Brutal…

Wow.  That may have been the worst basketball game I have ever seen.  Coming out of the blocks down 24-3?  In Game 2 of the playoffs?  Speechless.

And I’m not just talking about the Celtics’ performance.  The Hawks were pretty bad too.  The Celtics actually outscored the Hawks 69-65 after the opening barrage.  This score was over the last 42 minutes of the game or so as well.  Tough to watch.

I can’t remember seeing so many bricks being tossed up…by both teams.  I can’t even believe that the C’s shot 32% for the game.  It seemed worse.  Atlanta had 15 blocks.  Felt like 30.  R.J. Hunter was 0-3 from the field and I think they were all deflected.  Every time a Celtic drove the lane, the shot was seemingly blocked.  Or there were missed layups.  Take your pick.

Chances are your team is not going to go very far if Amir Johnson is your best player on the floor…though I’m still shaking my head over those awful pair of threes he actually lined up and took.

Chances are even better your team will not go far if Terry Rozier is arguably your 2nd best player on the floor…and it looks like he was.  That may be by default though.  No one else played well at all.

Isaiah Thomas?  4-15.  Jae Crowder?  1-9.  Marcus Smart?  1-11.  Ok, that’s actually not a big stretch for Marcus.  But it was all ugly to say the least.  Throw in Paul Millsap’s 1-12 and Kent Bazemore’s 2-14…yikes!

Airballs.  Balls off the backboard, no rim.  24 second violations.  Only 29 turnovers total, but it felt like more.  Was it good defense?  Maybe partly.  But I’m not buying it.  The C’s had plenty of open looks.  As did the Hawks.  And early on, Kyle Korver proved me wrong (of course) by burying 5 threes when there actually was someone close by most of the time.

The bottom line?  My eyes still hurt.  Badly.

Ok, the real bottom line?  My confidence in the Celtics is waning.  Kind of an understatement, I know.  But I said before the series I thought that it would be a close series that the C’s would lose in 7.  That the Celts would fight hard all the way.  Well, they do fight hard and they will continue to for sure.  It seems a little far-fetched now that this series will go close to 7.  Maybe some home cooking will help?

The slow starts over the last handful of games are a real concern.  If this happens to other local teams, we blame the coach for not having the team ready to play.  Can we do that with Brad Stevens at this point?  I don’t know if I am going to go that far, but it’s worth asking the question.  It’s inexplicable that they can come out of the locker room this poorly in the most crucial time of year.

Avery Bradley is hurt, I’ll give you that.  But it’s my opinion that they should still be competitive against the Hawks even without him.  Against the Cavs, Spurs, Warriors or the like?  Not a chance.  But the Hawks, absolutely.  I’m not sure the Hawks have been all that impressive through the first two games, especially if you take out the first 6 minutes or so of each game.

The injuries besides Bradley?  It’s a little disturbing that we are starting to hear about them now.  Maybe disturbing is too strong a word.  Disappointing, maybe?  But the fact that these are being talked about now…does it build in some excuses in case they lose the series?  Especially if they get smoked from here on in?  I hope not.  Either way I don’t want to hear about them.

Crowder said he is playing at 75%.  Smart has a bum finger.  Blah, blah, blah.  The worst?  Don’t get me going on Dirk Nowi…er, I mean Kelly Olynyk?  He couldn’t play tonight?  Shoulder?  How bad is it?  Can’t they medicate him and have him suck it up for a few minutes?  Guess not.  One inactive spot was obviously going to Bradley.  The other would’ve been John Holland.  Kelly could’ve dressed and if he could even give them a few minutes, it would’ve been better than what guys like Holland, Jordan Mickey, James Young, Hunter, etc. would give them at full strength.  And no one would’ve missed Holland.  But Kelly couldn’t do it.  As far as I’m concerned, if he couldn’t play tonight, he’d better be out for the series.  That tough guy stuff from Dirk with Kevin Love last year didn’t carry over to this year’s playoffs series I guess…

And hey, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Holland!  I have no idea who he is, even if he went to Boston University for 4 years…right down the road.  But he got out in 2011.  Been playing overseas since then and this year in the D-league.  But never a minute in the NBA.  The Celts signed him 8 days ago.  And he got a minute tonight.  Got himself in an NBA box score.  Good for him.  Too bad he missed his shot attempt though.

What else can I tell you?  Not much.  Best to take this one and just flush it down the toilet.

Here’s hoping the Celtics show up in Game 3 in Boston.  I know, Captain Obvious.  But they can’t whimper out against a team of similar talent in this year’s playoffs.  What kind of taste would that leave in your mouth heading into this very important offseason?

