11/21/2014: Game 11

Memphis 117 Boston 100

Ugly loss. There were moments where the Cs stayed competitive and looked like they were going to take control of the game. But it never happened. Memphis showed them why they’re currently one of the best teams in the league, with absolutely stellar defense for 48 Minutes. The Grizzlies’ Big 3 of Z-Bo, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley all played efficient, above-average games. Gasol tied a season-high with 32 Points.

Rondo laid an egg with 4, 5, and 4 on 2/6 Shooting in 28 Minutes. The Celtics played better defense 7 Steals and Blocks apiece to the Grizzlies’ 4. But Memphis pulled down 50 Rebounds, and the Celtics only 38. Memphis also shot 48/91 (52.7%) to Boston’s 38/88 (43.2%).

It’s difficult to nitpick certain players. Obviously everyone expects more out of Rajon, but for the most part, everybody else played decent at worst. Sully had 13 Points, 6 Rebounds, an Assist, a Steal, and 3 Blocks. Kelly had 18 Points, 6 Rebounds, an Assist, a Steal and a Block. More guys kicked in double figure points, and for the most part they did it efficiently. At the end of the day, they just lost to a better team. That’s all there is to it.

There was no answer for Z-Bo and Gasol. It was made abundantly clear that the Cs would not be able to get the ball into the paint. Even when one of them subbed out, Jon Leur who came off the bench had a game that was anything but typical, with 19 Points, 7 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 2 Steals and a Block. So the Cs trend of allowing players they don’t prepare having big games continues.

This postgame coverage is starting to get monotonous. Here is what the Cs need to do now to get better:

  • Rondo needs to continue to play at his MVP pace. He’s likely exhausted, but only good can come from his aggressive play. He’s the captain. Players will feed off of that energy, and when he gets it going, he’s nearly unstoppable.
  • Kelly and Sully need to continue to play above-average basketball. They got killed defensively, so they best thing they can do is keep the morale up and fight back offensively. There were a few moment where I saw some bad body language coming from Sully. That’s uncharacteristic and must end immediately. He’s slowly becoming a leader of this team.
  • Evan Turner turned in a nice game off the bench with 10, 6, and 5. He must continue to play exactly like this: fill the stat sheet.
  • Marcus Smart needs to get healthy ASAP. His defense is sorely missed. The Cs are going to have a hard time winning games without Smart the stalwart running the show on defense.

I’m thinking it might be time to go back to the drawing board. Somewhere along the way, offense became more of a priority for this team. Yet if you look at the roster, it ain’t hard to tell that this team is not going to outscore most teams on any given night. Last year, the Cs were one of the best defensive teams in the league. This year, not so much. D leads to transition offense, which is paramount to team success.

Brad is mulling it over tonight, and tomorrow the team takes on a gritty Portland Trail Blazers team in Boston.

Homer Johnsen (@HomerJohnsen) is a freelance writer and Gatekeeper of the Celtics Fans Echo Chamber. He says what everyone else is thinking after every game, right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.

11/19/2014: Game 10

Boston 101 Philadelphia 90

Thank goodness for this one. There was a chance that the three-game skid and a hungry 76ers team would have been potent enough to get the ball rolling on a major Cs losing streak. Thankfully, we’re not having that discussion.

Here’s a quick glance at the stats:

  • Rondo: 9 Points, 13 Assists 5 Rebounds, 2 Steals
  • Sully: 22 Points, 9 Rebounds, 4 Assists
  • Jeff: 11 Points 10 Rebounds, 2 Assists, A Steal and a Block*
  • Bass: 23 Points, 6 Rebounds, 1 Assist, Steal, and Block
  • Marcus Thornton: 13 Points, 2 Rebounds, 3 Assists and 4 Steals

*Everytime a player’s statline ends with 2 Rebounds/Assists, 1 Steal and 1 Block, it will be referred to as “Da Doo Ron Ron.” (Example: Jeff had 11 Points, 10 Rebounds and Da Doo Ron Ron.)

