This Celtics team, as currently constituted, is not a championship team. That can mean a couple of different things. It could mean that the C’s need new players or it could mean that they just need a change of attitude. I doubt losing like this- in double overtime and relinquishing a 27 point lead- will do anything to help the atmosphere of the locker room. Speaking of, that is probably the last place I’d want to be right now, but I also get debilitating second hand embarrassment.
Every single young and athletic team in the league should go through their schedule, circle the Celtics, and think to themselves, “we’ll win if we run.” The Celtics can’t outrebound younger, athletic teams and they don’t have a prayer of defending guys that leak out in transition. The Hawks just out ran the Celtics in the second half. I don’t even want to think about Sunday’s game against the Heat.
If I were a video coordinator for the Celtics, I would burn any evidence I had of the first half, save for maybe Atlanta’s three point shots. Atlanta nearly shot themselves out of this game by missing wide-open three pointers and the Celtics capitalizing on a poor shooting night. I’d even go as far as to isolate the third quarter and highlight every instance of lackluster defense, poor closeouts, and moments of bad effort. It’s painfully obvious that the Celtics thought they would coast to win this game. To make matters worse, this wasn’t an example where the Celtics realized that the Hawks weren’t going to lay down too late to do anything about it. They realized it in the 3rd quarter, and could not stop them. Instead, they built another lead in the fourth quarter and began coasting again.
The Celtics have zero in the way of late game execution. The Paul Pierce Isolation play has gone from a bad option to a suicide mission.
It’s such a shame to waste good offensive performances from Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, and Avery Bradley. We’ll get into that more in the grades, which will be up tomorrow.