If I told you Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis outscored the entire Celtics team in the first quarter 28 to 27 would you believe me? If I then told you that Melo and Porzingis played a total of 8-9 minutes combined in the second half, the Celtics rallied back from down 10, took the lead briefly, immediately squander it and lose the game by six, would you still believe me?? Of course you would because that’s the state of Celtics’ basketball at this point. So far in 2016, they flat out suck. They can’t play offense, which we all knew, but after last nights performance it doesn’t seem like they can even play defense anymore!
The worst part about this loss is the is the fact that they finally looked alright on offense. Isaiah had another 30+ point performance, Crowder and Amir continued their solid play, and Sully had a nice 14 point game off the bench. As a team they shot 49% from the field, a mark they haven’t even come close to in the new year, and they won the assist/rebounding battles. They still missed five free throws which just shouldn’t happen, and they shot 31% from three which definitely didn’t help their cause. But overall, it was a solid offensive performance for a team that’s been reeling when they have the ball.
Last night, the Celtics decided to really focus on offense and let Melo, Prozingis and company do pretty much anything they wanted on offense. Wide open 3-pointers? Take em. Fast break dunks with nobody even so much as trying to get back on defense? Sure why the hell not! We don’t care, we’re too worried about trying to figure out this whole offense thing. It’s as if they can only give 100% on one end of the court lately. Now listen, Melo is going to score whether you guard him or not and Porzingis is a match-up nightmare at 7’3″ with the ability to shoot from seemingly anywhere while also being able to put the ball on the floor and attack the hoop, so it’s not that crazy to me that they had their way with us. It’s the fact that Melo saw the court for 19 seconds in the second half and Prozingis was stuck on the bench for all but 8 minutes of the second half, yet somehow we still can’t manage to win that game. The Knicks served us that game on a silver platter and we simply didn’t want it. We let a rag-tag crew led by 30-year old journeyman Aaron Afflalo and rookie Jerian Grant punk us. Jerian Grant averages five points a game, yet he somehow RIPPED us for 16 and eight assists. And possibly the worst part of all that is the fact that our guards, Avery and Smart, are supposed to be lock down defenders! Yet they can’t stop Aaron fucking Afflalo and Jerian Grant?!? It’s sickening.
In my eyes last night was a must-win game for a multitude of reasons. First off there’s the whole New York-Boston rivalry even though to be honest, neither of us are good enough to actually have a rival right now. But regardless, a New York team versus a Boston team will always carry more relevance. Then there’s the obvious fact that they’re both in the Atlantic division and with the win last night, the Knicks took over second place in the Atlantic (technically tied, but you get the picture). The biggest reason it was a must-win game though is the fact that the Celtics are getting dangerously close to panic mode. The trade deadline is rapidly approaching which makes this awful timing for the Celtics players to start shitting the bed. Lee has been awful in limited minutes, Turner won’t stop shooting three’s, which I really can’t even begin to wrap my head around why he thinks that’s a good idea, Olynyk had one of those “Where the fuck am I, why am I here” games last night. Bottom line is nobody is going to want these players and it’s clear that the Celtics have to make a move if they want to return to the playoffs this season. Not only that, but this portion of the schedule was supposed to be easy. They entered this stretch at 18-13 and out of the past seven games, had you looked at it 2-3 weeks ago you’d think we’d be somewhere around 23-15 at this point. Instead, we’re on a four game skid, sitting at 19-19 with the Pacers coming to town, and I’ll tell you what, if we had a hard time stopping Afflalo and Grant, it’s going to be close to impossible to stop Paul George and Monta Ellis.
Tonight marks must-win game number two in my eyes. The players are frustrated, the fans are losing hope, someone needs to stop the bleeding. The good news is that we’re back home after a three game road stretch, but that’s the only good news you’re going to hear out of me until we win a goddamn game. If we lose tonight, I’ll be the guy at the game with the brown paper bag over his head Friday night against the Suns.