Rondo is two Rebounds per game short of averaging a triple-double. Sully is averaging 16 Points and 9 Rebounds through 10 Games on 49.6% Shooting.

But despite the positives, this game was won solely due to the fact that the Cs shot a more efficient game. Both teams had 15 Turnovers; Boston allowed more Points off of Turnovers. Both teams pulled down 44 Rebounds. Their defensive, 3-Point Shooting, and Free-Throw shooting stats are nearly identical.

Boston won because they were the better team. But my guess is Brad still has plenty of criticisms about this one. Why? One of the big stories around the league right now is about how Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns said that the 2014-15 University of Kentucky Wildcats could “definitely” beat the Philadelphia 76ers. The fact that this debate even exists is a testament to just how awful Philly actually is. And they hung around until the final buzzer. Sure, they’re hungry for their first win of the season, but this game should have been a lot more one-sided.

But I’m also being too picky. The Cs got a win when they needed it most. Their record through ten is 4-6. It’s not .500, but I’ll take it. They lost a few that they just as easily could have won. This win is one that should boost the morale after three tough losses in a row. In quickly glancing at the schedule, I think 5-5 over the next ten is a reasonable goal and expectation. It’s the perfect mix of easy, hard and equal contests.

Next up is is a tough one: Memphis on Friday.

Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer and author of The Freegan Cookbook series. He lives in various locations around Vista, CA, and blogs about the Boston Celtics right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.

11/17/2014: Game 9

Phoenix 118 Boston 114

Disconcerting is the notion. Here it is: the Celtics are a good enough team to hang around with the league’s best for a whole game. But hanging around and then turning it into a win is the hard part.

Five Cs scored in double figures, Rondo was an assist shy of a triple-double, and Jeff broke out for one of his above-average performances (28 Points on 10/17). But it wasn’t enough. Five Suns countered in double figures, but it wasn’t the Bledsoe/Dragic backcourt that couldn’t be contained. It was Markieff Morris putting up 30, 7, 5, and 4 Steals, and Alex Len chipping in 19 off the bench. Strange, right?

Kelly registered 4 Personals in 13 Minutes. He scored no Points. The big surprise was Tyler Zeller going 8/19 for 19 Points. He leads the league in FG%.

Statistically, this game was almost a push. Both teams put up similar numbers across the board, and where one team had an advantage, the other had one elsewhere. The Cs are now losers of their last 3 in a row. They face a winless 76ers team on Wednesday, which needless to say has one rather huge implication to it. The Celtics are better than their 3-6 record suggests, and Philadelphia is slowly figuring it out, with last year’s Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams back in the lineup. You think they want to win this game?

I’m postponing the usual banter until this Philly game. After that one, we’ll have a better idea of where this team stands.

Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer. The film Little Big League (1994) was a blueprint for his staged coup of the Celtics Organization in 2004. Today, he opts to blog about the team instead, right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille. 

11/15/2014: Game 8

Cleveland 122 Boston 121

Tough loss in every sense. The game was truly remarkable for both teams offensively. LeBron had 41. Kyrie had 27, with several big 3s in the Fourth. Seven Celtics scored in double figures. Mike Gorman kept referring to it as an, “old-fashioned basketball game.” Not sure if I agree with the word choice, but he’s 100% right about the general sentiment. Gorman also made mention of a playoff atmosphere, which it most certainly was.

The Cs played through the first half mostly holding the lead before securing a tie. In the 3rd, they were poetry in motion. Rondo conducted a brilliant offensive sequence that saw Kelly get hot and other guys hitting big shots.

But unlike any other game, the Cs were never fully comfortable. Even when they parlayed that offensive outburst into a 19-point lead, they knew they couldn’t take their feet off the gas. LeBron was so amped to be playing in Boston because he thrives off the energy of the fans and the environment. He spoke at length about it before the game. While Kyrie led the chrage in cutting the lead down, LeBron had his moments too. Attacking the basket at will seemed nothing more than routine. He just could not be contained whatsoever.

