I don’t ask for much in this world. It doesn’t take a lot for me to be happy, I tend to live a pretty simple life. My one requirement though, is that I need to be able to live in a world where if the Boston Celtics get up by 28 points, that’s a game they win. I’ll handle 18 point losses and things like that, it’s the NBA teams blow those all the time. But I can’t sit here and live in a world where while playing at home the Celtics cannot hold onto a 28 point lead no matter who is playing. I feel like that’s not a huge ask on my part. You get up by that many points, just don’t lose. I don’t care if you only win by 1 point, but you certainly cannot lose by 11. Of all the things you may want to demand from this team given their talent, I feel like “don’t blow 28 point leads ever” is the easiest one to achieve.
But not for these assholes.
Maybe this is partially my fault, as I called the loss to the Lakers one of the most frustrating and embarrassing losses of the season (which is was). I should have never counted out the possibility that with another former Celtic coming to town that the Celts could take it up a couple thousand notches and turn in a performance like this. Let me get this out of the way early, I know Kyrie left the game and he’s a gigantic part of their offense and their scoring and everything they do. I also don’t give a flying fuck. You’re going to have to tell me what the deal is, either this team has “too much talent” and is “better without Kyrie” to the point where they should still be able to beat the goddamn Clippers with a gigantic lead, or this is like the Isaiah years where you have a star point guard and then nothing else around him. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t take losing Kyrie as an excuse for what happened over the final 24 minutes of this game, so don’t even bring that noise around me. This team has enough talent to hold onto 28 point leads at home. Period. We’re not talking about beating GS in Oracle without Kyrie, we’re talking about not completely shitting your pants on your own floor up by a billion. The Maine Red Claws should be able to hold onto a lead like last night let alone 95% of this team’s NBA roster.
After sitting through what was one of the worst collapses of the last 18 years, I’m not even frustrated or embarrassed anymore. I’m simply angry. Angry that here we are in almost mid February and this group is still dicking around like this. Unable to get out of their own way and not make a complete jackass of themselves. In case they aren’t aware, things are getting a little tight atop the East down the stretch here. You’re about to hit the road with some tough matchups in your immediate future, and you go and blow back to back games like this at home? Grow the fuck up. Stop complaining about this young guys vs old guys bullshit and play better. That’s EVERYONE. Brad Stevens, coach better. This is as much on him as it is on anyone else.
Times like these are where many opposing fan bases are dancing on the Celtics graves. Don’t get butthurt by that as a Celtics fan, they fucking deserve it. You turn in a performance like what we saw last night and you deserved to be clowned by anyone with an internet connection. Have some professional pride for me one time, it’s not that hard. You know what’s hard? Blowing 28 point leads. So hard it basically never happens. So take the trolling, take the shit talking and let them get their jokes off because right now this team has brought it on themselves.
Alright, as you know we don’t run and hide when shit like this happens, so let’s get started.
– You know after the Lakers loss I talked about how I was very close to eliminating this section, something that is very rare for me to do, because I felt like there were some other fellow Celts fans out there that may have needed some positive spin given everything that happened. Well, heading into last night’s game I asked the Celtics very nicely to just not hurt me again and look what they did.
So you know what? I’m not doing them any favors today. Were there positives in this game? Sure, but I don’t care. You will not be rewarded and praised for what we saw on Saturday night. Someone has to take a stand against this bullshit and if Brad’s not going to then I have to.
If I could use this section to get one message across to this team it would be this
– I suppose we can start with the defense, or lack thereof. This team played 12 minutes of good defense in this game so that’s nice. From the second quarter to the end of the game they surrendered 103 points, allowed 55/47% shooting and 11 3PM while the Clippers also took 29 FTA. Not a single quarter came in under 28 points, and for a team that just traded away its best scorer, allowing 120+ points (again), is simply unacceptable. I get Kyrie leaving impacts the offense to some degree, but what is the excuse for the defensive effort we saw in this game?
Now Drtg gives us an idea of how the defense looked and who struggled, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. For that, let’s go to the individual matchups
Marcus Smart: Opponents shot 7-9 against him including rookie SGA who lit Smart up for 9 points on 4-5 shooting. He’s a rookie.
Al Horford: Opponents shot 10-13 against him including Montrezl Harrell who had 13 points on 30 possessions with 6-6 shooting against Horford. Completely made him his bitch.
Marcus Morris: Opponents shot 6-12 against him including 12 points on 36 possessions from Gallo
Last time I checked, those aren’t young guys. Well Smart is 24, but he’s a veteran on this team so you get my point. If I were to look at the young guys, they actually weren’t all that much of a problem defensively. Terry/Jaylen/Tatum held opponents to a combined 9-28 shooting. I’m looking at guys who we all agree are this team’s best defensive options get absolutely worked. Where’s the accountability there?
I look at a Clippers team that dropped 70 points on 54/53% shooting with 9 3PM and 20 FTA and I see a team that was more aggressive. Right at the start of the third quarter they jumped out to an 11-4 run and that was it. They killed this team inside, the Celts were nonexistent in closing out shooters, essentially if you asked someone what the exact opposite of good defense looks like, that’s what the Celtics showed over the final 24 minutes and the veterans on this team were a big part of that.
