On Tuesday night the Celtics traveled to Charlotte to take on the Bobcats. This was the first game of arguably their easiest week of the year where Boston faces the Bobcats twice with the Toronto Raptors in between. Doc has begun preparation for the playoffs by choosing to sit some of the veterans in order to get extended rest. Tonight was Paul Pierce's first night off of the season and the team seemed to follow suit. The Celtics as a whole came out very unfocused and struggled in all aspects of the game.
With Pierce being out and Garnett playing limited minutes the Celtics needed someone to step up and lead the team. They put forth a decent effort in the first half going into the break down just three points. However, coming out of halftime the Celtics looked flat and were out scored 27-15 in the third quarter. From there the deficit continuously grew forcing Doc to call it a game, sit the rest of his starters, and unload the bench.
Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers looks for a call against the Charlotte Bobcats during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Doc's face above basically sums up this entire game. The last time Jeff Green was in the starting line-up against Phoenix the Celtics were firing on all cylinders. Tonight was the exact opposite as the Celtics simply couldn't get into any rhythm both offensively and defensively. On the offensive end the Celtics shot just 27-66, the least amount of field goals made in a game all year. Defensively they allowed the Bobcats to get 40 points in the paint to go along with a 45.5% shooting performance.
Of the Celtic starters three finished in double figures with Jeff leading the way with 14 on 4-11 shooting. It was a another bad shooting night for Jeff yet he did manage to get to the line for 8 attempts. No one has struggled more in the last two games than KG. He had another very tough outing shooting just 2-10 in the game and seemed to rush his shot at times. In the last two games Garnett has shot just 7-29 (25%) and looks like he could use some extended rest like Pierce.
CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 12: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Charlotte Bobcats shoots against Jason Terry #4 of the Boston Celtics at the Time Warner Cable Arena on March 12, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Avery Bradley chipped in 10 points on 4-11 shooting and seemed to really struggle on the defensive end. The Celtics were torched by Gerald Henderson who scored a game and career high 35 points. Gerald seemed to be in all the right spots tonight grabbing offensive rebounds and getting easy points at the line good for 12-12 on the night. This was just a very ugly game to watch with constant stops due to 39 foul calls in the game.
The team was also out rebounded 48 to 29 leading to eleven extra shots by the Bobcats. This mixed with a very poor offensive outing was too much for the team to overcome. The only positive takeaway from the game can be found in Jordan Crawfords play. Crawford played an efficient 28 minutes tying Jeff Green with 14 points for the game on 4-6 shooting. He looked very aggressive while, at the same time keeping his outbursts in control.
Boston Celtics' Brandon Bass (30) shoots as Charlotte Bobcats' Bismack Biyombo (0), Gerald Henderson (9), Byron Mullens (22) and Kemba Walker (15) watch with Boston's Jason Terry (4) and Chris Wilcox (44) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Due to the blowout we got our first glimpse of Shavlik Randolph and some extended minutes from D.J. White. The two finished with almost identical stat lines; Randolph played 18 minutes for 4 points, 4 rebounds and White 3 points, 4 rebounds in 16 minutes. If you had to pick who played better I'd go with D.J. as Randolph also committed 5 fouls while D.J. had none.
It'll be interesting to see if they'll get extended minutes in the two remaining games this week. Doc and Danny Ainge will have to make final decisions on both as their second 10 day contracts will expire by early next week. If the team wishes to hold onto the players going foward it'll have to be a contract good for the rest of the season.
This is the second loss the Celtics have suffered to the lowly Bobcats giving them just their 14th win of the season. The team looked just physically and mentally unprepared tonight. You have to give a lot of credit to the Bobcats who played well and certainly showed much more heart. Hopefully the Celtics can move past this and turn it around quickly as they face the Raptors immediately tomorrow night at home as the game tips off at 7:30pm.