It’s not working.

The Celtics have so many weaknesses- so many holes- it’s hard to know how to begin to suggest fixes. Take tonight’s loss for example. The Celtics are supposed to be able to protect the rim and they gave up 56 points in the paint. 12 of those points were scored by Isaiah Thomas, who’s generously listed at 5’9″. The Celtics couldn’t defend the three point line, allowing the Kings to shoot 50% from beyond the arc.

This road trip makes it seem like this team is lottery bound with a band of players that you can’t even sell off. There aren’t enough contenders out there willing to give up future firsts for players who play like the Celtics did on this road trip.

That’s it for now. Grades tomorrow. Spoiler alert: they will not be flattering.

  • someguyinsac

    Should have just stayed home,watched the football game tonight, and burned my tickets to this game. Would have been cheaper and more enjoyable than witnessing this debacle of a "team".

    • janos

      are you seen garnet or rondos talk cusins he is very good on rebound but you know is the dumb kid attitudes, if we can takes him on cheap deal is very good us?

      • someguyinsac

        If we can get him cheap, it would be awesome. That dumb kid attitude scares me because I read about it a lot here, but if he's cheap enough, then there might be hope KG and Rondo could change his ways in that respect.

        • janos

          Sac, are they say medias there why exactly is the bad guy? Is he like to much screw the women, or is drinking parties or is spend all money cars and fancies purchases or…? you know my daughter is have boyfriend and this guy is come over BEATS hadphones for ipods? for 300 dollars i am tell him he is not the music guy make records? idiot

          • someguyinsac

            He's just young and dumb, acts before he thinks, and spends more time saying "I'm sorry for …" than he does trying to correct the behavior that gets him there.

            A few years ago one of my boys thought he was the next big thing that way too, lucky for him he didn't quit his day job. =)

  • elroz

    Jeff Green – 5 for 17 from the field… 3 rebounds…31 minutes.
    C. Lee – 0-6.
    Bass – again, only an occasional factor.

    Here are your three young players – all stinking up the joint. The "Celtics need to get younger " idea has really backfired – some of the key young guys stink.

    Sully and Rondo are ok … but Green, Lee, Bass are just freaking useless. Maybe these three guys would do better under a different coach?

    Ugh…Danny Ainge might be the Celtics' version of Theo Epstein now – with his own Lackey, Crawford, and Lugo.

    • janos

      hi elroy is janos
      i am frustrate to but rondos number one guard nba celtics

  • Vince

    Yep, this team stinks.

    • dslack


      On the other hand, I disagree with Brendan's suggestion that there's something fundamentally different about this season from previous ones. Last season, when the team was 15-17, it felt just as hopeless. In 2010, when the team limped to the finish line, it looked like they were headed for a first-round defeat, not a near championship. The "they were pacing themselves" explanation is one that's clear in retrospect, not in real-time.

      • The Cardinal

        Those years, they weren't getting blown out in 70% of their losses, and they were in the plus column for points made as opposed to points allowed even when struggling. Who ya gonna believe? History or our own lyin' eyes?

  • james patrick

    We suck. But… at least we're sucking in December, not April.

    • Sophomore

      That's only because it isn't April yet. Give it time.

  • janos

    I am not understand this perform

    for xhristmases time they are destroy team of Nets compete conferences. then is go west for shit? 3 games loose by 69 or so point? 2 points rondos? in older times warrior/clipper not beat celtics – what is change? i am need somebodiy here explaine me this games becase I am not take the time off work christmas settle in for this shit? I am frustrrate now, not happy and honest is piss off right now. thank you.

    • High Rollers

      Hey, janos.

      Clippers? High quality group. Warriors? Same. Kings? Young and talented if ill-managed and circuslike. They win a lot at home.

