Recap: Heat destroy Celtics (and my optimism) | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Recap: Heat destroy Celtics (and my optimism)

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

I'd been clinging to the 'flip the switch' and 'get the new guys acclimated' theories for the past six weeks… but after watching today's pile of crap… I'm starting to have my doubts about this team.

In what many of us believed was a must-win game, the Celtics played their best for about 8 minutes. After that… we got D-league level junk.

The Heat won all the key battles I highlighted in my preview.

Rondo was an epic fail.

Wade was a monster on defense.

The Celtics reserves were awful.

And the real slap in the face was the Heat's dominance on the boards.

Box score | Recap

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  • Yep.
    One and done, this team as we knew it til 2 months ago, is gone and dead.
    These are just a bunch of old, tired legs walking the court with no grit or effort, with no energy to spend anymore.
    The Knicks will stomp on us, and it will be the time to think about rebuilding.

  • One of Rondo’s worst performances. Ever. If overpaying Perkins was the price for keeping his limited attention span focused, we may have held onto him too long.
    May be time to get on the telephone this summer – which is coming soon – and start shopping him.

  • I hate to say this, but Rondo IS definitely the problem. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with this kid… Pardon my language.
    I’m just going to watch and see how the Celtics perform in the playoffs. If Rondo continues to be a bitch on the court, he NEEDS to be shopped.

  • I’ve completely lost any optimism. They no longer play defense. The rebounding is even worse than usual, which is really saying something. Anyone still think Jeff green is the best player in the trade? Even if they do throw the proverbial switch and start to resemble a good team, the habits they’ve created wont completely disapear. This is not a championship team. I dont think it would beat last years non-championship team.

  • I agree. After this game, I don’t foresee a “flipping of the switch” in the playoffs. I was really holding out faith for that, but I think these past few weeks prove that banner 18 is far, far away. I just hope it doesn’t take another 22 years to win another g-damn championship…

  • Yeah. His indifferent, petulant play is part of the problem. He’s actually attacked and moved the basketball only briefly since his binky got traded.
    Not the only problem, for sure: Doc has no clue how to employ Green. Allen needs the basketball. Nowhere near enough effort from the bigs on the glass.
    I’m slowing coming around to two unpleasnnt realities: They’ve turned Doc off, and it’s time for him to step aside, and Rondo needs to be traded. Doc’s done a great job in Boston, so the former pains me. The latter doesn’t, although anyone who’s watched the last two months can see how Rondo’s devalued himself.

  • Just an awful game. Awful, awful, awful. Hated out plays, our misses… terrible.
    I would like to point out that Bosh deserved to be ejected when he got called for that first tech. He didn’t stop and kept acting like an ass. Anyone on the Celtics who did that is getting a second tech and is watching the rest of the game from the locker room. Absurd.

  • Lex

    Army, Whutt upp??!!
    Speaking of epic, it would be epic for the Cs to turn this ship around. Did it last year. Can they do it two years in a row?
    Biggest problem today was the Cs only had four guys on the floor.
    For some reason, nobody told nads or JO they needed to play.
    -26 on the day.

  • Lex

    Rondo–best pg in the nba
    I dare him to look into a camera and say that now, with our without a straight face
    The best pg in the nba would have taken over game 7 last year in the finals.
    He’s good, sometimes plays like the best.
    But he’s no magic johnson/larry bird, put the team on your back and ride to the championship

  • Dont think I’ve lost full optimism in the BIG picture, but I sure as hell is close to it… Heat just outworked us… Rondo and Pierce, and KG with lazy passes all damn night long, you cant turn the ball over on this team… Rondo’s body language is awful… You can see it, he’s just awful… I think he and Rivers arent on the same page, but even more so, he and Allen… He just dont look for Allen anymore… Baby has made our offense 1-on-1 & I dont like that… Baby gets the ball, and bascically say “to hell with any other options” Defense was never a problem until the 2nd half, transition D was horrible. Reboumding!!! No excuse for letting Miami out-rebound you… When you have JO, KG, Krstic, and Baby, that is still plenty of men to rebound the damn ball… Shaq, or Perk aint a excuse for that, cause their starting center is barely 6’9 , Paul looks adgetated with the lack of urgency, and Doc dont have nothing to say to these guys, he’s all out of options right now… Will say, a chance to regroup in the first round should get these guys back together, dont think we need HCA against Miami, but it will be tough to beat Chicago w/o HC, so the C’s better wake the hell up, hope Miami loose 1 of these last 2 games, and get it rolling.. It dont look good, but I still believe anything is possible, and Im not ready to loose faith yet… but the C’s have got to wake the hell up… Oh please playoffs, hurry up and start, please!!!! Maybe that will get these guys more focused…

  • He hasn’t been top 5 in the league since the trade, which is inexcusable.
    I don’t know what you do with him based on the last two months. Will anyone pay a respectable price – Chris Paul? – for him now? It’ll take players – Green? Davis? – and draft picks to get out from under what now looks like a disastrous contract.