Wait, don’t even answer that…

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About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on April 20, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. alright, alright. That is enough out of you. Olynyk’s injury is pretty severe, and though it showed how dreadful this team has been from 3, without he and Bradley, I am totally ok with him being out. Crowder had a high ankle sprain and those injuries never heal without rest. He won’t be the same until next year. We all knew that once he got that injury. Just part of the NBA. 82 games at this pace, everyone is ailing. No excuses. I think the team is pretty much the same, though what I imagine is happening is they fed into the narrative they are a good team. They are a good team, but they have to give 110 percent to do it. They take the foot off the gas for a minute and they fall back. The defense has been weak at the beginning of games all the way back to the last five in the regular season. Atlanta is also a pretty good defensive team and they are focusing on Isaiah pretty effectively. The fact of the matter is this team has so over performed we forget just how much that is. I mean, the Hawks have Teague, Horford, Milsap. We barely have a player that is recognizable outside of Thomas, and that emergence happened only this year. The three years since the Pierce and Garnett trade (which devastated me – ugh – but understandable) and this was the year we looked to as the summer where we get back to relevance. As far as I am concerned this is all gravy, though it does remind you how nice it is to root for a playoff team, rather than a lottery pick. I actually called Celts in 7 for this series, which seems a little ridiculous at this point, but I think some adjustments they can compete with Atlanta. But…13 percent shooting in the first quarter will not get it done! Bradley is a loss, but it should not affect the team this bad, maybe over the longevity of the series. I think the missing link has been Crowder. He was such a defensive force, as well as very effective on offense. He has to start playing well to squeak out a victory on Friday. Fingers crossed, Brad will get this team ready. He better. If they go down 3-0 then your entire post was completely accurate and maybe even generous. I will give them until game 3! Fun reading Celts stuff though. Keep ’em coming! The Summer of Durant is upon us!

    • Just depressing that’s all. And perhaps I am biased against Olynyk…I just don’t like him! You make a great point in saying that they are a good team, but they need 110 percent. No question about that. They also need all the top bodies clicking on all cylinders. Maybe some of the injuries are a reason they can’t…but like you said, everyone is like that and there should be no excuses. No excuses for Crowder if he can play 35 minutes in a game they were never in either. If he was hurt that bad, he should’ve taken a seat early…though I guess who else would they have put out there? So maybe not. You also mention another key thing: The Hawks are focusing on Isaiah. Same as Cleveland last year. He hasn’t been able to get into his game. And that is why he will only be a “nice piece” going forward and certainly not the centerpiece like some feel he can be. He can be somewhat shut down when the better teams are around. Not 100% of course, but enough to alter a game. I thought they would lose in 7, but thought they’d be real competitive. I STILL think they can be competitive, even without Bradley. But it’s hard to back up my feelings with their performance so far. I don’t think the Hawks are unbeatable by any means…especially if Millsap continues to be a no-show. But these shots have to start falling, can’t miss layups, and obviously have to get their crap together from the opening bell. You really think they have a chance at Durant though? I’m skeptical…

  2. I totally agree on Isaiah. I like him. I was happy when they got him, and I think he is even better than I thought or the C’s did. But, he is a piece, and I think on a championship team he would be like a 3rd option. Say, Duran, and Cousins, or Love, and Isaiah and someone else. The thing with Crowder is he is ok to play, but I think the high ankle sprain will alter his performance until it fully heals. He can play, but his shot is off, he does not go to the hoop like he used to, and I am not even sure about the D right now. Ugh! I also kind of agree on Kelly O. Sometimes I like him, sometimes I scream at the Tele. “Trade him!” Durant? I drool on the thought, but I don’t think it is all that realistic, especially if they get swept! But, if they get ousted in 1st or second round which I think happens for OKC, then he leaves. Where is the question? C’s have Stevens and all kinds of young talent with assets, so it is attractive. But, maybe more for say Love when the Cavs ultimately lose, or Jimmy Butler? Or even say, C’s get a good draft pick and then sign Whiteside, and another star with assets. I don’t know. I think the summer will be interesting. It is clear though, they need a star. Season is fine to root for a good team that makes you happy, but stars win in the playoffs. That is so clear. My preference would be Paul George! Because of his defense. I love his game. Not gonna happen though, unless we land #1 or #2 and they are looking to deal.

    • Agreed on the star…and for this summer. I really don’t know what is going to happen. Any number of things could. For some reason, I have faith in Danny that he will pull this all together heading into next year. He really better! I cannot wait to see how things pan out. Just hopefully we won’t all be disappointed…

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