Just when you think the Celts have finally hit rock bottom, they find new ways to kick you right in the dick and reach levels you didn’t know were even possible. As a reminder, here is a quick recap of their last 5 losses, and I dare you to find a more gut wrenching stretch
You could argue the MIL loss was nothing to be ashamed of, and things are so bad right now I’ll grant you that, but everything else? Beyond inexcusable. There’s no point in trying to spin what we saw last night, heading in we all agreed it was one of the more important games of their season. After all the tough losses this was a chance for the Celts to actually show some fight. If they had ended up with another 1 point loss like the MIL game I don’t think I would be as mad, but what we got instead was a gutless, lifeless, soft ass performance. Now losers of 8 straight up in TOR, it doesn’t do it justice to say this team folded in the face of adversity. They honestly bent over and let the Raptors have their way with them. Everything we’ve been hearing for weeks now, about how they have to play hard and give a full effort, they have to play together, they can’t get down when things go south, Brad has to be better, well let me ask you this one simple question
Where the fuck is it?
Earlier in the year when this team struggled, the vets on this team wanted to point the blame on the young kids. Well, now that we are in the most important part of the season, where are those same veterans? I’d argue it’s been the vets that have hurt this team the most recently. All this talk about flipping a switch and whatever bullshit this team wants to put out as an excuse and those who are responsible for flipping that switch have been god awful.
But more importantly, what the hell is Brad doing. How many more performances like this do we need to see before he makes an adjustment? The starting lineup needs to change, his rotations need to switch, and for the love of christ can someone explain to him that he’s allowed to call a timeout before a run reaches double digits. You want to look at the biggest reasons for this team’s slide over the last three weeks, I don’t know how Brad can’t be at the top of your list. If he’s not going to do anything different to turn things around, how can we expect the players to?
By now, you know the drill. We don’t run when things are awful, in fact we talk ourselves through the pain. This one won’t be easy, but we have to do it.
– Here’s something that might be a first for me in the history of writing this blog, which if you’ve been along for the ride this whole time you know there have been quite a few. There are two reasons that force me to skip this section. The first is if this team loses 5 in a row, if that happens things are so bad they don’t deserve praise. The second being when I see a product so bad that there’s not a single thing I can spin.
That is where we are today. Even if I wanted to put something in this section, what could I possibly choose? What actual good thing did we see last night. Do you know how hard that is for a homer like me that I can’t even spin a single positive play just so that we as Celtics fans have something, anything, to hang out hat on?
I will not contribute to the problem by trying to cover up their awful play by wasting time bullshitting about a cool play as a way to distract everyone from the real issues. They lost that privilege when they decided to play like complete assholes. Let’s keep it moving.
– Let’s start with the offense. Can’t say I’m surprised the Celts got blown the fuck out while putting up 38/20% splits. Pick a name, any name really and offensively they were pathetic. Things obviously started in the second quarter like they pretty much always do, and besides ending the quarter with 26/0% splits and 8 TOs the closer you look the worse it gets. It all began with one of the weirdest Celtics problems of the season. This team cannot rebound missed FTs. Don’t ask me why, they just can’t do it. Why is that important? Well, after they fumbled a missed Kyle Lowry FT with around 10 minutes in the second quarter it gave the Raptors an extra possession which ultimately led to this three
That gave the Raptors a 2 point lead and the Celtics never got that close again. Makes you wonder had the Celtics been able to hold onto a missed FT where there was no Raptor in sight, does the giant run even happen? Now, about that run. After every one of these losses we hear Brad talk about how he needs to be better and can’t wait to call timeouts, all this shit. Well given where they were playing, and how good the team is, what on earth is his excuse for not calling a timeout immediately after this sequence?
I don’t care if it’s early in the quarter. You just watched your 4 point lead turn into a 5 point deficit after two big time momentum Raptors threes. You notice how Nick Nurse called an early timeout in the third when the Celts started a 7-2 run? He didn’t let it balloon to double digits. Why can’t Brad get it through his head that he can’t allow this team to play through adversity? They aren’t capable, we’ve seen it a billion times this season. It’s an 18-0 run or a 21-3 run every single goddamn game. Instead, he didn’t Hayward tried to hit homeruns and bring things back with a couple threes that didn’t fall, and the next thing you knew things got out of hand. The combination or the bench’s inability to not turn it over combined with a Brad Stevens brain fart is why that second quarter happened. There is no excuse for that at this point in the season after he’s even admitted the fact that he stinks at calling timeouts. It’s unreal.
– In big time games, you need your stars to show up. That’s not all that hot of a take, but it’s the truth. The Raptors got it from their star in Kawhi, well where was the Celtics star in Kyrie? The frustrating part is he’s shown it against this same Raptors team already this season, but last night’s 3-10 performance in his 27 minutes is indefensible. He wants the responsibility of being “the guy” and being the leader of this team, well he needs to live up to those expectations. He sees this team sliding and you get a performance like that? I don’t care how fancy your dribbling is, you can’t be causing all this drama and then lay an egg on the court. His effort on both ends was laughable, offensively he wasn’t aggressive in getting to the paint, he took a total of 0 FTs, and defensively he was clearly going through the motions. Someone needs to remind Kyrie that we are not in November, it’s fucking March and effort like this from your best player is contagious. If he’s not going to give a shit, why should anyone else?
– But this doesn’t excuse the effort from some of the other veterans like Mook and Horford. They were just as bad. Horford has been playing well during this stretch so if you want to give him a pass for an off night, fine. I don’t want to but I can understand the argument. But Morris? He’s killing them and it’s coming on both ends. It’s not just his 6-14 shooting, he’s providing no resistance on the defensive end. What I can’t understand is what he’s showing Brad that warrants him still being in the starting lineup. Was he great early in the year? Yes. But everything we’ve seen from him since the calendar flipped to 2019 screams that he has to go back to a reserve role. I don’t care what drama that causes in the locker room, how could it be worse than what the team is experiencing right now?
– Early in this game, I thought Jaylen was really engaged. He was solid defensively, was aggressive on the other end and was playing with great energy. That lasted about 5 minutes. The way he started the second quarter was a big reason things started to go south quick, as the game went on his defense became less and less effective, and it didn’t help that he couldn’t stop turning the ball over. He’s one of the guys who when things start to go south he poops his pants a little bit and forces things which usually ends up terrible, and if he wants to get out of Brad’s dog house, shit like what we saw last night isn’t the way to do it.
– The 31 point deficit this team had was the largest in like 4 years. What assholes.
– It’s pretty simple as to why this Celtics team is struggling, you don’t really have to look further than their effort on the defensive end
What even is that? Last night defending the three was a big time problem allowing 17 3PM, and what do I always say. The success of this team comes down to defense and rebounding. That’s it. They do those two things at a high level it doesn’t really matter what their offense looks like. You combine a poor offensive showing with an even worse defensive effort and yeah, no shit you got your ass blown out.
– Honestly, look at this and try not to laugh. It’s the only emotion I feel looking at something so pathetic
This is what I mean when I say we have to stop putting ALL the blame on the young kids. There was no starter who had a Drtg under 120. How is that acceptable? Look at the net ratings for Horford/Morris/Smart and explain to me how the bench is the biggest problem? The fact is, the starters have regressed and there has been no change. I don’t understand why considering their poor play warranted a move earlier in the year, but this is why I don’t want to hear shit from any veteran right now because guess what, you stink too.
– But even I can admit, Terry’s still been a major issue on that second unit. His quick stint in the second quarter was just as bad as Jaylen’s, opponents shot 6-7 against Rozier last night, and it’s now becoming a trend where the team plays well to start, Rozier comes in for Kyrie and things turn to shit. After so many times you can’t just ignore that reality. I don’t know what the answer is because you NEED to be able to rest Kyrie down the stretch, and I guess we’ll see what Brad Wanamaker can do, but I’m at the point where once we get to the playoffs, just make Hayward your second unit PG and end your rotation at like 7 guys.
– I do not appreciate this tweet so I would like it very much if we could just ignore it
Good news is we’re back tonight with a game against POR who is rolling and winners of 4 straight. They’re loaded with talent and are pretty much a matchup nightmare. I can already see Enes Kanter’s 20/15 while Dame/CJ abuse the Celts guards for a combined 50 points. Tell me I’m wrong. Brad talked at the break about how the rest of February was going to tell him a lot about who they are, and I feel like I can answer that for him.
This Celtics team is soft, and I’m not totally convinced they even know how to play basketball. All in all, they’re a steaming pile of shit until they convince us otherwise, and who knows if that ever happens.