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That was just embarrassing. It all of a sudden looks like the Celtics will definitely miss the playoffs, or at least be booted out in the first round, after they completely failed against the lowly Nets, 104-96. Defense was terrible, offense was terrible, and even with some questionable calls by the referees, a little more effort would have won it for the C’s. The Nets were 34/41 at the free throw line; the Celtics were 9/11. That’s where the Celtics really could have done better to win (by getting to the line more).
Things got started with the referees, with Perkins being called for a questionable offensive three-second call, and Rondo being called for a clear path foul when he was between the net and the ball. That was after the Celtics took a 12-2 lead, and that was all they would do all day. A bad pass by Nate Robinson gave the Nets the 29-27 lead after the 1st quarter.
The next quarter was highlighted by Glen Davis stealing the ball, then passing it to Rasheed Wallace, who was standing still, completely oblivious of the play. The Nets took advantage of the Celtics not caring to take a ten-point lead with 4:06 left in the half. Perkins was later called for traveling when he was really fouled, then was called for a technical. The Nets led 49-42 at the half, and were really getting the idea that they could win.
Early on in the next half, a Nets player, in frustration, threw the ball towards a referee. But was he called for a technical? Of course not. Sheed would have been called for three technicals for that, as Mike and Tommy were kind enough to point out. The refs later tried to call a 24-second violation on the Celtics, but went back on themselves when it was blatantly obvious there was at least a second left on the shot clock. Scalabrine got the offensive board and Nate Robinson got the three, but the Nets stifled any comeback and led by ten after three quarters, making it six straight quarters in which the Celtics were outscored.
Scal was called for a foul in the 4th after backing over a Nets player, who was behind him, and who Scal didn’t see. The Celtics, in a sense of urgency, cut the lead to six, but did nothing to prevent a drive to the rim by New Jersey. They also did nothing when there was a loose ball. Then, down by seven with 30 or so seconds left, the Celtics just gave up, not fouling on the inbound pass. But they did foul once the ball crossed half court? Either foul right away or give up.
So there you have it. The story of how the Celtics proved they won’t even come close to winning a title any time soon, and just two years removed from their last title. If there’s anything stopping the Celtics from dropping out of the playoff brackets entirely, it’s that 9th place Charlotte has lost to New Jersey twice this season, and has just been bought by Michael Jordan, who didn’t do much good when he had stake in the Wizards. The Celtics are just 5.5 games away from losing home court advantage to Toronto. Though that may only help the C’s, given the way the team has been playing at home.
KG led the team with nine rebounds and 26 points, but still, how can you say anybody did good when they lost to the Nets?
By now, I think you know why.
“It ain’t the system; it’s our heads.” – Doc Rivers in his post-game press conference, explaining why the Celtics lost embarrassingly.