There isn't much to say but... I'm astonished. KG put it perfectly: These guys have make the decision to put at the least the minimum effort in to win THESE type of games. I mean, we could've just completely ignored offensive tactics, just played DEFENSE on the Nets, and probably wont he ballgame. Instead, we gave up 104 points to a now 6-52 team.
I understand that the Celtics are trying to save energy for the important games, for the playoffs, but I can't believe this. I'm not even going to give you the box score because the mere fact that we lost this game is pathetic.
I don't think I've ever been more exasperated writing two paragraphs in my entire stay here at Celtics 17. This is... unimaginable. Unfathomable. KG scores 26 and Rondo dishes out a season-high and we lose? Were we playing D whatsoever? We allowed five Nets to reach double-figures in the eight-point loss.
Here's my thing. We've shown that we had the energy, we've shown that we have the heart, the intelligence, the skills, and the team unity to win (although the last part is becoming an iffy for me, but I think we still have it). We went on a 16-4 run in the fourth, cutting the deficit to six after a red hot slew of buckets and a few defensive stops -- and of course, the Celtics being the Celtics, and Boston fans being Boston fans, we all thought we had this one in the bag, even when we were in improbable circumstances. We'd done this before. We had let the Nets ride with us for three quarters and then dropped them off just a few minutes before their stop.
But oh no. Not this time. The Nets outsmarted us. They outplayed us. They outhustled us. The worst team in basketball had thrashed us deservingly, and it resulted in a well-earned win for one of the worst teams in history, if not THE worst come the end of the season.
I'm fed up to my green goggles with this cocky, "swaggerized" Celtics team. They're not playing basketball. They're playing "Let's be a bunch of punks and see if the other team will let us win." And if the other team doesn't back down, it's over. Forget it. Goodbye. See ya.
And it's not just about making that decision, like Garnett said, to play hard for 48 minutes. It's becoming a situation where they don't even KNOW where and when to pick their games, their offensive spurts, their defensively dominated quarters. The Boston Celtics are lost. They don't understand anymore. It's almost like they can't tell when they can hit cruise control because they're on such a rule, riding such an adrenaline, that they can just play on pure instinct. But now they're not that pure team anymore. They don't have that smooth confidence (NOT cockiness or swagger) anymore.
A few days ago, I mentioned on a piece that an ESPN analyst commented: "the Celtics know what to do to win a title. The Cavs, the Magic, they don't quite know 'where the finish line is,' whereas Boston knows the level of play they have to commit to in order to win." Do they really though?
Do the Boston Celtics know where their map is anymore?
Because I see the Cleveland Cavaliers on a straight path to destiny (you knew they were going to make some sort of a move and take over the league after Boston basically fell apart and Orlando/Los Angeles/the rest of the contenders sat quiet at the deadline), and the Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, and the Portland Trail Blazers (yes, even after the 20-point shellacking in Portland) all very capable of beating the Boston Celtics when healthy. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs might be able to topple the Celtics if they were on their game as well. And while all of this is taking place, the Celtics continue to struggle. The Celtics continue to comfortably "play their game."
Final thoughts: I honestly don't know what's wrong with this team anymore. I know what the problem is, but I don't know why this wasn't settled a while ago. You have proven leaders in Allen, Pierce, and Garnett. You have assertive young guys like Perk and Rondo who can lead by example. Hell, they even have high-energy guys like Marquis Daniels and Nate Robinson coming off the bench now, and this still doesn't seem to be getting anywhere!
Maybe Donny Marshall's right. Maybe this loss is a good experience for this troubled '09-10 Celtics team. Maybe it was good to look around and see the embarrassment on the faces of teammates, coaches, and fans. Maybe it was good to see a team like the Nets flat-out handling the Boston Celtics, champions just two years ago. Maybe it was motivating to watch as loyal, yet demanding fans begrudgingly drag theirselves out of the arena as their team abysmally watched another loss fly right by their eyes.
But for all I know, we've piled a few too many maybes on the Boston Celtics this season. Can they rise to the occasion?