Barstool Live: El Pres, Big Cat, KFC and more LIVE from Barstool Scottsdale | Tonight at 7pm ESTTUNE IN

When It Rains, It Sure Does Pour

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics

You know, I could have just avoided this blog. It’s Thanksgiving and there’s football to be watched, drinks to be had and food to eat. But you know what? I’m not a coward, I do not run when things are at their absolute worst, in fact, it’s times like these where this blog is more important than ever. We don’t run from losses, even if they are against a 4-14 Knicks team that openly does not want to win. Did they think they could just walk into the Garden and lose? As if it would be that simple? Idiots! This is the Boston Celtics they were playing, you know them. They’re the team with All Star level talent that I’m pretty sure would lose to Duke right now. Just when you thought things with this team couldn’t get any more pathetic, the Celts last night gave us the ultimate hold my beer response. I mean think about this, in a real life NBA game, they were down by as much as 26 points to the goddamn Knicks. Internet GMs around the world were declaring that taking Player X out of the lineup would fix all their issues, well they tried that and nothing changed. We heard them talk about how they were no longer going to make excuses and were going to execute the gameplan. Nothing changed. We heard after each loss to a bad team that this was finally going to be the wake up call and things would turn around. Nothing changed.

Last night I went to bed angry. A man can only take so much pathetic basketball and boy have we had our fair share. But when I woke up today, I realized that all I can do at this point is laugh. I mean things are so bad this team is losing to the Knicks at home. If you somehow can’t just take a second and laugh at that well then you’re being mad just to be mad. The start to this Celtics season has been so comically bad I think my brain is just using laugher as a defense mechanism so for a brief second it can ignore the reality of how much this teams sucks right now. With each and every loss you think there’s no way this team could fall any deeper, and they always seem to find a way, it truly is incredible.

So look, what do I always say. We come to this blog and puff our chest out when this team looks awesome (ha!), and we come to this blog and take our medicine when they look like complete and utter dogshit. That is what we are here today to do, let’s go.

The Good

– For those who don’t know, this section is officially skipped when the Celts drop 5 in a row, the same way the Ugly section is skipped when they win 5 in a row. Those are the blog rules. But as you can imagine, with a performance like what we got last night there isn’t always a ton to choose from, but it is Thanksgiving and I have to give you something to be thankful for. How about Kyrie Irving

I’m thankful that Kyrie Irving did not quit. There is a long ass list of people I have problems with right now, but Kyrie isn’t really one of them. Sure his 9-25 wasn’t all that great, but he was the only one that showed me a consistent effort last night, and he did a little bit of everything in his 22/6/13 3 steal performance. He had the second highest Net Rating at 13.6 which trailed only Gordon Hayward, and defensively he held opponents to 5-10 shooting which is OK I guess, but nobody had more than 4 points against him so it’s not as if he was getting cooked all night.

Yes, hit outside shooting was a bit of an issue, but I’m not killing Kyrie this morning, there’s way too many other things to be mad at.

– Safe to call this one of Hayward’s better games so far?

He played another 31 minutes and was much more effective with 19/7/3/2, and while his shooting is still rounding into form, he was great in that fourth quarter and finally saw some big momentum shots fall. As I mentioned he did have the highest Net Rating on the team last night, and defensively opponents went 5-12 when being guarded by Hayward. In looking at Hayward’s approach from last night you can see he had good balance between getting into the paint and letting it fly from deep

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.11.07 AM

and a bunch of those misses from three were wide open, which I’m still taking every day of the week. While it is frustrating that he doesn’t always look at the rim when he attacks the paint, I feel like that’s an easy adjustment to correct over time once he sees the film. We’re now at Thanksgiving which is where I always said I would start to put more stock into how Hayward looks on the court, and last night was obviously a step in the right direction.

– The Celtics shouldn’t only be embarrassed that they lost to the Knicks, but that they did it wearing the fire City Edition jerseys. How can you look that good and play that poorly, those things were as fire as I hoped when I first saw them leaked.

– Shout out to Mook for snapping out of his slump

A big 21 points off the bench on 7-13 shooting, he was another guy that stepped up in the fourth quarter when this team needed any sort of jolt. Considering he hadn’t been able to buy a basket in the previous two losses, hopefully this is him getting back on track.

– The Celtics finally took a shit ton of FTs, 33 to be exact. Is it a sick joke that all previous 6 games in which they took at least 24 FTA they won and this was a game they lost? Sure is, but it was nice to see this team get to the line so much after being the worst FTA team in the entire NBA.

– Offensively, Al brought it. I think we’ll all take 19/7/5 with 3 blocks on 7-11 shooting and 2-2 from deep. Maybe they should have gone to him more since it was clearly working, but what do I know. The biggest thing for me is his continued improvement from behind the arc. After starting at 29% in October he’s up to 34% so far in November, and if this team is ever going to get out of this funk, having Al as a reliable option in the pick and pop is going to be important,

– The Celtics won the points in the paint battle, the second chance points battle, the fast break points battle, the FT battle, had only 8 TOs to their 17 and they still lost. Again, how can you not laugh when you read that because it just makes no goddamn sense.

