Puke city. Coming off a great performance in the opener, it was a bit disappointing to see how they would follow it up against Toronto on Friday night. On a night when they would get back Kelly “Bad Boy” Olynyk and RJ Hunter would be available for the first time in his career, there was reason for excitement. There were a lot of layers to Game 2 of the season, so let’s take a look, as painful and frustrating as it may be.
Just like we saw in the opener, the Celtics defense started the night in fantastic fashion. Active hands everywhere you looked that led to easy transition 3s, beautiful stuff,
Overall the Celtics played some pretty legit defense at times, holding Toronto to just 43% shooting and caused a total of 21 turnovers.
Unfortunately, the only other reasonably good thing that came out of this game was Isaiah. What a monster. He would finish with 27 points and 7 assists, and really kept the Celts in it throughout the first half by doing things like this
Through the first two games Isaiah is averaging 26 points 2 rebounds 7 assists 2.5 steals with a PER of 31.47. That played out storyline of not having a so called “go to scorer” looks pretty stupid if you ask me. Guy is a bonafide stud.
Now I was also happy to see that Olynyk showed little hesitation and just let it fly. Coming into this year, this was big for me in how I evaluated his development. A big part of his growth will be what he can overcome mentally, so him tackling his hesitation problem was nice. But don’t get too excited, there is still PLENTY of work to do, mainly holding an intervention in regards to his dumbass manbun. It’s ok I’ll go first.
“Kelly, you have hurt me in the following ways. Your manbun is causing me great distress. You are no Gigi Datome. Back when you let your locks flow you played with such passion, such energy. You were so fun to be around. But now? You shoot 4-10 (1-5 from deep) and just look like an asshole. No one is afraid of a guy with a manbun, just impossible. This team needs your sneaky dirty edge, and we need it immediately.”
Oh yeah, and Marcus did this
Long list here, I don’t even know where to start. Let’s start with the obvious. Motherfucking free throws. Just pathetic. The finally tally was 9 misses (32-41). The game was called pretty terribly on both sides, but only one team took advantage and guess what, that was the difference in the game. You just can’t beat good teams by turning the ball over and missing FTs. Day one stuff. Seemed like everyone at least missed 1, and it is just so deflating. When Sully missed his FT after that beastly And-1, I was hoping this would work as a reverse jinx…it did not.
Next up for me was how badly they were manhandled on the glass. Remember, the Celts had shown in the preseason and opener a much improved rebounding presence, but Friday was embarrassing. The would be outrebounded 53-38, and incase you were wondering, that is the opposite of good. Craziest part? Tyler Zeller had ZERO. You know our 7 ft center. There was a sequence where the Celtics just couldn’t grab the damn ball, which lead to a big momentum three by DeMarre Carroll.
Toronto would finish with 13 second chance points, which isn’t HUGE, but when combined with the missed FTs and the 26 points they scored off the Celtics 17 turnovers its just a recipe for disaster.
Next up, is something that has to be taken with a grain of salt, but is worth mentioning. The combination of Zeller/Lee has not really been working thus far. Brad’s rotations last night were no joke. All 5 big men played, some better than others. For example Amir and Olynyk looked pretty good together at times, especially if they are both going to be knocking down outside shots. I guess that is the benefit of #depth, but you would like to see some better results from your starting frontcourt.
After an even first half, the Celts really needed a quick start to the third, and they would end up with the exact opposite. They would shoot just 31% in the frame, and just like that the Raptors went on a 24-8 run. Just everything about this quarter sucked. The Celtics played extremely sloppy, and instead of showing fight when things seemed to be slipping away, they punked out. You could see it in their body language. They would play them essentially even in the 4th, but between the missed FTs and the slow start it was a wrap.
There are probably a few options for this, but the only thing I care about is Evan Turner. What a DISASTER. Last night we saw the downside of Turner. He was god awful, and in my opinion lost us this game. He would finish a -6, but promise me, it was more like -10000. Each one of his four turnovers was an absolute back breaker, mostly due to just lazy play. He would shoot 2-11. His body language was terrible, and for some unknown reason Stevens stuck with him. Should we be surprised that once Turner entered the game in the 3rd quarter the lead not only started to slip, but got out of hand. AND HE NEVER CAME OUT. He played basically the last quarter and a half. INEXCUSEABLE. Especially when he’s doing shit like this
I’ll never understand this decision, and you cannot convince me this didn’t cost us the game.
So what do we make of all this? In my opinion, it’s the exception not the rule. There won’t be too many games where Jae Crowder plays that bad, Zeller has no rebounds, and the team as a whole just doesn’t have it. An off night, nothing more. Yet. Fortunately we get to bounce right back with a matchup against San Antonio, not like they are good or anything. Pull that one out and everyone is back to feeling all hot and heavy for this squad. Book it.