Rondo had 6 Points, 8 Rebounds, 16 Assists and 3 Steals in 31 Minutes. He had 3 Turnovers, 4 Personal Fouls, and fumbled the ball on the Cs last second shot out of a timeout to end the game.

He’ll beat himself up over that. But he’s also hinted that he would have liked to have played more. “I’m a competitor, obviously I want to be in for the full 48.” He did have 4 Fouls, and the Cs did lead by 19 at one point. But I hear Rondo on this one. He can go toe-to-toe with LeBron any day of the week. LeBron played 41 Minutes.

The Cs shot a blistering 54.5% from the Field as a team.

  • Sully had a double-double with 19 Points and 10 Boards.
  • Kelly led the team with 21 Points
  • Jeff had 19
  • Avery, Brandon, Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner had 12

This loss is nobody’s fault but their own. Obviously this Cleveland roster is loaded and their still building basic team chemistry, but the Cs squandered a 19-point lead and missed a win that really would have been a nice one. I continue to miss Marcus Smart, who would have held Kyrie in check nicely.

It’s easy to sit and nitpick this loss for therapeutic reasons as a fan. But I’m very pleased with the offensive performance. Efficient, high-volume scoring. If there was any way they were going to beat this team, that’s how they were going to do it.

They’ll ride that momentum into their next game, Monday against Phoenix at home.

Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer and Deacon in the Celtics Synod of the Freelance Bloggers First Assembly of Bird. His word is spoken after every Celtics game, here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.

11/12/2014: Game 7

Oklahoma City 109 Boston 94

This is a bad loss. The Cs led by 9 at Halftime. OKC got hot at the end of the 3rd and breezed through the 4th.

Boston started hot, but OKC was lights out in the 2nd Half. Ball movement and hustle was the name of the game. It was clear they were in control, and with Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson the two best available. No KD or Westbrook.

The Cs couldn’t keep up, and it showed:

  • Boston shot nine more 3s than OKC, but they didn’t make them. That could be an indication, but not really, since Boston and OKC took 83 and 82 shots respectively. That’s just bad offense.
  • The games leading rebounder was not Serge Ibaka, or Steven Adams, or Jared Sullinger, or even Rajon Rondo. It was Lance Thomas…Yeah, that’s right.
  • Rondo had an MVP game going 8/16 (4/7 from Three) for 20 Points, 12 Assists, 9 Rebounds and 2 Steals.
  • One bright spot, everyone in the starting lineup each scored in double figures, with none having fewer than 14 Points.
  • Evan Turner and Tyler Zeller off the bench had 6 Points on a combined 2/5 Shooting in 36 Minutes.
  • Brandon Bass did go 2/2 from the Field and the Free Throw line, but the poor guy saw only 15 Minutes stuck behind Olynyk and Sullinger.

Marcus Thornton rested with an ankle injury. His outside shooting was clearly missed, not only from a statistical sense, but in the context of momentum control (Copyright HeresTheDealLikeShaquille 2014).

Let me break it down:

Anthony Morrow had 28 Points and made 4 of his 5 Three-Pointers. Tonight, he was the Thunder’s Marcus Thornton. The two are very similar players: lightning rod guards who can simply pour it in when they’re feeling just right. Whether from 3 or the Field. Every time a bench player like that hits a momentum-changing shot, it stings worse. OKC, on the road in Boston, had a dude drop buckets all over the court. The Garden faithful found themselves asking, “Who the fuck is that?”

I’m not mad at the starters. You know how frustrating it must be to do your job defensively and some guy you haven’t prepared for is playing like Michael Jordan?

There isn’t much else to say. This was a textbook loss: OKC took control and Boston couldn’t fight back. Can’t dwell. Move on.

