The Boston Celtics didn’t show up tonight. Kevin Durant sat out of the game with a sore ankle. Maybe the Celtics thought the Thunder would lay down without Durant, but that was not the case.
Early on I could tell it was going to be a long night for the Celts. They couldn’t get anything going offensively. Nobody was aggressive. The ball movement wasn’t there. Too many guys standing around flat footed. Rajon Rondo despite a sore hamstring was able to push the ball up but he was the only one running. The Celtics are best when they are running the floor, but it wasn’t happening tonight.
As poor as the offense played, the defense was even worse. The Celtics had no answer for Russell Westbrook. Westbrook had a terrific game finishing with 31 points, 9-21 fgm-a. The Thunder offense went thru Westbrook and if he wasn’t hitting jumpshots, he was dishing to open guys and they were dropping the thunder. Even when the defense made a good play, the Thunder still hit shots. At one point in the third quarter, Celtics had a steal on Westbrook but the ball found its way to Royal Ivey and he banked a desperation three pointer with the 24 second clock expiring. Are you kidding me? Just a bad night.
Even though the Celtics played so poorly tonight, they still had a chance to win the game in the 4th quarter. The Thunder started to miss some shots in the 4th and on the other side of the ball, the Celts were finding themselves on the free throw line, usually the perfect recipe to steal a game. The recipe only works if you actually hit the free throws. Celtics shot 17-27 from free throw line and were terrible at the line in the 4th. The Celtics despite everything going wrong, still had a chance to take the game into overtime. The Celtics had possession of the ball with the score 87-84 and 13 seconds left. Pierce found Delonte West in the corner from beyond the arc but West wasn’t able to knock it down. Game over.
Bad games happen. The important thing is how will the team respond. The Celtics host the Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon at 1pm. I hope they play angry and make up for their performance tonight.
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Written by johnw