      C's? Third game in four nights on opposite coast with banged up floor general, no backup pg, no honey badger starting shooting guard (yet), no good fit at starting pf (cuz Ticket should be playing C), a solid rookie rebounder who gets rookie calls and makes rookie mistakes and can't make up for it with sheer height (cuz he doesn't have it… but you still gotta love 'im), a hybrid head case in the middle of a difficult life and career transition (easy to love the guy but his game is infuriating), a frustrated coach trying to stay a contender in a season of transition…

      The list of Celtic headaches could reach around the globe a couple times. But basketball, at the end of the day, is basketball. Nobody knows that better than good ol' #0. He's that green square that's been absent from the Boston Rubik's Cube since last playoffs.

      Unless these guys have really started to despise each other.

      • Phil

        Careful, High Rollers, the negative wave is huge right now. Those of us who believe in the true savior, his holiness, Avery Bradley have to watch our heads.

        • High Rollers

          No worries, Phil. You and I both know the holiness of Bradley is his humility. The kid just plays. For a team so hung up on itself, could there be a better elixir?

          And then there's KG. Period, point blank he'll drag this crew to the playoffs if he has to. And from there we all know how it works. No matter what anybody says in December.

      • High Rollers

        '"Nobody cheering; ain't no lights on us and I love this right now. This is where all the plastic people melt right here."- #Celtics KG'

        Reason #572 why Kevin Garnett is the best. dude. ever.

        He'd follow Doc through a wall, and I'd follow him.

        Let the plastic people melt. Save the despising for them.

        • Josh_5

          mmmm chicken noodle soup for my soul.

      • janos

        thank you for reply me and best new years to your family rollers

        • james patrick

          you too janos. happy new year!

        • High Rollers

          Same to you, janos. Hope it's good.


    the celtics are done. :)

    • janos


  • Final FOE

    If Bradley comes back and we still suck,, trade his ass too. We need a big guy and our shorter SGs are gettin shot all over,, contested or not. Danny Ainge I wish da fans could vote on your future.

    • dslack

      Yeah, trade his ass! Who cares that he just had double shoulder surgery and hasn't played competitive ball in the better part of a year? If he has a poor shooting game, ship his ass out of here!

      (In case it's not clear, I'm being sarcastic. Maybe trading Bradley is a good idea, maybe not — and of course whether it's a good idea depends largely on whom the trade would net in return … but the decision shouldn't be made on the basis of how Bradley or the team plays in his first few games back, when he probably won't be the same player that he'll be after a few months or more.)

  • Jim

    The write up was spot on. There are huge problems with this roster with no easy fixes in sight. I wish we still had the Steamer blocking shots . I think it was a mistake letting him go. It is going to be a long season.
    I am fast becoming a Clipper fan. It is nice to see them becoming a force after all those sad years. They remind me so much of our last championship year when we seemed to beat everyone.

    • Phil

      Stiemsma's averaging a 2 and 2 in Minnesota. Using half of the midlevel on him would've been the second worst move of the offseason. He's not even a good defender despite his blocked shots.

      There are problems on this team, and none would be fixed by a crappy backup center who couldn't get off the bench for this same exact roster in the playoffs last year.

    • janos

      hi Jim is Janos
      Brayden the very good web manger and write almost always correct ones. Whole team on current is good other but Rick that guy terrible you can do a skip his articles

  • Phil

    This is a post that needs saved and revisited at the end of the year. If they do pull their same old end of season run, it would be a good laugh. Of course, if this continues all year, there will be plenty of excoriation going on, so it probably wouldn't be necessary.

    This is definitely one of, if not the lowest point of the KG era. The thing is, the excuses are there for them to lose these games; They're missing guys, they're on a west coast trip with two of the games being against good teams. Rondo was absolutely not his self tonight, the team probably would've been better off without him. There's just no excuse to lose three straight by 18+. That shows a lack of caring that has to drive even the teams' staunchest defenders crazy. I wasn't bothered by last night's loss, but this one really got to me. Show a 'little' pride at least. The wide open threes for the Kings in the fourth was as damning as it gets for the Celtics.

    I'm still refraining from saying anything definitive though; internet culture today is to make definitive statements at every checkpoint or even every game and instantly forget what you said the next day. I'd rather adhere to what we said before the year and wait until halfway to see what the team really is. Is this stretch a blip suffered without two of your three best players, or is it more of what we'll see in the future?

