Let me just say that I f'ing hate Jason Richardson. I'm sick of that guy torching the Celtics.
JRich hit 6 of 7 3's on his way to 34 points.. and the C's lose for the first time this season, 110-103.
This boiled down to shots taken behind lines:
- Phoenix shot 13-24 from 3 and 23-30 from the free throw line.
- Boston shot 4-18 from 3 and 9-18 from the free throw line.
That's a 62-21 advantage for Phoenix. That ain't gonna get it done, boys.
There has been some banter about this over the past couple of days… but there's nothing like a loss to really highlight it: The C's might be a little too enamored with the 3. There was as stretch in the 4th quarter where the C's were jacking up 3's barely 10 seconds into the shot clock like they were the Knicks or something. But they were down 4 at the time… and what they needed was quick points. It's the equivalent of being down 5 runs in a game and trying to hit a grand slam. Even if you do, you're still down. What you need is numbers to go up on the scoreboard.
In the end, the C's got too caught up in playing Phoenix ball. They didn't play the kind of defense they normally play. The reason Phoenix shot so well from 3 is that they were all wide open… and the reason why the Celtics defensive 3pt fg% has been so good is that they contested a lot of those shots.
Good lesson to learn early in the season.
If you're looking for any good news out of this… Denver lost too... so both teams that started the day undefeated lost.
By the way… Chuck called it in his preview:
The C's will lose if… They
don't play defense on the three point line. As a team, Phoenix is
shooting 45% from beyond the arc. Nash, Jason Richardson, Grant Hill
and even Channing Frye can pull the trigger.
I highlight that for two reasons:
1. Chuck is so rarely right, I have to give him credit when he is.
2. If Chuck knew that this could happen… why didn't someone on the court?
Photo courtesy Associated Press