Tonight was the low point of the season so far as the Celtics were abused by the Knicks 101-77. We were out played in every category. It was so bad that the Tommy Award went to David Lee on the Knicks. We didn't even have a player that was worthy of the Tommy Award.
The Knicks went to a 2-3 zone defense and the Celtics had absolutely no answer for it. We settled for outside shots that weren't going in and were very complacent. We very rarely drove to the basket. We went to the line 18 times compared to 39 for the Knicks and that was mostly because the Knicks were being aggressive and taking the ball to the basket while the Celtics settled for bad outside shots.
Our shots just weren't falling and we made no moves to get to the basket. We don't even have any individual performances to be a silver lining. Pierce had 12 points on 4-10 shootingwith 2 rebounds and 6 turnovers. Wally had 16 points on 6 of 16 shooting. Telfair shot 4-9 and had only 3 assists. Gomes had 8 points and 4 rebounds. and Al had 4 points on 1 of 4 shooting with 8 rebounds. We were out rebounded 48 to 30 and that is unacceptable. Doc went small again with no rebounders on the floor and with the team bombing away from the outside, it was 1 shot and done on just about every possession.
It seems as though a good coach could have made adjustments to handle the 2-3 zone. We should have been working on playing against the zone in practices as it was only a matter of time until a team used it against us. This is a failure on the part of the coaching that the team was so completely unprepared to deal with the zone defense. After the way we played tonight, I would bet that we will see the zone defense from a lot more teams we face. Doc had better work on it and prepare the team better to face it. Also, when players aren't getting it done on the floor, Doc should put in players who will. Powe and Al have played very well together and yet we haven't seen that combination ever since. Scal may do one good thing and then nothing else the whole time he is out there. Scal isn't the answer but yet Doc keeps playing him. I can't help but believe that if Doc would put Powe in with Al instead of Scal, we would do much better.
I can't put it all on the coach though because the team once again seemed to be flat. We didn't give the effort necessary to win. We played defense in spurts and didn't give a consistent effort for the entire game. When the outside shots weren't going down, the players should have been driving to the basket and should have been trying to find the open man and not just taking quick shots every time down. The Knicks had 48 points in the paint to 26 for the Celtics. We were out played in every category.
We can blame some of the poor play on injuries, Perk is playing hurt, Wally has been playing hurt, West has been playing hurt. Al is just 2 weeks away from an emergency appendectomy. Rondo has the flu. Maybe the injuries are the reason for the flat play. Or maybe it is the coaching. It isn't the youth because Pierce and Wally are just as flat as everyone else. Whatever the problem, hopefully they will figure it out soon because this team is much better than our play of late has shown.
We face Milwaukee tomorrow night on the road and it will be interesting to see how the Celtics react to tonight's loss. They can either hang their head and let it get to them or they can come out hard tomorrow night and show that they are a much better team than what we saw tonight. I sure hope it is the latter because I don't know if I can handle another game like we saw tonight. I still believe in this team. I think that we have a very talented group of players and when they play together as they did in the 3 games in the win streak, and when they commit to defense as they did in those 3 games, we are capable of beating any team. We have to get back to that commitment and we will start winning again.
Another lackluster game for the Celtics. Yes, our shots weren't falling tonight, but our hustle and energy wasn't there either. We looked slow footed out there and there was no sense of urgency to win this game. How a team can look so good at one point (during our 3 game winning streak in which we averaged 118 pts per game while shutting teams down to 90 ppg) and then play so pitifully the next minute and not even blink is beyond me.
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