  • “As Rondo goes, so go the Celtics…”
    This won’t stop until Rondo decides to do his job – what his team has entrusted him to do.
    So Rondo, whenever you’re ready…feel free to start driving to the hoop and actually looking at the rim.

  • No one’s going to take him seriously when he does. He can’t score the basketball, on the drive and certainly not at the foul line.

  • No one takes him seriously standing on the perimeter. They go under picks and give him jumpers because his shot is poor and Rondo’s doing nothing but complying. Rondo’s refusal to go to the hoop is leaving this team on its knees offensively. When Rondo drives, his speed forces the defense to collapse on him and leave guys open for wide open looks. When’s the last time that happened? He’s the main culprit.
    Instead of getting Ray, the best three point shooter in the history of the game a good look, he’d rather go pick and roll with Glen over and over again for jumpers that may or may not go in.
    Where is the mindset? If he’s hurt, sit him just like Doc does with anyone else. The only consistency he’s shown is standing on the perimeter, dribbling, waiting for something to show itself. How about a little creation?

  • Any O’Neal boosters still here? He had no rebounds in 3 quarters. He’s signed for another year at 6.5 millions. So in the last year Ainge has saddled this team with Jermaine’s bum knees and contract AFTER him shitting the bed last year against THE F’N CELTICS. He signed Shaq depending on his 39 year old legs. He traded chemistry and glue guy Perkins for a softer, worse center (Kristic) and a swing man (Green) who plays half asleep.

  • People, most of you are overreacting.
    Please, calm down. They will be fine. Rondo will be fine. And everybody else will be fine. We need to believe that. You can say what you want, but this is still a good team, just with a little turbulence. When that’s gone, they’ll be great. We are the supporters, can we please act like that?! Show some faith.

  • Trade Rondo? Really, people? I don’t know, maybe I’m just an optimist or maybe I just have too much blind faith. Trading Rondo is NOT the answer to our problems. Rondo is our future. Or should we just blow this entire team up now and start from scratch all over again? I don’t know, I’m not ready to give up just yet.

  • I might be delusional, but I really still believe in them.

  • Turbulence. That’s the perfect way to describe what’s going on. Turbulence with a side of apathy. I’m hoping both disappear in the playoffs.

  • Yes, it seems, at least to me, apathy is a sign of them being tired. They will get through that. And I am with you about Rondo’s trade. He is the future. We should stand by him for that.

  • We had the same slump last year, just at a different time. I’m nowhere near the panic button yet. I’m hoping to see the team I love when the playoffs start.

  • Nice to see some optimism among all these comments. Thank you. It’s easier when you’re not alone.

  • funny that some people here think we should trade rondo because that’s EXACTLY what I was thinking. He is regressing instead of progressing. How come in so many years in the league this guy hasn’t improved his jumpshot and/or free throw percentage dramatically? Improving your jumpshot may be too tough, but free throws? You just got to put the work. Listen, he is one of the best PGs out there, but he isn’t even doing it on defense anymore. All I’m saying is, if the names “Deron” and “Chris” pop up this summer, we should think about it, especially with the summer of Dwight looming, and the end of the Big 3 era.

  • Ill be honest, trade talk is one of my favorite things, and ill gladly partake to take my mind off that awful performance…
    I guess in hindsight you could say that if we could have traded something like rondo + perk or baby + bradley and a 1st rounder for derron williams before the trade deadline thats probly would have been beneficial for us.
    only way id trade rondo after this year is if you get paul or williams + they agree to sign an extension, and that because those guys have shown the ability to carry a team with bad supporting casts, and don’t have the holes in their games that rondo does. the reason i’d these trades is because you don’t have to worry about getting value back for rondo, because you’re getting the better player in the deal
    how many other trades could you see getting fair value back for rondo though,
    but people are being entirely unrealistic in trading rondo, because unless new jersey, new orleans, or orlando panic, there is no return we could get for rondo that would make us better next year and in the future. i mean who do you ask for if you’re trading rondo to get fair value? Minny and Klove, rubio, wes johnson?
    unless danny gets a deal done for cp3 we’re all but stuck with rondo and his faults. just wait till the end of the playoffs before you right him and this team off

  • I love the optimism but this is way beyond turbulance. This is WAY worse than last year, which by the way, ended with us losing. It’s not a slump people, the defense that got them their success is GONE. Jeff Green is softer than a baby’s ass. Oh yeah, and their old. I’m not in the “trade Rondo” group, but this isnt turbulance, it’s more likely the end of the line.