Next game, LeBron and the Cavs come to town on Friday.

Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer and shaman practitioner of garlic treatments for body, spirit, and mind. His Celtics game reactions and interactive garlic journal are blogged right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.

11/8/2014: Game 6

Boston 106 Chicago 101

With Rondo and Smart out, Evan Turner ran the point admirably. Seven guys scored in double figures and the Celtics pick up a nice win against the Derrick Rose-less Chicago BullsI assumed Rose was going to play, but Bulls brass is opting for a more conservative recovery.

Here’s a look at the statline:

  • During the preseason I expressed concern about Evan’s productivity as a starter versus off the bench. His best games were when he started, and tonight proved no exception. He had 19 Points, 6 Assists and 5 Rebounds on 7/14 Shooting in 32 Minutes as the starting Point Guard.
  • Kelly held his own against arguably the league’s best frontline of Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. He had 18 Points and 11 Boards, as well as Block. Unfortunately, he had 4 Turnovers too.
  • Jeff chipped in 14, 4, 4, and 2 Steals on 5/12 Shooting (2/4 3PT)
  • Avery had a nice game after a tough night last night. He had 13, 3, 2, Steals and a Block on 6/10. He stopped shooting early in the game, a true testament to his character as a team player.
  • After a stretch of silence, Marcus Thornton had an efficient 11 Points (5/9; 1/1). I’m starting to think he is a bit of an X-Factor. When he’s scoring, he changes the game. There’s pep in everyone’s step, and when he catches an open look on an extra pass, everyone knows it’s going in.
  • Tyler Zeller didn’t let the corneal abrasion hold him back, having maybe his best game through these first six. He had 10 Points, 7 Rebounds and 4 Steals, going toe-to-toe with the aforementioned Gasol and Noah.
  • According to advanced metrics, Sully truly had himself a ballgame: 10 Points (5/10), 8 Rebounds, 4 Assists. Good for a PER of +25. The next best was Avery at +14. Say what you will about player efficiency ratings, but Jared is a huge part of what the Cs are doing this year. So long as he stays healthy, he’s going to be a focal point of the team’s success at both ends of the floor.

I’m quite pleased with this win. They didn’t have Rose on the floor, but Chicago is as deep a team as any. Mike Dunleavy was hot from Three. Noah and Gasol can score from anywhere around the paint. Jimmy Butler had 23, 7, and 5 last night. Aaron Brooks had 26 Points and 8 Assists tonight.

You get my point. Anyone who knows anything about basketball still would have picked the Bulls to win tonight.

Both teams made 42 Shots, but Chicago took 92 (45.7%), and Boston, 81 (52%). That’s a very important takeaway. The Cs played efficiently on offense, but Chicago still took more shots, which gave them a better chance to win. Like last night, this was a tight contest all the way down the end.

The Celtics had 12 Turnovers, but Chicago only had 8. So Chicago’s had fewer Turnovers and took more shots, which still adds up to a loss. Boston played good defense. They can absolutely pat themselves on the back about that.

And I’ll cut them some slack, No Rondo or Smart and they only had 12 Turnovers. I can live with that. But it remains all about pace. Defense will only get you so far once the opposing team starts scoring.

Great win. Next up, Rondo returns against a hobbled Oklahoma City Thunder in Boston on Wednesday.

Homer Johnsen (@HomerJohnsen) is a freelance writer. He was voted “Next David Kahn” by the Basketball Writers of the Blogosphere (BWB). You can read his reactions to Celtics games right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille. 

11/7/2014: Game 5

Boston 101 Indiana 98

A nail biter all the way down to the buzzer. At times the Celtics looked like they were rolling, hitting shots and jumping out to nice leads. But then they would get sloppy and Indy would get hot. There were several lead changes throughout the contest.

