The Celtics just look bad right now. They got blown out by Memphis last night. Just crushed. That comes off a loss to Milwaukee. Oh, and don’t forget the loss to New Jersey at the end of last month, that was a disaster.
Boston has gone from contender to “can they get out of the first round?” in just a couple months. And Celtics fans are letting them hear it.
“Yeah it surprises me,” said Pierce. “You come out on your home court, get this kind of loss, and get booed by your home court I haven’t been on a court where we’ve been booed … it’s been a couple times this year. It’s been about five or six years since I’ve seen that. We’re still 17 games over .500. All the fans want is a constant effort night in and night out. I think we gotta be more consistent with that regardless of if we win or lose.”
Effort. Passion. A little anger even. Fans want to know that the losing bothers players as much as it bothers them.
Fans saw none of that in the Garden last night. Memphis players ran down the court and got behind the Celtics defense, then with two quick passes (Memphis seriously wasn’t forced to put the ball on the floor) the Grizzlies got a layup.
Don’t like the boos? Then do better than scoring 12 points in the first quarter against a team not exactly known for shutting their opponents down.
Boston fans are frustrated, they see an aging team, the window closing, And the last rebuilding process was not exactly speedy in Beantown. They want one more run at it. Or at least to see their team get out and run.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.