  • I don’t think you’re delusional.
    They can do better. Sometimes they do… the beginning of this game, for example. It’s not as if they tried their best and got beat anyway.
    I think I’ll at least allow for the possibility that they’ll get a grip and play like they can rather than throwing the whole season out the window before the playoffs even start.
    The annual post-allstar, pre-playoff slump is frustrating, but not a sign of the apocalypse.

  • Okay, so it’s not turbulence. But are most people essentially saying that Perk was the heart of our team? That without Perk we’re nothing? I don’t believe that. Okay, yes, things are not currently going as well as we would like but I don’t think it’s the end of the line. I don’t think we’ve seen this team gel properly yet so I’m not ready to sound the death knell.

  • Agreed, on all counts.

  • I don’t disagree. Obviously, the playoffs are going to tell the tale. With that said, I see no signs whatsoever that whatever has neutered Rondo is changing. His play has been about 85 percent negative since the trade.
    Only he and Doc know why his play has regressed so sharply. Personally, I suspect that it’s because he cannot score the basketball – he’s loathe to drive and scared of the foul line, where his performance is embarrassing.
    Or, it’s the trade.
    Either way, the fault is his. He’s handsomely compensated, and his inability to improve his offensive game is inexcusable. And if it’s the trade, it’s worse.
    If this kind of play continues and the playoff run is short, then it’s time to get on the phone and see what kind of value he can bring.
    Because this post-trade stuff is intolerable. He is not an asset to the club playing like this.

  • I don’t disagree at all. Good summary. The level of his play has fallen off the edge of the Earth because he’s simply unable – or more likely, unwilling – to consistently execute the plan: to attack.
    There are a couple of potential reasons for that that I elaborate on below. Not sure which one is more valid.
    But he is unquestionably hurting the ballclub severely with the badly diminished level of his play.
    Now, as for below, having frequented – and left – a few Celtics blogs over the years because of their hangups on individual players rather than the franchise’s success, I’d expect some blowback to the notion that the Great Rondo may be hurting the team.
    But with that said, there are some unalienable truths here: His offensive game has not progressed. Not a little bit. His free throw shooting is unacceptably bad for a point. The two combine to render him at times useless when he won’t attack.
    And let’s face it: Rondo’s the most overrated defender in the league. Mention that to Rose, and the poor guy will laugh himself silly.

  • There is a draft approaching soon…does Danny work out a trade with somebody picking near the top and go after someone like Kemba Walker or the like?

  • wow. extreme talk out there.
    Miami and Chicago now have nice confidence boosters. Good for them. Maybe Rondo is effectively lulling them to sleep. Could be!!
    There are many years ahead for those teams and for us. Rondo could team up with Dwight Howard in a couple years. After next season, all we’ll have on the books are Pierce and Rondo plus whoever we sign this offseason. Howard is not happy in Orlando and he is the best center in NBA by far. If we have even a chance at getting him, it’s wise to clear the path.
    Ainge is planning well for the future AND now. If we didn’t have Green, Pierce would be overworked. Maybe we’d have won a couple more games, but at what cost come playoffs? Pierce has his blank stares, but you can also see a knowing grin on his face from time to time. I don’t think he’s worried. Some guys are probably disappointed, but not worried.
    Yeah, so Jeff Green is a little lost. The dude has a long way to go, but plenty of talent to take a chance on. If Marquis hadn’t gone down, we wouldn’t even have the opportunity to try Green out and we still would’ve let Perk walk or had to work a sign and trade of some sort.
    We sorely missed Shaq today, but he’s going to be around in the playoffs.
    Doc is noticeably frustrated and he very well might be gone after this year. For him to stay, we’ll at least need to make the confernce finals and put up a healthy fight. If we lose 2nd round, he’s gone for sure. By his choice, not the team’s.
    The C’s really do look awful some games, then brilliant the next. Unfortunately the brillance lately has been against the Pacers and the Wiz. I’m not confident in this team, but I’m not throwing the towel either. I am cautiously hopeful of the future with Rondo. I imagine he is stuggling with the reality that D-Rose is the superstar and he is “just” a star. He still is a star no doubt about it.

  • interesting. Kemba is a really fun player and I do think he’ll do well in NBA. I don’t think I’d go that route though. You know we’ll be going after Austin with that Clippers pick in 2012!

  • baby’s ass is a terrible image to imagine, altho it may have to carry this club in the playoffs

  • Yeah, I mentioned Kemba just off the top of my head (I’m not even sure he is a point or a 2), but just the idea of going after a Rondo replacement through the draft, I keep hearing about all these great guards in college lately.

