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.”
(CelticsHub’s take: Yep, crucial game. Celtics needed to get this clutch loss.)
I missed the first two quarters, so I asked Twitter to summarize them for me.
@Tom_NBA A photo of Steve Nash playing defense because none was played.
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) March 16, 2014
@Tom_NBA Little defense, lots of runs by both teams. And oh yea, Anthony Davis is a basketball freak
— CelticsTalk.com (@CelticsTalk) March 16, 2014
@Tom_NBA it wasn’t awful because somehow i’m still alive
— Josh Zavadil (@JoshZavadil) March 16, 2014
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.