Two quick injury notes: Tyler Zeller suffered a corneal abrasion after taking a hand to the face. The scarier moment came when Marcus Smart rolled his ankle on a drive to the basket in transition. He writhed in pain and general consensus was bleak as the stretcher and backboard were called to get him off the court (he couldn’t stand). X-Rays came back negative and the MRI results will be reviewed in the morning. He’s not getting on the plane to Chicago tonight, nor is Rondo, who’s having screws removed from his recently broken hand.

Five guys scored in double figures:

  • Sully had 17, 6 and 5 on 8/17 Shooting
  • Jeff had 15 Points and 7 Rebounds on 5/12 (3/7 from Three)
  • Kelly went 5/7 in 28 Minutes with 12, 5, 2 and a Steal. He only had 2 Personal Fouls.
  • Avery had an inefficient 11 Points on 4/12 (1/4)
  • Bass filled the stat sheet with 10 Points on 3/4 (4/4 FT), 4, 4 and a Block

Others worth noting:

  • Rondo played only 28 Minutes, perhaps due to his fast accumulation of turnovers in a short period of time. He had 8, 6, 4, 2 Steals and a Block with 3 Turnovers.
  • Phil Pressey saw his first legitimate minutes of the season and made the most of them with 5 Points, 4 Assists and 2 Steals in 13 Minutes.
  • Evan Turner had 8 Points on 4/7 Shooting, hitting some nice buckets down the stretch.

The Celtics opened the game hot on offense. They were making nice passes, hitting the open shots and driving to the hole. Yet whenever their lead grew to double digits, they would squander it almost immediately. Rondo tried to force passes on each of his 3 Turnovers. Other guys just got caught pounding the ball with nowhere to go.

After Smart was carted off the floor, the game changed. Phil Pressey came in and played with great energy and poise. So much in fact, that Brad left Rondo on the bench longer than he had probably planned for. Sully, Jeff and Evan all hit big shots. In the game’s final minute, Jeff got position on 7’2 Roy Hibbert and muscled him out of an offensive rebound. He was fouled to stop the clock. Sully celebrated by yelling and flexing.

Boston came into tonight the loser’s of three in a row; Indy four. The Pacers were also without several core guys (Paul George, George Hill, David West, CJ Miles, Rodney Stuckey), which no doubt would have made it a different ballgame.

Both teams really wanted this one, so it’s nice to see hard work go rewarded, no matter how suspect it was at times. The Cs played their most inspired basketball in the 4th Quarter with great pace. Their play in other quarters was uninspired at times, especially when Indy would get hot. The Pacers went on a 17-0 run at one point. Luckily, Brad is the master of staying cool in situations when most anyone else would go berserk, so nothing was ever out of control.

I’m glad to see turnovers down and that they’re still scoring in volume. If there is any lesson to take away from this game, it’s don’t ever get comfortable. A 12-Point lead got cut to 4 in a matter of seconds.

Pressey has to feel great heading into Chicago. He was dead last on the bench and now there’s a 50/50 chance he starts at Point Guard. He’ll need to stay hot going up against Derrick Rose.

Chicago tomorrow. Sleep well.

Homer Johnsen is a freelance Celtics blogger here at HeresTheDealLikeShaquille, and Chief Organizer of the Cashew Cream Cheese Festival, every summer in Burlington, Vermont. 

11/5/2014: Game 4

Toronto 110 Boston 107

This was disappointing. Up as many as 14 in the first quarter, the Cs squandered on their home court and lost what could have been a nice confidence-boosting win. Instead they’re losers of three in a row, still in the midst of an arduous stretch of games.

Tonight, Boston had a 12-point lead after the first quarter. So far so good. But that was it. Toronto painted a defensive masterpiece and rode Kyle Lowry’s 35 Points to victory. Rondo had a nice triple double (13 Points, 15 Assists, 10 Rebounds) and five other guys scored in double figures, but the Celtics Turned it Over 27 times. Too many in the first place, and to salt the wound a little, Toronto only had 7.

