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The Celtics Were Rightfully Booed Off The Floor After An Absolutely Pathetic Home Opener

Maddie Meyer. Getty Images.
Giphy Images.

Holy hell. We've seen this Celtics team look like dogshit before, some might even argue a little too much, but to play like what we saw last night in their home opener was easily one of the worst performances I've ever seen this team have. You lose a double OT thriller to the Knicks? OK that shit happens, at least they played well for the most part. But last night? Last night was disgraceful. It was everything we despise about this team coming back to life. Low energy and effort. Horrific turnovers. Bitching and complaining. Allowing poor offense to impact the defense. Just a complete and utter mental collapse from everyone involved. While there are flashes of change in certain areas like ball movement, for the most part through two games what we're seeing isn't all that different from the very frustrating 2020 Celtics. It just isn't. That doesn't mean it can't be or won't be as the season goes on, but all we can do is evaluate based on what we've seen up to this point. 

Ime said it best. The Raptors came into the Garden and punked this team. That's so embarrassing for everyone involved, us included as fans. We had to watch that shit. Coming off a heartbreaking loss on Wednesday, there's no excuse for the performance we witnessed. You aren't going to play hard in your home opener? That's pathetic. You're already losing your mental composure because calls didn't go your way? Grow up. That was easily one of the most disgusting performances we've see this team have and they deserved every bit of that ass kicking. Period.

On the other side, it's early. Shit is being figured out in terms of rotations and different combinations. That's all fine and good. But that still doesn't excuse what we saw from this team's best players. Guys who are veterans in this league. Guys that need to set the example. I don't care what part of the season we're in when it comes to that stuff. It was dogshit.

As we do, we blog through it all. We don't just blog the good times and the wins, we blog the pain. So let's get into it

The Good

- If we're being honest, I really didn't want to even have this section. What good can you have when you get your dick kicked in by 32 points at home? Not much if we're being honest, but there's one guy that does deserve to be in this section and that's Al Horford

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When they first brought back Al I tried my best to explain to my brain that while he'll for sure help given his skillet, don't expect 2016 Al Horford. He was still very effective last year in OKC, but he's older now so things will probably look a little different. Boy was I wrong. Al looks great, especially defensively, The quickness is there, he's defending without fouling, he's blocking everything, it honestly looked like 2016 all over again but better. I have no idea how sustainable this type of performance is but all indications from Horford are this is along the lines of what we can expect.

We saw what the double big lineup can look like when everything is working defensively, and that's encouraging. I'm interested in seeing a larger sample of that lineup because it for sure looked better than any double big lineup we saw last year. 

- Rob looks awesome too so that's fun

- OK, can we move on now? There's literally nothing else to say.

The Bad

- Let's start with one of the more frustrating parts of this game. Take it away Ime

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I can live with a game where maybe it's just not your night. Sometimes you see a team miss a whole bunch of shots they normally make because that's how basketball goes. What I can't live with is when a team doesn't show up and pretty much quits. I'm talking everyone on the roster, top to bottom. There was one play that really highlighted this dogshit effort and I almost don't even want to show it because it makes me so irrationally mad, but I have to.

Here we have Tatum complaining after not getting a call, nobody runs back hard (including Tatum), and Scottie Barnes is able to go like half speed all the way to the rim for an easy layup. What the shit is that? I'll tell you what that is. That's the 2020 Celtics. So is this

That's the play that resulted in Tatum's tech which is when things really started to unravel. Yeah, when they showed the replay it was clear that Scottie Barnes pushed Tatum into FVV and that probably shouldn't have been a foul. But you have to play through that shit. Instead we got the type of reaction from Tatum (and the team) that we were hoping to avoid this year. The one Ime talked about how he didn't want to have. I'll give him credit, he did live up to his word and pull Tatum after he did all his complaining to the refs, but we're seeing no signs of improvement so far when it comes to this stuff. That's the reality.

