The Celtics had a bad night as they lost Ray Allen and then lost the game. Several things contributed to this loss. First was the fact that both Pierce and Garnett had off nights. Pierce was 1-7 from the floor for 8 points with 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 turnovers. KG struggled in the first half and came back somewhat in the second half. He finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks.
Along with Pierce and KG having off games, the Celtics lost Ray Allen after the first quarter. He was off to a good start with 9 points and 1 rebound and was 6-6 from the line as he was being aggressive taking the ball to the basket and then he appeared to slip on the floor and jammed his ankle. He played all 12 minutes in the first quarter but did not return to the game after that.
Add to that the fact that the officiating was terrible and every time the Celtics would make a run and try to get back into the game, the refs would call some phantom fouls on them and take them right back out of it. Pierce, Perk, Rondo and KG were all in foul trouble in the first half.
I have to lay some of this loss on Doc. Perk was clearly the Celtics best player tonight with 13 points (5-5 from the field and 3-3 from the line) to go with 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocks. Rondo was playing well with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. And yet, Doc kept both Rondo and Perk on the bench for the entire 4th quarter until 3 minutes were left in the game. He should have brought them back in earlier. I think Perk especially could have made a difference when the Celtics got close. Perk did get called for a flagrant foul at the end but in fairness he was going for the ball and had been getting hit and pushed all night with nothing getting called and that leads to a bit of frustration.
Leon Powe made the most of his minutes, as usual with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block in 13 minutes. Big Baby played almost 15 minutes and finished with just 2 points, 3 fouls and 2 turnovers. He did hustle out there but it just wasn't his night. Posey was 3-8 from the field for 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. House finished with 7 points (3-8), 2 rebounds 3 assists. Tony Allen played more minutes with Ray out and was the only Celtics with a + in the +/- column. He finished with 7 points 3 rebounds and 2 assists and was aggressive taking the ball to the hoop. Neither PJ Brown nor Sam Cassell played in this game.
The Celtics were out rebounded in this game 38-29. They were outscored in the paint 50-40. They shot only 49% from the field while allowing the Jazz to shoot 51%. They were out hustled by a Jazz team that wanted it more. This was just the Celtics 2nd double digit loss for the season and they were simply outplayed and out coached in this one. Maybe it was the uniforms as the Celtics were in their green and gold uniforms while the Jazz wore the home whites. The refs sure seemed to think the Jazz were the home team with the way they called the game.
The Celtics now start on the toughest stretch of games this season. They will be facing 4 of the 8 playoff teams in the west on the road and every one of them are going to be playing their best ball as they are all fighting for playoff position. Hopefully tonight's loss will serve as motivation for the Celtics to do the same. It will be tough if Ray has to sit out, but they need to be sure the ankle is healthy and not force it because he will be needed even more in the playoffs. On another note, the Pistons beat the Spurs tonight to pull to within 4.5 games of the Celtics for the top seed in the East.