Believe it or not things have fallen apart in Boston. One would think that given the team’s recent struggles they would have some sense of urgency playing the Indiana Pacers on Monday. Especially after blowing a 25 point lead on Sunday night narrowly escaping with an 85-82 win over Minnesota. Nope, not these Celtics. Boston comes out hot but fizzles in the end, losing 107-100 to the playoff seeking Pacers. The Celtics shoot 55% and get an unexpected start from Rajon Rondo,who scored 22, and still come up short. Indiana kept pace with the Celtic efficiency by shooting 54% anchored by Roy Hibbert who had 26 points. A.J. Price came off the Pacer bench to light Boston up for 15 which was his 2nd highest scoring output this season. Boston looked frustrated and whiny as they stumbled to their 3rd loss in their last 4 games.
The game was lost by the Celtics due to inconsistency in the 2nd and 4th quarters. Boston tallied a measly 31 points in the two periods while allowing 56 to Indiana in the same two quarters. The Boston defense was nonexistent most of the evening as the Pacers never struggled to score in any quarter. The Celtics were also plagued by foul trouble as Garnett was limited to 25 minutes and Kristic was limited to 17. Doc River’s seemed confounded all night by the questionable calls but more so by his team’s lack of commitment defensively. “Tonight, the foul trouble just killed us. It crushed us today.” said Rivers.
Interestingly I caught a glimpse of River’s suit jacket before the game. He was wearing a pin in the shape of a jigsaw puzzle piece. It’s hard not to speculate about that being some sort of motivating ploy for a team trying to put all its new pieces together. Or a symbol that each person is a piece of the puzzle which would tie in the Unbuntu belief once shared by this proud organization. All the tricks are coming out and right now and none of them are working. Long time Celtic announcer Tommy Heinsohn, said he believed Doc is simply trying to get all the new players assimilated at once. Rivers could try to pick out one or two players and leave some others out but that would leave the team ill equipped for the playoff run. The issue here really is time. Time to get everybody on the same page and quite frankly Boston doesn’t have enough of it.
Jermaine O’neal is traveling with the team hoping to practice Wednesday and play on Thursday against San Antonio. Shaquille O’neal is still on target for a Friday return against the Hawks. By and large this should be good news but in reality its just more pieces for Doc to fit into the puzzle. May the basketball gods help them in San Antonio.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com