    • dslack

      Good post, Phil.

  • CelticsBIG3

    I think I feel the worst for Avery Bradley. He's going to be coming into that game against the Grizzlies on Jan. 2nd with the weight of the team falling on his shoulders. Now even CSNNE is on the wagon, with graphics touting his return to action, and even his own commercial about his return that I saw tonight. Lots of pressure on AB-0 when he gets back on the floor in a few days. What is this team going to do to fix this mess? I never envisioned this at the beginning of the year. How has Bass regressed so much? Why did we give Jeff Green a multi-year contract? Why can't Doc Rivers find the appropriate way to utilize Terry? Why is Rondo playing so disinterested; whats with the awful careless entry passes (LOTS OF THEM)? (This worries me A LOT because throughout his short career he's never had to deal with the frustrations of genuinely BAD basketball) What is a lineup that can provide the Celtics with offense? Rondo, Bradley, Green, Sullinger, and Garnett? Is it time PP34 plays off the bench against second unit players? What are we supposed to do? This is all so confusing.

    • Phil

      I really want to see what Rondo/Bradley/Pierce/Sully/KG can do. That lineup with Bass instead of Sullinger is what carried the Cs late last year, and I think Sullinger is already better than him. That relegates Terry to sixth man, takes a lot of shot making/taking pressure off of Pierce, and there's no real hole anywhere on that line, offensive or defensive.

      That lineup has to be the endgame here, right?

      • CelticsBIG3

        Hoping things improve with Avery Bradley as he is definitely a game changer, but it's hard to be optimistic right now when the rest of the pieces around the team are not fitting together. I expect our starting group to improve tremendously defensively, but again what happens when KG has to leave the floor? KG should NOT be having to put this much work in this early in the season only for the team to lose by 20 to the Sacramento Kings.

        • Phil

          My only argument there is that the bench last year was bad too (just paid a lot less.) The ceiling for this group's second unit is higher than last year's, even if this one routinely makes me want to punch a wall.

          Wear and tear on KG is a major concern going forward. I have no hope of Green proving a capable 4, so Bass needs to get back to his level of last year, Wilcox needs to stay healthy, and Sullinger needs to play more. I'm confident that last one will happen, the others…

      • dslack

        I basically agree, although I think Bass is a better defender than Sullinger.

    • janos

      hi Big3
      I am go to the jobs tomororw and first Jan. so am wish happy new years to your family today. is janos.

      • CelticsBIG3

        Happy New Years Janos!! Hopefully 2013 ushers in a different Celtics team!

  • Mark

    It's about time the obvious was finally said out loud. The Celtics have been a bad team for a number of weeks now but everyone has been hiding behind what the Celtics did in years past.

    I saw it early on in the season that something just didn't look right with this team. The facts are the pieces outside of Rondo, KG and Pierce do not fit that well, including Bass, even though he was here last season.

    I'm torn with this team because reality is they won't make much noise in the playoffs as constructed. A trade will come this season but there isn't a player available the C's could get that would tip the scales in their favor against Miami or even the current Knicks. Better to avoid mediocrity in the playoffs and roll the dice with the lottery but that could very well drive KG and Pierce into retirement. If that happens and say Ainge does get Cousins in a trade the veteran core that we assume would keep him "in line" would be gone.

    Even though I put alot of blame at the feet of Ainge for what's going on I don't envy his position right now because the only two options are keep the team as is or "blow it up". Peripheral moves/trades would be meaningless at this point. Gotta go big for the future and the present.

  • someguyinsac

    Isaiah did a great impression of Moses, every time he went to the basket the seas of green parted for him.

    • Phil

      In defense of the Celtics, Isiah Thomas is a Hall of Fame point guard, one of the best all time. Getting beaten by him isn't that bad, right?

      That is who they were going against, right? Sure looked like it.

      • someguyinsac

        Sure looked that way, must have been a time warp – alternate personality thing or something tonight.