– Which brings me to my next point. What is Brad doing. Honestly, we can’t praise him as Boy Wonder when things look awesome, and then just ignore when shit like this keeps happening. Do you know they haven’t won a third quarter in all of February? Then postgame when he says shit like this
Uhhhhhhhh ya fucking think Brad? How many gigantic runs are you going to have to see this team give up this year before you realize hey maybe it might help to take a timeout and reset things? Maybe realize that you’ve scored 12 FUCKING POINTS and perhaps running some actual offense might help? Where was Mad Brad? What is going on at halftime where every single time this team comes back out on the floor they look flat as hell? This may have been one of Brad’s worst coaching performances of his entire tenure and we’ve seen some blown leads before.
If this were any other team we’d be pointing at the coach, so not just because it’s the one we all root for shouldn’t change that. I love Brad, I would take a bullet for the man, but he was god awful in this game and there’s no other way to really spin it. As much as you want to blame the young guys or the offense or anything like that, you have to give Brad a huge chunk of the blame for this disaster. He’s the leader of this whole thing, it starts and ends with him.
– These are fun
I get it, guys were emotional after a loss like this. But at the same time, I hear Mook say stuff like this and then I see his performance on both ends, the lack of defense and then 6-14 shooting on the other end and honestly it annoys me. Yes, this season has been filled with frustrating losses, but just like Kyrie after the ORL loss, how does something like this help? It hasn’t been fun for a while? Last time I checked the Celts have had the best record and best offense in the NBA since 11/26. That’s not fun? If Mook wanted to talk about the lack of toughness, well where was it from his last night?
Let’s focus on the “individuals” part. I imagine he means guys are not moving the ball and playing selfish right? I also imagine he’s talking about the young guys since that’s what this team does when they are embarrassed. The veterans call out the young guys without looking in the mirror. Remember, it was Mook who led the team in FGA in the second half, going just 2-8. This isn’t to say the young guys played well over those 24 minutes, they didn’t, but it was an EVERYONE problem. When you look back at when LAC started to make their run, the veterans were just as much to blame.
When it was 80-63, we had Mook missing a layup and then Horford missed a three. Then a few possessions later when it was 80-67, we had back to back Smart turnovers. After a SGA three cut it to a 10 point game, Mook came right down and missed a 16ft fadeaway. Towards the end of the quarter when the Clippers really started to come back, there were poor shots like Jaylen’s step back threes, but also missed shots from Horford and Hayward. Again, it was everyone, so when I hear those quotes it sure sounds like Mook is talking about how he’s frustrated with young guys playing selfish and not together, when literally everyone on the roster was to blame. That’s annoying.
– The Celtics had been 100-1 since 2001 when leading by 28 points. 100-1. Let that sink in.
– We’ve seen a lot of bad quarters of basketball from this team, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that third quarter. Finishing with 12 points on 18/0% shooting doesn’t even feel real. How does that even happen? How is this a real shot chart?
Don’t even save the film, burn it all and forget it even happened. But here’s what really bothers me about the whole thing. You get through that quarter and you still have a lead. It’s not huge, but you survived. You then also come out in the fourth quarter and give up 42 points on 57/77% shooting and 7 3PM? I look at that quarter and I see Tatum played 8 minutes, Horford 8:14, Smart 7:10, Hayward actually have you something in his 6 minutes, and you lay that sort of egg immediately after a horrific third quarter. What the hell is that shit? This is supposed to be one of the best defensive teams in the entire league, and nothing we’ve seen lately resembles anything close to that.
To me it’s on the players to say enough is enough and actually put in the effort to avoid disaster. Instead they had another “woah is me” mentality, and as things started to snowball they started to revert back to their bad habits. That’s not on Brad, that’s on the leaders of this team to pick this team up when it’s struggling. That’s when guys like Mook and Horford and Smart have to will this team to victory. There was no leader on the floor for this team last night after Kyrie went down and that is not debatable.
– Speaking of Kyrie, I bet we don’t see him until after the break, so that’s awesome.
There’s really no spin you could give after a loss like this to make you feel good about things. These are the losses you just have to wear and move on from because there’s really no other choice. With the Sixers up next in Philly, the Celtics did themselves no favors by dropping these two very winning games vs LA teams. You could have been rolling into Philly riding high with all the momentum in the world. Now you enter a hostile environment against a team that thinks they’re going to the Finals who will be pumped up to finally beat you. Safe to say Tuesday is pretty important, and if we are going to be living in a world where I can’t even trust this team to hold onto a 28 point lead, well then how can I trust them to continue their complete dominance over the Sixers?
This team has 2 days to figure it the hell out because an effort like we saw last night will get them blown out in a game they pretty have to win. Enough finger pointing, enough feeling sorry for yourself, enough of the bullshit. It’s almost the All Star break, stop fucking around please.