Friday, December 28, 2012

Death By 1,000 Cuts: Celtics Gutted By Clippers 106-77


If Doc Rivers suited up in his old Clippers uniform at halftime, cast a spell on the rest of the team to make them believe that he was still their starting point guard and then proceeded to strategically turn the ball over on every single possession to put their opponents in prime scoring position, the Celtics STILL wouldn't have won this game.


If a member of the Celtics paid the Staples Center maintenance team to "accidentally" shut off the lights at the start of the 3rd quarter, the Celtics STILL wouldn't have won this game.


If the Celtics played patient, team-oriented basketball and stayed home on defense, they might still have lost this game because their new 10 is still learning how to play together with the original 4 in Doc's system and the Clippers happen to be one of the best teams in the League, but they DAMN sure wouldn't have lost this game by a ludicrous 29 points -- their worst loss of the season and the worst loss vs. the Clippers in Celtics team history.

Look, I don't want to pile on with the negative commentary about this team because I am still a firm believer that they're going to figure it out and turn it around for a great Playoff run. But, the one thing that there is just never EVER an excuse for is not trying and not playing hard, which is what this team did once their second and third attempts to cut into the lead were rebuffed by Chris Paul (11 assists), Blake Griffin (15 points, 8 boards) and company.    

While it's understandable that frustration can set in for a team with a new cast that's coming along slower than expected, no Celtic team from 2008 to the present has done anything but compete hard on most nights, even in blowout losses. Tonight, members of the Green appeared to get down on themselves and this led to half-hearted, lazy passes and 18 turnovers against a team that absolutely thrives on the run off of turnovers. The Clippers, meanwhile, only had 8 giveaways.

And, it wasn't just the turnovers...role players like Matt Barnes (21 points on 5-9 three-point shooting) and Caron Butler (14 points) joined super-sub Jamal Crawford (17 points) in throwing up 53 bench points against the Celtics' 29 pine points.

The highlights -- if you can call them that and maintain your integrity -- were these: Kevin Garnett had 16 points on 6-11 shooting. Courtney Lee had 12 rather inconsequential points. About the only real thrill offered by this game if you happen to be a Celtic fan was Paul Pierce's move into 24th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, passing Elgin Baylor and his 23,149 points, with Adrien Dantley in the 23rd spot at 23,177 points looking over his shoulder at the rapidly approaching Truth.

Lowlights? Let me just sum the game up with this stat: Rajon Rondo and Jason Terry combined to shoot 8 for 22.

Folks, as I will get better. This team is going to figure it out. The houses that they pass along the journey may be dilapidated and painted with ugly pea-green paint, but the destination is Club Med. They just have to believe in each other and the system that Doc is preaching. It's coming, C's fans. Stay true. It's coming...

Next up: The Golden State Warriors on Saturday night at 10:30 p.m.

Tale Of The Tape

Box Score

No comments:

Post a Comment