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Streak Scratched: Bobcats 94, Celtics 91

Boston Celtics 91 FinalRecap | Box Score 94 Charlotte Bobcats

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Celtics were an Avery Bradley rolled ankle away from winning this game. Ramon Sessions hit a wide open jumper with 25 seconds to go after Bradley, post-ankle roll, couldn’t recover to challenge the shot. This loss is especially disappointing when you consider that the Celtics face the Bulls on Wednesday. The C’s would much rather be welcoming the Bulls to TDGarden while riding an 8 game win streak instead of losing to one of these worst teams in the league.
  2. All signs point to Leandro Barbosa being out for the rest of the season.  He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI tomorrow in Boston and declined to talk to the media after game. A. Sherod Blakely  of Comcast SportsNet is reporting that Barbosa left the arena limping but under his own power. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe has tweeted that the injury will likely end the guard’s season. The battle of the Beat Reporters has begun. I think we’re all hoping Blakely’s description is more accurate, however, it’s likely that they’re both right. And that sucks.
  3. The Celtics allowed Byron Mullens to completely go off. Mullens has 25 points through 3 quarters and finished the game with 18 rebounds. Letting a no-name dominate a game used to be a staple of the way the Celtics operated the regular season (remember Oleksiy Pecherov?!) but has been largely absent this season. Mullens isn’t exactly a no-name, but he’s not a 25 and 18 guy.
  4. Tonight was a game in which the Celtics needed Courtney Lee and Jeff Green to step up their production. Pierce, Garnett, and Terry were all exhausted and the C’s were still a bucket or two away from putting the Bobcats away.  Green answered the call and Lee was a relative no-show. I won’t go as far to say he’s become a liability (I mean, the Celtics have won seven of their last eight) but with Barbosa out, Lee playing up to his ability is needed now more than ever.
  5. The Bobcats are having a really down year. They’re 29th in offensive efficiency, 30th in defensive efficiency, and need wins where they can get them. While the Celtics spent their last seven games becoming the hottest team in the league, the Bobcats were being run out of gyms all over the nation. Despite the Celtics playing on the road after going seven rounds with the Nuggets at home, they still should have won. The Celtics held the lead for the majority of tonight’s game but failed to ever put the Bobcats away. Early on, it looked as though the C’s were convinced they would just out-talent the Bobcats instead of using superior execution and match-up advantages. For all the heroics the Celtics displayed last night, they slogged through just as much lazy basketball tonight. It’s important to keep in mind just how exhausted the C’s were to start this game, let alone finish it but it still doesn’t make losing a very winnable game to the Bobcats any easier to digest.
  • Phil725

    On one hand, the best case scenario for entering the playoffs is probably the 6th seed, and with the turds in front of them (and behind them,) it's not gonna take a killer regular season to get there. Every game doesn't matter as much as playing well when the playoffs starts does.

    That said, this was a very winnable game, as most games against the worst team in the league are. We're now a very tough game against the Bulls away from all of the trade rumors blowing up all throughout the all star break, and you have to wonder how games like tonight (and the injury,) will affect Ainge's thought process. I try to stay off the game to game roller coaster, but I felt way better three hours ago than I do now. I don't buy the back to back excuses at all; this was a really bad loss.

  • Anthony

    @Phil, best case scenario would be the 4th seed no? Had they won today's game, they would've only be 2 back going into Weds' game against the Bulls. You win that and suddenly, you're only 1 back going into the All-Star break. The real test is the road trip after the All-Star break. And all the trade rumors swirling will only make it more difficult.

    What a tough break for Barbosa. He was just starting to get minutes and mesh his game with everyone and now this.

    I'm pretty fed up with Bass and wish the Celts can trade him. He's just bringing nothing to the table and has been bad all season on both ends of the floor. You can cut some slack to AB, JGreen, Wilcox since they're coming back from surgery and Jet, CLee since they're new to the team. But what possible reasons are resulting in Bass' poor play? Any takers?

    • Phil725

      The NBA doesn't re-seed in the playoffs, right? I'm pretty sure they don't, which means that the 4 seed would mean going to Miami in round two. I'd like to avoid that matchup until the ECF if at all possible. It would also mean the Bulls (likely with Rose,) in the first round if they didn't pass Indy. I want nothing to do with that path.