The Bad

– Let’s start with the basics. In basketball, in order to score points you need to take this round ball, and somehow find a way to get it through a round hoop. For many average people, it’s not that easy. For NBA players, it’s considerably more easy. For the Boston Celtics, it’s damn near impossible.

I know people like to say it’s a cop out, but now that we know this isn’t a lineup issue, could it honestly be as simple as this team still isn’t making shots? That’s not to say there aren’t other issues like their defense and all of that. But I’ve seen people say their issue is having too much talent, or the fact that they were hyped in July. You say that out loud and that doesn’t sound crazy? Like being hyped in July makes them go under screens in November? Instead I’m looking at a real tangible issue, and that’s the fact that this team simply isn’t making open looks at any sort of acceptable rate.

Last night on “open” shots, they went a combined 5-18. On “wide open” shots they went a combined 10-20 (not bad but again, these are wide open). So on all their open looks, it was another 15-38 performance, which is 39%. Why are we so quick to look everywhere else than right there? Again I’m not saying the Celtics are 9-9 only because they miss their open looks, but there is no denying this is the worst open look shot making team in the NBA, which obviously makes little sense and why this is all so puzzling.

The Celtics average 22.6 wide open looks (2nd) and 23.9 open looks (1st) in the NBA. This offense is doing what it’s supposed to in creating open shots for people who are supposed to be shooters. But they are at the bottom of the league in shooting percentage. That’s where this gets so frustrating. It’s not as if this team is having a hard time creating shots, it’s the exact opposite, it’s just for whatever reason they are not making wide open looks. Is that really because Jaylen Brown said in an interview he was going to have 5 titles or because Jayson Tatum did a SLAM cover?

– Speaking of those two, it’s nearly impossible for this team to win if both of those guys are going to have a bad night. Don’t let the final box score fool you, both Tatum and Jaylen had rough outings and their combined 8-22 shooting didn’t exactly help. My problem comes when their poor offense starts to impact their defense, which it did last night. Both these guys had two of the worst Drtg’s on the night, and that’s where there can’t be any excuses. These two need to be better across the board, but at the very least they need to be bringing it on the defensive end every single night.

– I’m just going to say it. This team should be embarrassed with missing 10 FTs, including a handful in the fourth quarter. It’s the same old shit. Get down early, can’t stop an opposing guard, miss big fourth quarter FTs. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The Ugly

– I can’t stress this enough, to a team that is legit trying to lose every game, the Celtics were down by 26 points. TWENTY SIX POINTS. I don’t even know what to say to that. Have you no pride? You’re going to come out like that at home when you’re already in hot water for fucking around with this start of the season? How dare you. How fucking dare you.

– You want to tell me Kemba Walker is going to explode, sure. You want to tell me guys like Kawhi and Jamal Murray are going to have great nights, fine. But I will not accept someone like Trey Burke coming off the Knicks bench and dropping 29 points on your face like that, including another guard who once again made a dagger three right in your eyeball.

This is where my frustration really sets in with this team. They talk after each loss about how they will learn from it and move on. WELL THIS WAS EXACTLY LIKE THE KEMBA SITUATION AND YOU DID THE EXACT SAME THING. How are you even going to even think about giving Burke space here? Look at how deep Tatum us, look at it! Did they learn nothing from two days before when Kemba also hit a dagger three in their eye ball? Where is Brad to make sure everyone knows the deal. Did he actually give the instruction and Tatum just didn’t listen? This is the shit that makes my blood boil, because it shows me they are NOT learning from their past mistakes, and how do you get out of your funk if you don’t do that? So annoying.

– The Celtics bench guards were supposed to be a strength. You had Terry who everyone talks about like he should be starter, and how he can score with the best of them while also being a decent defender. Then you have Smart who is supposed to be the pitbull on defense and playmaking point guard. Well, they not only went a combined 1-8 last night, but the Knicks back up guards went a combined 17-30. So you tell me, what exactly did either of these two do last night? They by far did more harm than good, and this team cannot function if those guys are going to both lay eggs like this. They are too important to how this team operates. Remember they were supposed to make Kyrie’s life easier? Well where the hell is it?

– You lost to a 4-14 team. I’m just going to keep saying it because it is so ridiculous.

 


The idea was that the Celts were going to turn a corner because their schedule got easier. Well, they now have three losses against teams that are under .500. That’s the most of any team in the Top 8. I would say thank god ATL is up next, but now I’m not so sure they will be able to stop Trae Young. The fact that we are even having to think like that is both infuriating and hilarious. This team is so bad right now don’t even try and spin it for them because they don’t deserve it. We don’t ask for much, just beat the worst teams in the league, why is that so goddamn hard.

Whatever, enjoy your Thanksgiving today everybody by eating and drinking away the pain

atlanta