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Wait, what? Yes that is correct, the Boston Celtics dropped yet another game to the Washington Wizards on Monday night. Of course it was the Celtics “B team” that handed the Wizards the 95-94 victory.
With Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett out of action for Boston, the C’s bench just couldn’t find a way to beat the lowly Wizards. The loss certainly killed Boston’s attempt to get the No. 2 seed in the East, as Miami won again Monday to earn that spot.
Jordan Crawford made 16-foot jumper late in the fourth to tie the game and bring the two teams into overtime. In overtime, Carlos Arroyo missed the go-ahead jumper with 2 seconds left in the game to bring the Celtics to 55-26 on the year. The win for Washington was its second of the year against Boston, as the team now has a record of 23-58 for the season with one game left to play.
The loss doesn’t help calm head coach Doc Rivers as he was already at a loss for words before the game.
“Frustration is high on our team right now,” Rivers said.
The Celtics are coming off a back-to-back, in which they lost Sunday afternoon against the Heat in Miami. It was a tough loss because it ultimately helped secure the precious No. 2 seed for the Heat. If the Celtics get passed the first round, the team might end up playing Miami again in the second round, and that’s something the players are looking forward to.
“We’d like to play them, I can tell you that,” Rivers said of a playoff rematch with the Heat. “And we may have to if we want to go somewhere.”
This was really a toss up between Jeff Green, Glen Davis and Jermaine O’Neal but I’d give the edge to Green this time. Green put up 20 points, 15 rebounds and four assists. Although he had 20 points, he shot only 8-for-20 in the game, none of which were 3-pointers.
Davis had 20 points, three rebounds and four assists. O’Neal had his first big game as a Celtic, as he poured in 15 points, grabbed 13 boards while swatting five shots. J.O. played 37 minutes and looked great for once this season. He might just be healthy for once and that would be a nice change for the struggling frontcourt.
This could either go to Crawford or John Wall but Crawford did more down the stretch and was more of a team player. He finished with 17 points on 8-for-19 shooting and six assists. Oh, and he forced the game into overtime which led to a victory.
Since coming over from Atlanta earlier in the season, Crawford has been on fire given the opportunity. He has seen his minutes go from 10.0 in Atlanta to 32.8 in Washington and his numbers have sky-rocketed. He went from scoring 4.2 points a game for the Hawks to 16.8 with the Wizards. His assists have also gone from 0.9 to 3.8 since the trade.
Wall finished the game with 24 points (5-for-17 shooting), nine rebounds and three assists. The majority of his points came from the free-throw line as he went 14-for-15 from the charity stripe.
Getting to the free-throw line. This is something that almost no one on the team but Pierce does and it normally wins games. The Celtics got to the line 34 times, making 28 of the shots. Eight of the ten players who got into the game shot at least two free-throws. That is something that almost never happens, especially for the bench.
Shooting in general. The Celtics shot 32-for-84 (38.1%) for the game and only 2-for-7 (28.6%) from beyond the arc. Those numbers are awful considering they were playing a Washington team who hardly plays defense. Boston’s bench (of the bench) went 4-for-15 for the game, a terrible 26.6%.
Also, in the third quarter, Delonte West collided with Javell McGhee, who landed on West’s leg in a rough landing. Delonte left the game with a sprained right ankle, the same injury that has been hampering him for much of the season.
The Celtics will head home to take on the New York Knicks in the regular season finale on Wednesday night. It could very well be a preview of the first round of the playoffs for both teams, but don’t expect that same atmosphere on Wednesday. Look for the Celtics to rest up again in hopes that the team will be healthy enough to get through the first round of the playoffs. The Knicks take on the Chicago Bulls tomorrow night, which will be another throwaway game for the Bulls as they have already locked up the No. 1 seed in the East.
Heading into that game the Knicks are 42-38 on the year. The Celtics are 3-0 against the Knicks this season.