You’ve already seen the numbers — the Boston Celtics have lost four in a row and eight out of their last 10. They are 14-17 on the season now and look like a team that will be struggling with Philadelphia and Brooklyn and Milwaukee just to make the playoffs, not pushing the Heat at the upper end of the standings.
And there’s been a lot of talk about why — their defense has struggled, their offense has struggled, because the offense has struggled the defense has struggled, and many more.
“The frustrating part is just losing,” he said. “I’m a sore loser. It’s tough to lose….
“Everybody isn’t,” he said. “You’ll learn that everybody isn’t a sore loser. Some teams are OK with losing. Some guys are OK with just getting a check. But everything I do, I compete. So, this four-game losing streak is frustrating.”
Rondo wouldn’t name names (nor would that help the situation) but he has thrown down the gauntlet.
It’s now up to Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to both lead by example and pull their teammates up to a higher level. How high a level the Celtics can reach is up for debate, but it’s certainly higher than 14-17.
Kent Bazemore hits game-winner to lift Hawks over Pelicans (video)
And that’s from someone who empathizes with Pierce’s point of view.
When retiring a player’s number, teams tastefully use stoppages to show highlights and tributes to the player. The whole night, not just the moment of raising a number into the rafters, can be about celebrating the player. It’s reasonable for Pierce to want the entire package.
Toomany people around Pierce enabled his flawed approach. Jalen Rose put that to a pointed stop.
Rose on ESPN:
I’ve got say a word for you, fam. I think it was petty.
On Paul Pierce’s part.
I love Paul. This is my brother. Because to me, there are going to be all type of announcements that happen in the 48 minutes during that game. All types. Including Isaiah Thomas could be one of them. It does not take away from your situation. Like Kobe’s, it happened during the game. Because they’re doing yours post-game.
The look on Pierce’s face while Rose was talking!
NBA: Referees missed multiple intentional-foul attempts by Mavericks in loss to Nuggets
The Mavericks trailed the Nuggets by 23 points in the second half and 16 points with 5:15 left in the fourth quarter last night. But Dallas rallied and cut its deficit to only one with 10.4 seconds left. Denver had the ball, so the Mavericks had to foul.
They tried… and tried… and tried before finally succeeding.
Harris made both free throws, and the Nuggets escaped with a 105-102 win once Dallas couldn’t get off a shot with so little time left.
The Mavericks probably would have lost even with a correct call on this sequence. They were trailing in the final 10 seconds and without the ball.
But allowing Denver to run off an extra 6.5 seconds and get the ball to a better free-throw shooter certainly hurt Dallas’ odds.
I’m not so concerned with the result of this game, though. The Mavericks are better off improving their lottery position by losing. It is a bad break for the teams jockeying with the Nuggets for playoff position, but, again, Denver probably would have won anyway.
Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and guard Gerald Green have each been suspended two games without pay for entering the Los Angeles Clippers’ locker room to confront a player from the opposing team, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred following the Clippers’ 113-102 win over the Rockets on Jan. 15 at Staples Center. During the league’s investigation, which included more than 20 interviews with executives, staff, coaches and players from both teams, as well as arena personnel, it was determined that Ariza and Green entered the Clippers’ locker room immediately after the game and engaged in a hostile, verbal altercation with several Clippers players. The league’s investigation further concluded that Rockets players, James Harden and Chris Paul, followed Ariza and Green into the corridor outside the locker room in an effort to defuse the situation, and accordingly, discipline is not warranted.
It’s difficult to unsort exactly what happened away from the court. I don’t envy the NBA’s job here, nor do I blindly trust that the biggest stars should escape punishment.
Ariza and Green will miss games against the Timberwolves on Thursday and Warriors on Saturday. Paul and Harden (if healthy) will be eligible to play in both nationally televised contests.
I’m just surprised Griffin didn’t receive additional penalty for striking Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni: