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Recap: Pelicans 121, Celtics 120

 

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On Sunday, the Celtics sort of tried to end their three-game losing streak. Here’s what transpired:

Pre-game Quote of the Night:

“It’s very important. This is a crucial game, not just for what lies ahead but for us, if we win, it’ll be our first west coast road victory. It’s a stepping stone for what we have for the rest of these games.”

-Jeff Green

(CelticsHub’s take: Yep, crucial game. Celtics needed to get this clutch loss.)

Synopsis

I missed the first two quarters, so I asked Twitter to summarize them for me.

Third quarter: An eight-point halftime lead slowly slipped away as Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans scored around the basket essentially at will.

Fourth quarter: Kill ‘em, Hump! (Follow MrTrpleDouble10)

Overtime: Whoops. (No seriously, follow him.)

Let’s talk about this play briefly, because I think fans are too quick to assign the tanking label to strange end-of-game situations.

Here’s what I see in this play: Bayless and Bradley converge on Anthony Davis to foul him, but Davis is able to move the ball to Al-Farouq Aminu. Bradley goes flying after Aminu, who throws it to Brian Roberts. Bradley keeps running, but by the time he gets to Roberts, there’s about a second left on the shot clock. Bradley appears to swing for the foul, misses, and gives up on the play. It’s hard to blame him — Roberts is a 94 percent free throw shooter, and even if Bradley caught him, the Celtics would have had less than a second to get off a 3-pointer. After 53 grueling minutes, perhaps one can see why he decided extending things wasn’t quite worth it.

Or maybe Danny Ainge passed the word down to lose this game at all cost. That would explain why the Celtics hung tough for the previous 52 minutes, right?

MVP: Jeff Green scored 39 points and pulled down six rebounds. Since Anthony Davis finished with 40 points and 21 rebounds, this will be largely forgotten, but Green really did have an excellent game.

LVP: Al-Farouq Aminu is Boston’s LVP after he nearly cost the Celtics a valuable loss in the standings with two hilariously bad fouls, one in the fourth quarter and one near the end of overtime.

Takeaways: Let’s make a list.

1. Anthony Davis is going to be a superstar.

2. This is one of those Jeff Green games people look back on when complaining that he’s inconsistent.

3. Maybe Rondo’s jumper isn’t quite as fixed as we’d like to believe? Remains to be seen.

4. Boston tries really freaking hard to win games.

5. Winning games is hard when you are really bad.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • http://lovemyceltics.wordpress.com mycelts

    WHO IS THE SMOOTHIE KING?

    Smoothie King (?) Arena, N’Orleans, first road game of two.
    Wyc is Rondo’s biggest fan, hope his loyalty stays true.
    Rivers in the house, not Doc, but his son.
    Cs 0 and 13 out West–must win this one!

    Good start: Green and Rondo hard to the hoop!
    Silly Garanimals sleeved jerseys on our group.
    Pellies? ‘Cans?…a 13-0 run, in the paint,
    All they have to do is go where the Cs ain’t.

    HUMP IS A BEAST! He stemmed the tide,
    Hope in this off-season Cs extend his ride!
    BAYLESS FOR THREE! Game has a quick pace,
    Besides Bass’ 25 guests, this is an empty place.

    GREEN FOR THREE! Q1, both 50% shooting,
    Cs within 2–Green’s horn I am tooting!
    AB making his way back, Sully’s picks got him going,
    Olynyk finding the hoop with just a narrow lane showing.

    OLYNYK FOR THREE! JOHNSON FOR THREE!
    Fancy passing from Pressey we did see.
    Cs a 10-0 run; ‘Cans athletic skill don’t lack,
    Within very few moments they got the lead back.

    Bass great hustle, Hump’s quick and smart;
    Green, Rondo, AB, Olynyk all taking part.
    GREEN FOR THREE! GREEN FOR THREE!
    53% shooting (Green 20), Cs up 7 start Q3!

    Cs continue to hustle, BAYLESS FOR THREE!
    ‘Cans won’t go away, now they’re playing some D.
    ‘Cans an 10-0 run, again took the lead,
    Suddenly offense from the Cs is what we need.

    Green had a great first half, seemed to fade Q3,
    Needs better passes to him! JOHNSON FOR THREE!
    Three quarters of this game did fly by,
    To start Q4 Cs and ‘Cans in a tie.

    PRESSEY FOR THREE! Rivers can get to the rim,
    Sully keeps shooting that three. Brad has to stop him.
    Sully stopped (with a two!) ‘Cans’ 8-0 run,
    Just for a moment…then the game wasn’t fun.

    Cs’ turnovers are mounting, shooting isn’t the same.
    Ref Workman the only one who came from the game.
    GREEN FOR THREE! Hump steal! Smart play,
    “Score! Stop! Score!” is all Brad had to say.

    Ok, I apologize! SULLY FOR THREE!
    Career high for ‘Cans’ Davis we did see.
    Sully was fouled three times, they called a jump ball?
    AB got it–coast to coast–(ugh) out of bounds it did fall.

    Roberts best ever percentage (really!) in free throws,
    Cs too slow to foul, into his hands it goes.
    Green got fouled taking a three, made all three!
    Davis, 40 points, amazing shot made he.

    BUT HUMP IS A BEAST, at the buzzer!! Love this rhyme:
    Hump–what a smile! Going to OVERTIME.
    ‘Cans a 7-0 run, finally the timeout we need,
    Cs look tired, it shows in their speed.

    Again, I apologize! SULLY FOR THREE!
    The out of bounds ball did NOT go off a C!
    Could that have been the play, Sully a three again?
    He’s our go-to guy? Not Green? Rondo? Since when?

    Cs down by four, Aminu again fouled Green,
    Season high 39, one other time we’ve seen.
    What happened?? Under 5 seconds, Cs DIDN’T FOUL?
    AGAIN…WHAT HAPPENED? DID WE THROW IN THE TOWEL?

    Tho by 1 the Cs lost (what happened??), here’s the thing:
    KRIS HUMPHRIES IS OUR SMOOTHIE KING.

  • hax

    Jeff Green!
    #arrived
    That was a complete tank job. Everyone on the court is lazily not fouling, then they walk off without a care. Jeff Green is holding his arms up like ‘wtf u guyz doin?!’
    We can’t hit a 3 with under 1 second?
    http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/thumb/820774564.gif?1384053215

    • hax

      Glad Ainge prices JG8 so high. Not many in the league can drop 30+ several times a year.

  • Mark

    Rondo’s jumper is all about confidence. He has none right now so it’s important to see how he fights through it. Work in progress.

    • hax

      Rondo can go 3-10 every game, nobody blinks.
      JG8 drops 30 every night, then goes 3-16 in a game, everyone loses it.

      • YouSerious?

        To be fair: Rondo fills up the stat sheet more often in other categories than Green does. When one guy can go 3-10 and still have something like 8 boards and 14 assists, you could say he had an okay game, while the guy going 3-16 who gets 2 rebounds and 1 assist had a flat out awful game.

        (I like Jeff, but it is hard to view him as little else than a scorer.)

  • normshorts

    I’m sick of this tanking thing. It’s like people feel if they root for the team it’s going to change the outcome of the games. It’s laundry and I happen to root for the laundry to win games. It’s more fun that way.

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