  • He’s a point, but plays very well off the ball too. He reminds me of Chris Paul and can obviously score abundantly. Surprisingly good vision, passing, and pretty good D. I’ve watched fairly closely and he’s come a long way in three years. At first he was just raw uncontrolled speed!
    If he indeed goes to Sacto at #5 like I’ve seen some predictions, he and Evans should make a very intriguing duo.

  • I read this blog all the time though the season and am finally coming out of lurking mode to offer my take on the C’s for what it’s worth.
    IMO they have the same problem they’ve had since ’09. They just aren’t deep enough for these old guys to make it all the way through a season and have enough left in the tank for the playoffs.
    Ray always slumps this time of year and so does Rondo – even though he’s young, he plays too many minutes in the regular season, that’s just the way he is. Some players can be iron-men but Rondo isn’t capable of sustaining the kind of effort he puts put in the beginning of the year for 80 plus games – I just don’t buy all this sulking BS.
    Even PP is gassed, he’s played the best of any of them at the end of the season this year but he’s gassed. Garnet is either on or off and is like that all year long IMO. But by the end of the year, the nights he’s “on” get fewer and fewer. He’s old. All that and they have no center.
    And face it, the bench sucks and has pretty much gotten worse every year since the original championship team broke up at the end of ’08
    Frankly, I was amazed at how far they got in the finals against the Flakers last year, it was an amazing display of willpower and grit. But even then, they had no one to step in for Perk even for just a few minutes.
    I think they’re done this year, even if Shaq comes back, it will help a lot but I doubt it will be enough.
    Here’s what I’d like to see next year, if this team remains basically intact. I’d like to see Ray and/or Garnet come off the bench, like old veterans should. Rondo needs a reliable backup and to play far fewer minutes over the regular season and of course, they need a center and a decent backup center.
    That way I think they have a chance of remaining an elite team. Otherwise, they might have another great start to the year, only to fade by the playoffs again.

  • Where is my I hate Danny Ainge shirt? Watching Perk dominate Bynum makes me want to punch Danny in the face. I know everyone is sick of hearing the Perk propaganda, but you have to look at the progression of the change. It all happend after the trade. We swapped a bad bench with another bad bench, except we gave up Perk. He may not have been the sole factor in the prior sucess (we still won when he was sidelined) but he was still on our team. And Rondo has been a little bitch ever since Perk left. I dont know if he had man love for Perk or whats going on, but he is playing like his hearts broken, or like he wants out of Boston. Know Im not even watching the games. Its just bad for my health. Im gonna start following OKC, not because of Perk, but because they are the only other team in the NBA that I dont absolutly hate.

  • All that said, I hope they make a liar out of me.

  • —–only for the postseason, I love the Celtics and they will always be my number one team.

  • really?
    I’m not watching the game, but a quick box score check seems to indicate Gasol and Bynum are faring pretty well. I know stats are not the whole story, but Perk has 2pts and 2rebs while Gasol and Bynum have 28pts on 70% shooting!

  • Last years loss in the playoffs attributed to Perk injury and no rebounding This year losing b/c Rondo’s poor play. Teams sagging on Rondo closing passing lanes force the jump shot but this is screwing up the team’s rhythm/spots and game play. Doc warned this would be a problem in the playoffs. Rajon can only redeem himself by figuring out this mess which Doc predicted in Dec. already.
    Really sad way to end the Big 3 careers when it didn’t have to be. Hmm all the what ifs again.

  • DRJ

    Hope still lives, all evidence to the contrary.
    Not in the boring, obvious way that it always does, but real, tangible hope. It has 3 essential parts:
    1) There is real hope that Shaq will play in the playoffs. He has said it’s very important to him and that he’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. I believe him. If Shaq plays, it’s a new team. (If he doesn’t, it’s bye-bye title hopes; JO/ Krstic/ BBD ain’t gonna cut it.)
    2) There is real hope that Rondo will pull himself up to the level we know he can reach, once the playoffs begin. That hope is real because he has always done this before.
    3) There is real hope that the team will play harder in the playoffs than we’ve seen recently. That hope is real, again, because they have always done this before. (Not really surprising… every team does it.)
    I believe Pessimism = Realism this year, but only based on the team’s current level of play. The real hope that’s still out there will, if it becomes reality, change the underlying premise… and therefore the expected result. I.e., it’ll be a whole new ballgame. And we’ll have plenty to be optimistic about.

  • Wow.
    Full tanks of hope.. but I ran out of it especially about all this Shaq crap: the level of this team is so low right now that the 39-year old Shaq can’t do much right now.

  • 100% Truth

  • yes, compared that to the travesty of DWest getting tossed out the game the other night.

  • We have also seen them beat every one of these teams soundly. Some on the road. Which makes it even more frustrating.