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Your First Nominee For Worst Game Of The Year: Bobcats 89, Celtics 83

Before the season, most of us probably anticipated tonight’s Celtics-Bobcats matchup with a sense of grim obligation. The Celtics were allegedly tanking the season and the Bobcats, a team that has made an artless art out of losing over the last few years, were finally ready to turn over a new leaf in pursuit of the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. It all augured a lifeless, forgettable November game.

And yet, Boston’s recent 4-game winning streak has been pretty fun, at least as counterproductive victories go. The win in Miami was thrilling, Jordan Crawford’s bizarre transformation into a legitimate NBA player has been a joy and even Brandon Bass’ reliability has been satisfying. This team has been entertaining to watch if only because of the lowered expectations and the refreshing shift from Doc Rivers’ numbing offensive sameness. Speaking of which, we’re all attached to Brad Stevens by now, aren’t we?

The good times rolled to a halt tonight as the C’s shot a lazy 37.7% from the field on the way to a loss and a one-game dip below .500. The Bobcats were slightly less worse, which is not a graceful way to articulate their performance, but accurate nonetheless. They turned the ball over 15 times and actually shot a worse percentage (36.6%) but on balance, deserved to win, especially when you consider Boston’s inability to exploit Charlotte’s 18th-ranked defense and comfort with defaulting to long outside shots. And, as has been the case with any kind of frontline big with scoring chops, they were vulnerable on the inside, tonight to old friend Al Jefferson (22 and 11). And then there was the last minute turnover and a Jefferson offensive rebound and…

Ah, forget it.

Basically, this game was horrible and your life is better for having missed it, assuming you did. Let’s move on.

And to spin it more positively, whether you’re hoping for losses or wins this year, there were useful things to take from this game. This team is going to be competitive most nights, win or lose. And in the meantime, Portland is due up Friday night. And that game promises to be better.

  • High Rollers

    Sigh. If only they all could be last second wins in Miami…

    Btw… was there a Gino sighting in the Garden against the Magic?

    I prefer winning.

  • High Rollers

    What exactly are the C's doing with Humphries? Is he really playing that badly? I don't get it.

    • The Cardinal

      Nah, he's played well when given the chance. Bass has played well enough to earn incumbent playing time, and the C's have chosen to focus on developing Fav, Olynyk and Sully. It seems he's both a victim of front court numbers and an anticipated trade deadline casualty.

  • hax

    11 rebounds by Olynyk and 9 by Vitor!

  • CG12

    It was not a good game, but I think it did reinforce what we will see from the Celts this year. They had a bad night and were still in it. We are going to get a lot of Jordan Crawford until Rondo comes back. Kelly is still finding his true comfort zone in the NBA, making some nice plays, but not being at all assertive. Sully would have helped a great deal. Energy guys like Vitor and Gerald will provide the spark. Green will throw down at least one big dunk, hit a couple threes, and otherwise be oddly invisible while having a 17-18 or so point, 5 rebound, 0.5 assist evening. Avery will take many long 2's, with wild fluctuations in his success rate in doing so. Courtney Lee will make an athletic play to get to the rim and will blow the lay-up. Bass will do the launch sequence of 5 jab steps, 8 ball fakes, and 4 pivots in order to free up his shooting hand for a 15-footer (which he will make).

    To my mind, we have a pretty good idea of the product here – always competitive, occasionally scruffy, and generally inspiring optimism about the future. I'm totally good with where we are for this year.

  • Jim

    There was no flow at all to this game mainly because of the constant whistles. It was hard to watch after the last four games. I really think things will not improve that much when Rondo comes back because we do not have very many guys who can score. Crawford is one but he will most likely ride the bench with Rondo back. I think we should play Humphries more which would help the team offensively and also increase his value to a contender.