  • Jeff showed us a little consistency after a big game in Dallas, going for 20, 4, 3, a Steal and 3 Blocks. He was 9/16, but only 2/7 from Three. The efficiency inside the perimeter, however, is encouraging.
  • Sully had himself a game with 19 and 16 on 7/13 Shooting. He opted to abandon the Three-ball after missing his first attempt. It’s now a nice trick in the back pocket when he needs it.
  • Kelly had 18 and 13. I love the energy on the Boards. This should be the area where he makes his next big stride, and it’s a collective understanding that nights like this one should be what he aims for. He’s that good. It’s just about consistency at this point.
  • But it wasn’t all gravy with Kelly. He continued the bad habit of getting in Foul trouble with 5 Personals– albeit in 34 Minutes (not 22 like last night).
  • Avery had 16 Points on a rough shooting night (5/13; 3/7 from Three). He did, however, manage to get one Steal.
  • Marcus Smart had 12 Points, 2 Rebounds and a Steal. He was 4/9 and 3/7 from Three.

So the offense was good, right? Let’s go back to the part where the Celtics had a disgusting 27 Turnovers. That’s just shameful, not matter how good the defense is. Here’s a quick look at the Turnover numbers:

  • Rondo (5)
  • Turner (5)
  • Green (4)
  • Bradley (4)
  • Smart (4)
  • Olynyk (2)
  • Bass (2)
  • Thornton (1)

I need to call out Evan here. He had 5 Turnovers in 12 Minutes of action. There were two instances in the First Quarter where he threw wild passes that were maybe even a bit too wild. Perhaps if he had managed to get just one Assist, he might have lasted a little bit longer.

Rondo on the other hand, has now turned the ball over 5 times in each of the last three contests. Granted he’s averaging 12 Assists a games, the ratio has always been more appealing in career context.

It’s important to remember that Toronto is a great defensive team; that’s coach Dwayne Casey’s bread and butter. The Raptors got lucky with some silly Celtics play-making and they definitely got a few calls their way too. But all of these excuses still amount to jack. The Cs need to handle the ball better. They shot 51% from the Field, but they only put up 78 Shots to Toronto’s 87. The pace they pride themselves on was nonexistent due to simple carelessness.

Positivity is key. They break tomorrow, with one more in Boston on Friday before heading out to Chicago afterwards for a Saturday game. This is a tough loss that might hurt a little more than usual, so they have to harness something from it and spin it into gold.

Homer Johnsen is a freelance Celtics Blogger and licensed telepathist in the acting role of Team Medium. He articulates the thoughts of every player collectively as one, right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille. 

11/3/2014: Game 3

Mavericks 108 Celtics 103

For the second game in a row, Boston allowed 40 first quarter points. They found themselves down 19, and even let the deficit grow as high as 31. The second half was a different ballgame. They were in the driver’s seat going full throttle, and cut the lead to 1 Point in the closing moments. But that was as close as they got. It’s no secret that the story of the game is the first quarter.

Dallas won the game by shooting an efficient 44/82 (53.7%). Boston continued their trend of taking more shots than the opposing team; 102 to be exact. But they only made 45. That’s part of the reason they were able to stay in the game, but they also would have liked those shots to fall in the first frame. They did manage to go 11/35 from Three, which is remarkable after going 1/25 in Houston.

  • Rondo continues to fill the stat sheet while shooting inefficiently (3/11). He had 7 Points, 15 Assists, 9 Rebounds and 2 Steals. He also turned it over 5 times for the second game in a row.
  • Jeff had one of his “Here’s-How-Good-I-Could-Be” games, with 35, 7, 2, A Steal and 2 Blocks on 14/28 Shooting (5/12 from Three).
  • Avery was his partner in crime going 13/22 (4/6 from Three) for 32, 8, 1 and 3 Steals. It’s definitely encouraging to see him fill that stat sheet like this, after he turned in high scoring performances with not much else to boot.

