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The Frustration Continues

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I’m starting to get a little nervous. Not in terms of this team come the playoffs, I’m talking about their immediate future. Heading into that Houston game, when you looked ahead and saw what was on the horizon, I think everyone said they same thing. “Ok, at least they’ll win those first two before the back to back against OKC followed up by TOR”. Well, that hasn’t happened. In fact, the exact opposite has become reality. The loss at home to Houston was frustrating. The Celtics shot the ball like shit and a brutal second quarter did them in. This loss to Indiana was frustrating. The Celtics shot the ball like shit and a brutal second quarter did them in.

Now, if they win tonight against OKC whose been in Boston rested, then all is forgotten. Season sweep of the Thunder will cure any nerves you have, even if one of those times was without Durant. But let me make myself every clear. The Celts won’t beat a single NBA team shooting in the mid 30s.

I miss Jae.

The Good

– We’re going to start with a surprise performance. I shit you not Jonas Jerebko was the Celtics’ best player for stretches of this game. No bullshit. He started the game 3-4 (1-1 from deep) 7 points and was basically the only offense the Celts had. His 17 total points were a season high for him, and you have to tip your cap.

– With Crowder out, Marcus Smart drew the Paul George straw. You know what? The kid held his own. George’s overall line shows that no they weren’t able to stop him, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. PG only shot 36% when taking a contested shot. That tells me Smart did his job. Now PG shot 100% (5-5) on shots that were unguarded, so not all perfect.

But for such a mismatch, I have no complaints with how Smart defended George. He was aggressive, as he always is, and maybe sometimes he lost, but sometimes he won

I saw enough last night that I wouldn’t mind trying the same thing tonight with KD. What other choice do we have? Marcus was successful on George because he played fundamentally sound defense. He held his ground and didn’t reach when George tried to post him up (like Evan Turner did)  

and he also did a good job of stopping him in transition forcing George to take a contested jumper  

 

Marcus had a mixed night, but from a defensive perspective, he did more than you could ask.

– Another solid performance from Sully. He turned in his 7th double double since the AS break, and is averaging 15/10 so far this month. I love how he is playing more inside/out, it’s as if something finally clicked for him Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 9.53.09 PM

Sullinger is playing his way into a lotttttttt of money. Like 12M per money, at least.

– Let’s talk Isaiah. No denying he shot the ball like shit. Also no denying, he was the best player for the Celts and this game isn’t close without him. Is he the player Paul George is? Not yet. But, let’s not act like Isaiah didn’t show the gap isn’t as big as people think. I am in no way an Isaiah apologist (more on that later), but his 21/6/8/2 is pretty fucking good. Isaiah WAS the reason the Celtics came back and even took a lead in that third quarter. That has to count for something.

His ability to get into the paint, and get to the FT line was great to see. See I felt that Houston did a great job of keeping him out of the lane, and even though he had 30, you could tell he was frustrated he couldn’t get into that restricted area. Well he didn’t have that problem last night, and he made all his FTs so I won’t complain.

Let’s not ignore his defense either. George Hill was 2-9 and basically a non factor. I’m not saying Isaiah deserve’s to be on the All NBA Defensive Team, but if people want to talk about how bad he is on defense, let’s at least talk about when he isn’t terrible.

– I really liked this Evan Turner pass, followed by the Isaiah pass.  

- Hey they lost the game so what does it matter, but you just cannot ignore the fight. Coming back from down 10 to take a lead, then getting down double digits again and just falling by 5. I put more stock in this than I do how they shot the ball. If the Celtics can play with this type of effort, things will be OK for them.

The Bad

– The Celtics struggled shooting the ball, I think we’ve addressed that. But my annoyance with this goes a little deeper. Here’s why. The Celtics actually shot better when taking a contested shot. I’m not kidding. When the Celtics took a WIDE OPEN UNCONTESTED SHOT, they only made 31% (13-42). When contested? 44% (23-52). That is infuriating. Hit a fucking open shot man. Shoot 40% and you win this game. That’s the most frustrating part of these past two losses. Just hit an open shot.

Avery: 1-5 on uncontested shots

Smart: 2-8 on uncontested shots

Isaiah: 1-7 on uncontested shots

There’s your game.

– The fuck is with all of these bad second quarters. That’s not how things work. It’s either a bad first or a bad third quarter.

– Tyler Zeller had a rough night. Both offensively and defensively. His -12 was by far the worst on the team, and he just hurt the Celts last night. Offensively, he missed bunnies, on the other end, he allowed Jordan hill to score 15 points. Let’s also not forget his inability to box out, or get a defensive rebound. His fourth quarter was painful to watch, and you have to wonder why Mickey didn’t get some of these minutes. Zeller tends to play better at home, so let’s hope that’s the case tonight.

– I think the most glaring area of where the Celts missed Crowder the most was in their spacing. Offensively they just looked confused. They looked off.

– That no call on Isaiah and then the missed travel on the other end in the 4th. Home cookin at it’s finest.

The Ugly

– Zero minutes combined for RJ Hunter, James Young, and Jordan Mickey. I don’t get it. I was promised young guys, and I don’t get my three best young guys? What is happening? I know Brad knows what he’s doing but can he at least say something? I need real, valid reasons. The team was shooting in the 30s, and you leave what may be your best options on the bench? This team couldn’t get a rebound, and you leave a big on the bench? Huh?.

– The Celtics deciding to throw the game away in that fourth quarter. Turnovers on turnovers on turnovers. Then that was followed up by the Pacers getting OREB after OREB. How do you expect to come back against a team if you are turning the ball over, and then giving them additional possessions. Maddening.

– And the cherry on top, this fucking foul. Would it have mattered? Who can say. What we CAN say is that this was a clean pick. The ref blew the whistle before Avery even made the move. Huge play, huge pile of bullshit.

 

You know what they say. The best part of the NBA is you get another chance the next night to correct your mistakes. It just so happens that our chance comes against maybe the 4th best team in the NBA. They are vulnerable, just 4-6 over their last 10, but make no mistake, this is going to be a tough one. In fact, as of now the Celts are +3, and that might be low.

Miami has a tough little stretch as well, but this is definitely an unfortunate time for the Celts to be dealing with the toughest part of their schedule. But what can you do. Hopefully Olynyk will be ready (what the fuck is up with that by the way…we’re approaching day like 36) because we need to win one of these next two. A 4 game slide is something we need no part of.

So just like that, we turn the page

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