  • NZNICK33

    It’s obviously all a ploy. If we APPEAR to suck now, then it makes our 2013 pick all the more appealing, thereby generating a greater return in a potential trade. Or if we stand pat, we get a higher pick than we would otherwise.

    Genius. The rest of the NBA will all fall prey to such expert strategy and the C’s will be victorious again.

    And might I add, very generous of Lee, Green, Terry and Bass to compromise their career stats, trade value and future earning potential by all playing far below expectation for the sake of the C’s master plan.

    • janos

      i am not agree this asses nick is not reason post

  • DaDiVill

    I think it's time to FIRE! Doc Rivers it's not working anymore, we need a new voice in the locker room. It's sad that we have to wait for Avery Bradley!! (are we serious) to turn things around!

    • Sophomore

      The coach is not the problem.

  • Kafel

    Collins is wasting minutes only! Give them to another players, besides last year this team sucked at rebounding and made it almost to the finals!
    Go back to last year's starting lineup with KG at 5, Bass or Sully at 4 ( I think that Bass needs more playing time to regain his shot and confidence ) Jeff Green at 3 ( same thing, plus PP looks really old right now ), healthy Bradley at 2 and of course Rondo at PG. Terry, Lee, PP from bench could be great spark at offensive end.

  • Zee

    It's official. We suck… really bad. No, we really suck… really bad. Like, really sucking. Like for real. We really sucking suck, really bad. For real… Like sucking, for real. We suck. Like on a warm winter's day kind of sucking. Really. Bad. We suck. For real. Like.. really. We suck. For real. Like no presents on Christmas kind of suck. That bad kind of sucking. For real. Like, really. LOL!

  • Danny

    Hate to say it again but there comes a point where you can’t deny it anymore. This team is not good. It has huge flaws like an interior defense you could drive a truck through. They don’t defend three pointers well. Hell we are even having problems inbounding the ball which is about as low as it gets. This team is playing poorly and without any heart at all. Bradley’s return will help but you can’t put all the weight on him. This is supposedly a veteran battle tested team there is no excuse for 3 straight ass kickings. Sadly young atheltic teams just run all over us. Honestly at this point I think we might have trouble beating Duke.

  • diehardceltic

    I am glad I am hiding behind CPA exams because I would be DEPRESSED beyond recall!!!! I don't even know what to think anymore!

  • jamie

    Time to blow it up. Danny needs to be a seller at the trade deadline.

  • IBleedGreen

    I really want to see Rondo get traded. It would be interesting to see what he can do on another team, and what Celtics can do with a point guard who can score.

  • tbunny

    In the last three games the Celtics played competitive basketball for about 90 seconds total.

    Doc said something blatantly obvious last night, but something the team is obviously not getting: Winning is hard. Winning one game in the NBA is hard. No matter the opponent. You have to play hard.

    • IBleedGreen

      Not playing hard is not an excuse, we're just not that good. Period.

      • tbunny

        not playing hard is just one problem i know.

  • IBleedGreen

    Why the hell is Jeff Green always trying to post up? I am so sick of it. He's a slasher and spot-up shooter that's all. Doc, know your players and use them the right way.

  • hydrofluoric

    Jason Terry and Courtney Lee and Brandon Bass were all good players last year. Why are they sucking this year, and why aren't we allowed to call for Doc's head about them?

    • Phil

      Because most fans understand that Doc can't physically help them make shots? Those three have all been missing 'their' shots all year. What more can Doc do besides getting them open shots?

    • Josh_5

      Read Phil's comment. You can't call for a coach's head when his guys are shooting like dog crap. Are you serious hydro? You look foolish right now. Doc's body of work speaks for itself.

  • new year 2013

    shmeltics are contenders my ass

  • CelticsBIG3

    I love how this post gets 58 replies, but when we play well nobody says anything. lol

    • Zee

      exactly. we say nothing when we win. as in, NOTHING is said – period. why? we know we still suck. the win means nothing to us. what do we want to see? consistency.