Wondering what not to do when leading by 27 points in a basketball? Play like your the Boston Celtics because the results can be deadly. Only the Celtics would be able to revive a fanbase's hopes in a single half only to destroy it with a thud ending like the one tonight in Atlanta. Besides Garnett no one on the Celtics wanted to close out this game with precision on the offensive end of the court. The passing was sloppy and good shots were hard to come by. Towards the end of regulation the Celtics began to walk up the ball and the offense suffered. Though Garnett was dominating in the post to many possesions were wasted by dwindling down the clock and then attempting to get a shot off. The loss keeps life in the losing streak and the play as a whole is picking up some bad traits.
There aren't a lot of positives to be taken away from the game but Courtney Lee and the bench were possibly the one silver lining. His defense was exceptional while he was able to chip in 16 strong points. He missed a couple opportunities to swing the game into the Celtic's favor but overall he might have played one of his best games as a Celtic. Terry was able to connect with three of his four three point field goals while providing 12 points off the bench. With everyone providing some energy Green decided to chip in 16 points off the bench also while getting to the line 8 times with some aggressive drives.
Pierce's struggle are beginning to seriously hurt the team.
Pierce has been struggling mightily during the recent losing spiral and it might have to do with the fact his age is catching up to him. His offense has been horrendous as he always looks a step slow and cant create enough separation for his patent elbow shot. His plus minus was -30 tonight, the lowest by far for the team. I don't know what its going to take to get Pierce out this funk but it needs to happen fast because the team is sliding and his contributions could be the difference maker in how far this team goes.
The team as a whole isn't growing from any of these losses and it seems whenever they find something that works they fade away from it. The bench was able to give the starters a great spark but once again it was wasted energy as they blew it in the second half. This Celtics team also has displayed the inability to close out a game this season and tonight's game was the strongest testimony. The shooting I've been clamoring for displayed itself only it was for the Hawks as Kyle Korver ignited his team to victory.
The ability to have a guy knock down a good amount of his three point shots is an asset to any championship caliber team. The Celtics just don't have that guy that is deadly from behind the arc and can hit that shot propelling the momentum in your favor. Lee had a couple opportunities but missed and Rondo wasn't able to hit any of his shots to take the lead at the end of regulation and the first overtime.
Rondo was able to collect a triple double though, his second in as many nights, without even being on National TV which means he might actually try in games TNT isn't broadcasting.
There isn't much to be excited for, the Heat are coming to town on Sunday and the way were playing it might be the worst possible thing. Maybe the return of Judas will jolt the team and help them win and maybe they might play like they have on this losing streak and get embarrassed. Either way I wouldnt be surprised because this team is just here to torture us and mislead us until the playoffs.
IMO Pierce is no longer capable of being the focus of the offense. He needs to come off the bench in limited minutes. He is hurting the team, and no longer has the energy to contribute for the course of an entire game.
Start Green, see if he finally lives up to his hype on a regular basis, and bring Pierce off the bench, which will hopefully allow him to play with more energy being in a more limited role.