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This is another installment of 10 Reasons… to add a different spin to each Celtics win or loss this season.
Nets (3-1) defeat Celtics (3-3), 82-71
Box Score from NBA.com
10. Kendrick Perkins sat out again with what is being reported as a tightness in his left hamstring. This could become a lot worse if he did play, but we’re talking about why the C’s lost. We can start with the hole left by Perk at the center position. It’s apparent that they’re gonna need him this season to not only stay healthy, but to contribute 30 minutes per night.
9. Leon Powe had a second-straight ineffective game covering for Perk at center. In just 14 minutes he managed to collect 4 personal fouls to go along with zero points. He was better on the boards with five rebounds, but it’s definitely apparent that without Scot Pollard and especially Perk, the C’s are pretty weak up front. Powe and Brian Scalibrine will not cut it.
8. The game they lost Tuesday night against the Nets was their third loss in a row, but more importantly it was their fifth game in the last seven days. I know it’s the preseason and people are getting rests, but this team has been everywhere. Their first two games were in Rome and London, their third game was back in Boston, their fourth was the “rained out” game in Worcester, and their last three games have been out of Massachusetts entirely. It’s understandable.
7. Scal had another poor game, this time subbing for Kevin Garnett at the PF position. He shot 5-11 from the field (1-6 from downtown). His ineffective shooting overshadowed his pretty decent defensive game: 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, and just one turnover. Still, Scal’s shooting hurt the C’s in this game.
6. Regular sharpshooter Eddie House had an off game as well. He went 5-11 from the field and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. His two turnovers (while not bad) did not help either.
5. The Nets bench played well, highlighted by second-year player Antoine Wright and former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves (the always-grinning guy that won an NCAA title). Combined, they scored 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting. When Mateen Cleaves (10 points, 4-6 from the floor) has a good game, even though it’s preseason, that’s BAD NEWS for the C’s.
4. Tony Allen had an odd game. On that bad knee, Allen played 42 minutes (!!) and had 10 points, 9 assists, and a whopping 6 steals. The bad you ask? Try 2-15 from the field. 6 turnovers. He had the most productive and counter-productive game I’ve seen in a while. At least he didn’t mess up his knee on a botched dunk.
3. Rondo turned in another poor performance. I know I’ve been hard on Rajon Rondo, but c’mon. In 25 minutes, he was 1-8 from the field (4 points) with just 2 assists and 5 turnovers. He did contribute 7 boards and 2 more steals, but it’s apparent that Rondo still needs some work. Tony Allen chipped in at point and had 9 assists while the team scored only 71 points, while Rondo had just 1 assist the previous night while the team scored 87. What does that say about Rondo?
2. The general theme of this post has been poor shooting. Well, it was atrocious for the Celtics as a team. The team went a combined 23-70 from the field (32.9%) and just 4-21 from beyond the arc (19.0%). Teams rarely ever win with shooting that poor. No wonder Rondo had just 2 assists, no one could make a basket! Good thing this is the preseason, however, the team needs a break from this 3-game losing streak.
1. I think the obvious reason the team struggled was the absence of the Big Three. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce all took necessary rests. Had they played, they probably had A LOT better chance of winning. To be honest, this team looked a little like last year’s squad when Pierce and Szczerbiak were injured. Tony Allen was the best player and Scal and Powe were getting tons of minutes…and the Celtics were losing. Again, thank God it’s the preseason.
Editor’s note: The Celtics Four-Point Play column that usually appears on Wednesdays will appear on Thursday (10/25) with the Celtics’ off-day.