- As unconscious as Jaylen was in the Knicks game, that's how poorly he shot the ball in this opener. It's going to be hard for this team to win on nights when the starting backcourt puts up a 3-19 performance and Jaylen goes 3-13. It felt like his game was a lot like Tatum's game against NYK. He tried to shoot himself out of the slump rather than be aggressive and attack the rim for easier looks. Of his 13 FGA, 7 were 3PA (0-7). Pretty tough time to have an off night when the team needed someone else to step up offensively and help Tatum early. The same way we probably won't see too many 7-30s from Tatum we probably won't see too many 3-13s from Jaylen, but he was pretty bad in this game no two ways about it.

- Ditto for Smart. For the most part I thought he once again did a good job in terms of his shot selection to passing ratio. He's definitely adopted a much more pass first approach so far this season. He was 5th in terms of starters FGA with just 6. The problem was, he missed every single one and finished with more turnovers than points. A total of 0 points, 0 FGM, 0 FTA, 5 assists and 2 turnovers is not going to cut it. Add to it some defense that wasn't all that spectacular and it was a brutal night for the starting backcourt.

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- If we're going to be honest, point guard play up and down the roster was pretty poor. It wasn't just Smart, both Pritchard and Schroder were equally as ineffective. The bench duo came in and went a combined 2-8 for 7 points. Schroder had as many TOs (4) as AST (4). At some point he's going to have to show that he actually deserves the backup point guard nod because his first two games have been pretty rough. I like his playmaking approach, but he's not giving them anything offensively and the turnovers are an issue. When he comes in with that second unit, he needs to be effective, not throwing the ball to the other team repeatedly. 

- I can understand the frustration this team had when it came to their whistle. It's also nothing new. They had 50 drives in this game and took 6 FTA. Tatum had 11 and took 0. In fact, according to the NBA's tracking data he has 22 drives on the year and a total of 0 FTA off those drives. That's pretty crazy. 

At the same time, you cannot let this impact how you play on the defensive end, which is essentially exactly what Horford said happened

There is no excuse for this to happen. None. Instead of complaining, get your ass back and get stops. Take your frustration out that way instead of bitching and moaning and then giving up on defense. Can't hit a shot? So what. Get a steal and score in transition to get confidence. That shit is so annoying to STILL be seeing.

The Ugly

- The final numbers are exactly what you would expect in a shit kicking like this. Finishing with 39/32% splits, allowing 21 OREB which led to a 23-4 second chance points difference. Allowing 58 points in the paint. Getting outworked left and right. And then the worst part….

25 turnovers.

How long has it been since we've seen the Celtics do that? 

The pre-Isaiah Celtics. Remember how bad that team was? Holy hell. You are not going to win in this league if you turn the ball over 25 times. The Jays had 10. It didn't matter if it was in the halfcourt, on the break, or even after a timeout. This team could not stop turning the ball over and it started in the first quarter. Ultimately it led to 27 Raptors points. Well there's your game right there folks. Absolutely disgusting.

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- Now let's talk lineups. We saw Ime go with an all bench lineup in that second quarter, and let's see how they did

3 minutes, a 100 Ortg / 220 Drtg / -120 net rating. I'm pretty sure we don't need to see that again. At least now we know! I also didn't love how much Ime split the Jays. Let them play together more, especially when you need offense. You can see they only shared the floor together for 13 minutes, that's not nearly enough in my opinion. That'll be something Ime probably learns as he goes, but it certainly backfired last night.

- For the depressing part of this blog, may I present to you this stat

That's the crazy part! Even with how poorly they were playing, they had a run to bring it within 2 with plenty of time left. They had momentum. Instead of building off that momentum, they shit their pants. They collapsed the second things didn't start to go their way and all of the sudden the route was on. Just look at how that second half played out. Horrendous stuff like you read about

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So here's what Ime now faces almost immediately as the new head coach. He has to find a way to prevent this from snowballing. One of the questions I had is how this team under Ime would react to adversity. So far, not great! Last year we saw a team that could never get over this shit and it impacted their entire year. Will this team be any different? I think we'd all like to hope so, but they actually have to show us with their play. Nothing we saw last night suggests a sudden change is on the horizon. They've started the year dropping two winnable games right off the bat and they have no one to blame but themselves. Play the right way and this team can compete with anyone. Play like assholes and you get your shit rocked and you find yourself getting booed off the floor. Rightfully so.