Sully and Kelly had quiet games; Kelly more so. Sully put up 14, 7, 4 and 2 Blocks, but he was 6/15. He’ll need to get a little more efficient, and Kelly had 5 Fouls, so he must be mindful of that. His Foul Trouble left Jeff and Sully (both 6’9) stuck guarding 7-Foot Dirk Nowitzki, who manhandled them.

Sure, I’m pleased they cut a 31-point lead down to 1. Heck, they nearly won the damn game! But all frustration can be squarely placed on the first quarter. This trend of 40 points in a quarter needs to end immediately. It’s not good basketball and the Cs are shooting themselves in the feet when it happens. But more importantly, they’ve proven that they can stay in these games undeterred and keep them competitive, which is nice, but it means that if they can avoid putting themselves in these situations in the first place, they’ll stand to win a lot more games.

Next up, we head home to take on Toronto on Wednesday.

Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer and Celtics fan who has followed the team devoutly since his earliest years. His bloviating coverage can be seen after every game right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.

11/1/2014: Game 2

Houston 104 Boston 90

Tough loss tonight. Houston put up 37 in the 1st Quarter, and there was really no coming back after that. James Harden kicked in 26, 8, 6, 4 Steals and a Block, and Terrence Jones has 25 Points and 10 Boards. Dwight Howard had an efficient 14, 8, 4 and 2 Blocks on 5/9 shooting. Houston didn’t really need him to produce because Harden and Jones had it going, but Celtics optimists can come away with the notion that Sully and Olynyk held him to that line, as opposed to a hypothetical, let’s just say, 25 and 15.

Defense wasn’t necessarily the problem. Sure, 37 Points in the 1st Quarter can’t be ignored, but both teams finished with 8 Blocks, and Boston had 10 Steals as a team to Houston’s 9. The Rockets even turned it over 17 times to our 10!

Tonight was just an offensive conundrum:

  • The Celtics took only 18 Free Throws. Houston took 40.
  • Houston was 12/34 from Three. Boston made one of their 25 attempts.
  • At 17 and 14 Points respectively, Jeff Green and Sully were the only Cs in double figures.
  • Jeff was 7/19 and made the team’s only Three. He attempted seven.
  • Sully was 6/15.
  • Rondo mustered 4 Points on 2/9 Shooting. He also had 10 Boards and 8 Assists, but he Turned it Over 5 times, good for half of Boston’s total team turnovers.
  • Avery Bradley managed only 6 Points on 3/11 Shooting.
  • Poor Marcus Smart went 0/7 from the Field.
  • Prior to the game, Brad said he was going to play Tyler Zeller more. He was arguably the player of the game for Boston with 8 Points, 4 Boards and 2 Blocks, going 2/2 from the Field and 4/5 from the Line. Yes, he led the team in Free Throw Attempts.
  • My highlight of the night was seeing James Young play the final 6 Minutes and go 3/3 with a Rebound and Block. The rookie is making the most of his early sporadic minutes.

The Celtics beat Brooklyn by 16. Houston beat the Celtics by 14. How’s that for balance?

The only thing they can really do before playing in Dallas on Monday is shoot the hell out of the ball tomorrow. I don’t know much about how coaches coordinate practices while in the midst of a 5-game week, but I think it might be wise to get some shots up tomorrow rather than watch football. I’m no NBA Player, but I read about them all the time, so this seems plausible. Know what I mean?

Rondo’s gotta be down on himself too. He’s probably not sleeping too much tonight. Not after 4 Points. I fully expect him to bounce back on Monday, but that’s going to be something worth paying attention to.

But it’s not fair to single him out. Tonight was a poor offensive effort as a team. The Celtics took 98 Shots!. That’s 22 more than Houston and they still lost.

As mentioned earlier, next up is Dallas on Monday.

Homer Johnsen is the Director of Strategic Planning for Sports Wordsmiths of America, LLC. His sesquipedalian coverage of the Boston Celtics is constant, right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.

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