      The sixth seed would mean going through the 2 and 3 seeds, and I'd say Indy, NYK is about as good of a path the Cs could hope for. Things could change from now to later of course, so I'm just going off how things are now.

      Totally agreed on the road trip too. Assuming we get through the trade deadline, that trip could set the tone for the whole second half of the year.

      Edit: Man, I'm looking at the post ASB schedule now, and it's really brutal.

      • Anthony

        You're absolutely correct. I was just thinking in terms of seeding and not the match-ups in the 1st round, 2nd round, etc. Sixth seed would be the best scenario.

        It's funny how all the talk about DA's aggressive nature as a GM but he give himself little flexibility with all these long term contracts. Who in the world would want Bass for 3 years?

        With the way JGreen has been playing lately, do you still think he is who he is? or do you see the upside of his all-around game?

        • Phil725

          I have a hard time criticizing the Bass contract too much. He's been worse this year than he's been since his rookie year. He's a proven limited player, but he's also playing well below his proven floor. It's a huge concern, but I don't really know how Ainge could've planned for that. The hindsight solution would've been to try and get him for some kind of two year deal, but it may not have been possible; he probably could've got a very similar deal somewhere else without too much of a problem. He was pretty good last year.

          As far as what the issue with him is, your guess is as good as mine. Content with a new contract, declining at an early age, extended slump he'll pull out of. Any of those could be it.

          I'm probably the wrong person to ask about Green, since I've been low on him since his time in OKC. I think who he's been the last few weeks is who he's capable of being. A useful bench player who will give you some big games flanked by underwhelming games. And he'll always leave you thinking there's a little more potential he's ready to unlock.

          I supported bringing him back for this year and next (it was with bird rights, so they couldn't have signed anyone else, and they were gonna be over the cap regardless,) but I also think that 9m price tag in 2015 and 2016 is a huge mistake that could end up really hurting this franchise long term. He's not a 9m dollar player, even by the most generous estimates.

          Edit: His numbers lately are eerily similar to his numbers in OKC. If he gets enough minutes, he'll give you points in the teens and not much else. That similarity isn't really a good thing when you're paying him so much because you expect him to improve though.

      • KillerGymRat

        Agree with you on the teams I'd like to face though I actually think a 7 seed is likely our best bet if the standings were the way they are now.

        We won't have home court regardless and NYK is an old team that we match up with pretty well. I don't really like facing Indiana in the first round (or at all really) but if we have to go through them then it would be better after a tough series against another young and athletic team like Atlanta, Brooklyn or even Chicago.

        And yeah, tonights loss sucked, especially when you see Chicago, Milwaukee and Indy all lost.

        It makes the Chicago game so much more important. It would be easy to forgive a let down against a good team after 8 straight wins.

  • I_Love_Green

    Barbosa is done for the year. Dooling anyone?

    • The Cardinal

      Nope. I didn't think Dooling was all that great last year (yeah, he hustles and is supposedly great in the locker room, but I didn't see it translating to the court). Truthfully, if Pietrus is released by Toronto at the trade deadline, I would take him over Dooling because he can provide depth at both the 2 and 3, and thrives best in a spread offense.

      However, I think now they really will need a point guard/ball handler type with the ability to drive, and that they will wait until after the trade deadline to see whether such a player is released, or else grab someone from the D-League.

  • 2013 Year

    playoff '?
    are you fucking kidding me

    • Phil725

      It's gonna be tough with such powerhouses as the Philadelphia 76ers (6 games under .500, -3.1 point differential,) and the Detroit Pistons (13 games under .500, -1.9,) lurking behind them, but I think the Cs will be able to pull a playoff berth out.

  • High Rollers

    Wishing the best to Blur. He seems like a good dude. Get well, LB.

  • High Rollers

    Wish Reverend Dooling had been getting ready to return the last couple of weeks. He filled a role very similar to LB’s last year (high energy ball handler making plays off the bench). I wonder why DA stopped that possibility in its tracks.

    • swissflix

      yes, but Leandro was a much better scorer. I hope there is chance LB can still come back towards the end of the season. We might find a solid PG for the rest of the season but Barbosa really brought something in terms of scoring. He'll be missed a lot in the second unit.

      • High Rollers

        I agree that he will be missed. AB didn't call him "Instant Buckets" for nothing.