For the second game in a row, the Celtics gave up a 4th quarter lead to lose a game they should have won. A few thoughts from this game.
The Celtics weren't aggressive and seemed to be playing s step slow all night. They were beaten on the boards 42-34. The Sixers had 48 points in the paint to only 28 for the Celtics. Philly had 20 fast break points to only 5 for the Celtics. The Sixers won in every hustle category.
The team slows down dramatically when Sam Cassell comes in for Rondo. Granted that Sam hasn't practiced with the team yet, but it just seems as though the Celtics lose a lot of their offensive flow when Rondo goes out. Doc should have brought Rondo and Pierce back into the game earlier in the 4th when the Sixers were chipping away at the Celtics 11 point lead. But I can see that he is trying to get the bench more time now and trying to get Sam integrated into the second unit. Hopefully a little practice time will help.
James Posey wasn't at the game tonight because of a family matter and he was missed. PJ Brown didn't play in this game which seemed strange to me if Doc is trying to get these guys more time.
Leon Powe once again made the most of his minutes and was the player of the game for the Celtics. He finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block in 21 minutes.
Pierce and Ray both had sub par games as Pierce finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals and Ray had 14 points, 2 rebounds, and 6 assists. KG finished below his usual output also with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.
The Celtics turned the ball over 15 times, 9 of those in the second half. They allowed the Sixers to go on a 19-0 run in the 4th quarter to pull the game out. The Celtics usual swarming defense was nowhere to be found and it was the Sixers who got the stops down the stretch. The Celtics shot 45% while the Sixers shot 44%.
The real difference in this game was in the free throw differential. I thought the game was called very much one sided as the Sixers shot 44 free throws and the Celtics shot only 20. The Celtics drove to the hoop a lot and just didn't get the calls. So much for the home team getting the calls.
Hopefully, the Celtics can shake off this loss and come out strong against the Suns on Wednesday to avenge that big loss out in Phoenix. The Pistons beat the Suns tonight to keep the pressure on the Celtics for the home court advantage in the playoffs.