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Good thing the Celtics started the season an NBA-record 27-2, because they have really fallen on hard times with bad losses against bad teams. Recently, they lost to the reeling Warriors and Knicks, and Tuesday night fell to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, 114-106 in overtime.
All five starters played at least 36 minutes for the Celtics in this one, so the Bobcats beat the best the Green have to offer. Paul Pierce led the squad with 28 points and six rebounds, and Ray Allen added 20 points and three steals with zero turnovers. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Rajon Rondo, who despite finishing with 16 points and six assists, killed the team with a season-high nine turnovers.
Raymond Felton led the way for Charlotte with 25 points (9-17 shooting), three rebounds, and eight assists. Despite a gross seven turnovers, Felton added two steals and a block. Gerald Wallace pitched in 23 points, six rebounds, and four steals. Overall, the Bobcats shot 48.1% from the field. Can anyone say lack of defensive intensity?
“They come in and intimidate you and try to punk you,” D.J. Augustin said. “But if you don’t back down from them, they kind of fold.”
Personally, D.J. Augustin sounds like a punk with this quote. The Celtics are folding lately due to their slump…it happens to every team (except the 72-10 Bulls…and maybe last year’s Celtics). Augustin can talk trash for one night, after scoring 20 points (12-12 from the FT line) off the bench.
“We told our team before the season it will be 82 Game 7s. Every time we play it’s a Game 7 for the other team,” coach Doc Rivers said. “On the nights we’re not ready mentally for that, we’re going to have to get lucky and play over our head to win.”
Doc is right. The Celtics will see every team’s best every game. If they can’t get up for a game, that’s their fault. I’m not even close to worried about the Celtics making the playoffs or winning the division (those are almost guarantees at this point), but with the Pistons surging and the Cavs and Magic still hot, the Celtics may not be a No. 1 seed by April.