The Celtics were down by as many as 14 but came back to take the lead at one point and kept it close until the end as they lost to the Hawks 100-96. As with most of our previous losses we just couldn't get the stops when we needed them. Our shooting was better than in previous games as we shot 45% from the field and 53% from beyond the arc. On the negative side, we turned the ball over 20 times, 15 in the first half. Once again we saw some good individual performances but they couldn't put it together for a win.
Al once again put in a stellar performance pulling down 17 rebounds to go with 18 points and 4 blocks. At times he struggled with the double teams and turned the ball over 5 times. He was very active again on defense and was fairly efficient shooting 8-14 from the floor. Perk played only 12 minutes and had 2 rebounds, to go with 2 assists but didn't score.
Gomes played 45 minutes and struggeled with his shot and seemed to disappear for periods of time but finished with 12 points on 5-12 shooting to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Once again, Powe got only 8 minutes. Although he didn't have any stats that showed up in the box score, he played good defense in the paint as he took a charge that would have resulted in an easy two and twice made them alter shots that resulted in misses. In a game where we struggled to get stops and where we were out rebounded by 1, having Powe play 8 minutes, Kandi play 6 minutes (1rebound and 1 block) and Perk play 12 minutes didn't make much sense. Having bigs in the center to get stops and play defense would have changed the game.
Green once again found his shooting touch and finished with 22 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and was limited in his playing time by foul trouble. Ray made the most of his 28 minutes and went 6-9 from the field and 3-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 22 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal.
Telfair played a solid game but was once again eclipsed by the play of Rondo. Telfair finished with 13 points, 4 assists, 1 rebound and 1 steal. Rondo once again filled up the stat sheets with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and 1 block.
We are seeing growth on an individual basis from many of our young players but they can't seem to put them together to get a win. I believe that in this game, had we played our defensive bigs a bit more we may have pulled it out. you can't run if you don't have the ball. And if we had just had a few more stops, we could have won. All in all, there are things to like in this team. They fight hard and never give up. They make mistakes as a result of being young and I still feel that Doc makes as many mistakes in his coaching as the team makes on the floor. But they fight hard and don't get up and are improving game by game. Unlike many Celtics fans, I haven't let the losing get me down on this team because there are a lot of positives. Given time those positives are going to continue to increase and this team is going to be a force when at full strength.