Recap: Crappy effort, putrid execution dooms Celtics | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Recap: Crappy effort, putrid execution dooms Celtics


Remember everything positive we said about the Celtics following the Game 1 victory? I guess it applies to Philadelphia now. The 76ers made the smart, clutch plays down the stretch to beat the Celtics 82-81 in Game 2.

Spare me the bitching about the illegal screen whistle on Kevin Garnett with :10 remaining. While I'm all for officials swallowing whistles in key moments, this call had to be made. Garnett's illegal screen on Iguodala (I think?) was BLATANT. It gave Paul Pierce a couple of feet of separation. Ref had to make the call.

Can someone explain to me why Doc Rivers ordered Rajon Rondo to foul with 14 seconds remaining in the game and 10 seconds on the shot clock? While it would have been tight, the Celtics could have played out the clock, got the rebound, called time out and set up a play. The foul reset the shot clock to 14 and forced the Celtics to play the free throw game. Bonehead move by Doc.

What in the hell were the Celtics trying to do with their possession at the 1:00 minute mark? Up 1 with the ball, Rajon Rondo stood at the top of the key and the Celtics kept running sets until Rondo jacked up a 20 footer. Awful. 

The Celtics effort was hideous and lazy. They scored 24 points COMBINED in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Credit Philly for some aggressive defense, but the Celtics offense was a train wreck. Garnett had about 5 shots thru 3 quarters. How is that possible?

Philly did catch some breaks. Not sure it's possible for Lavoy Allen to wind up his jumpshot in 0.9 seconds. 

The news on this injury front gets worse. Avery Bradley's shoulder popped out again. He did return in the 4th quarter. Pierce is not right. The Celtics might benefit from him sitting out a few games. Mickeal Pietrus woke from his slumber and nailed two 3-pointers in the 4th quarter. But just as Pietrus was warming up, Doc yanked him for the ineffective Pierce.

This is vintage Celtics. Nothing is easy. Ever. 

Box score

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  • Rob M.

    In all honesty, the Celts need to sit Pierce. I’m a Celts lifer and hate to say it, but give him a little time with that knee. He’s hurting more than he is helping right now. 🙁

  • RyanH

    I’m worried about paul. He’s trying and it’s ineffective. Rondo’s hand looked bad. Just a horrible effort. Doc needs to focus on quarters 1-3, because we havent showed up for anything since the Hawks blowout. If something is happening consistently, Doc needs to figure it out.

  • Crappy effort, crappy coaching, terrible decision making down the stretch, complete no show by the crowd too. Celtics never win game 3 road games so i expect it 2-2 coming back to Boston.
    Paul Pierce is officially locked down by Iguodala. That is not good.

  • Brick James

    Brb, gotta wash the sand outta my flip flops.

  • Noori

    I actually would’ve been pissed if we had won that game. The 2nd and 3rd quarter were something to definitely be ashamed of as players and fans Charles Barkley was right on the money when he said this team didn’t respect the 76ers and have no passion in this game. Hopefully they get their heads out of their butts and realize they fumbled home court advantage to an 8th seeded team.
    I full expect them to come out and win game 3 actually but in typical C’s fashion they will let 76ers come back and keep confidence.
    KG should’ve had way more attempts, Brandon Bass missed so many wide open jumpers, and that Rondo 20ft jumper near the end was even to my casual watching brother a horrible play.
    I wont be happy till Wednesday rolls around.

  • Alex

    I really damn hope they see this game as a WAKE UP CALL.
    I’m sorry but the Celtics have been cruising for 6 quarters now. They need to turn it on.

  • CoachBo

    Good recap. Hard to bitch when you look like a high school team for most of the night.
    That possession with a minute left – where Allen was open twice for the basketball moved to the wing – was an absolute abomination. Of course, the revisionists are already at work with their bullshit excuses that “nobody was open.”
    When the basketball stops at the point – as it did for a bunch of this night – you lose in this league.
    Terrible, terrible team performance. Two in a row. Simply not playing anywhere close to a level to even begin to contemplate a championship run.

  • Maybe this is the slap in the face that the Celtics need. Why the vets were uninvolved throughout is something I’ll never figure out. Brandon Bass is not ready for primetime and he’s made it clear. So why is he taking so many shots? They’ve wasted enough bricks on him to the point where he barely plays in crunch time. Why is he such a focal point?! He’s KILLING the Celtics on both ends of the floor. Kevin has been feasting and all of a sudden takes a backseat to a career bench player? How does Bass get up more shots than a hall of famer? Now isn’t the time to waste possessions on a guy who’s been out of synch since BEFORE the playoffs started.
    I’ve got to agree that if Pierce is going to continually give virtually nothing on either side of the ball, he has to atleast become that point forward that we know. Facilitate. Adjust. Too much head hanging and screaming for three seconds in the paint on Philly by Paul and not much more. His jumper isn’t there and he’s not driving not to mention getting beat on defense. I’m noticing that he and Ray are on the floor more often than not lately.
    Celtics were committed to the jump shot all night and couldn’t get to the line and anytime they did go into the paint it wasn’t called. Kevin was hit on the arm multiple times with no call. However, it was a deserved loss. Terrible energy in a playoff game at home. I still can’t get over the lack of urgency in the playoffs. The body language was disgusting.

  • Quest

    Shame on the Celtics for playing like crap their Fans deserve better than this. Wake up call that the Celtics better pay respect to Philly because they can win this. Like Doc said post game ” They put themselves in this position and they earned the loss.”
    Even worse no celtics came to the post game interview to face the music… cowards.

  • SamR

    Yeah, I’m glad there was a comment about that possession with a minute left. I was yelling at the tv for that entire possession. Awful. As was Doc’s decision to yank Pietrus after he hit a 3, hit a 2nd 3, and then had a block. Doc, I know that level of success from Pietrus was unusual, but it was good, not bad.
    I’d also like to explore why Brandon Bass decided he was the focal point of the C’s offense for 3 quarters (with predictable results).

  • Textbook loss: turnovers, poor ball movement, but I do think they tried. I did see some effort..Philly simply hit the big shots they needed, the C’s did not. That 3rd quarter just absolutely killed us. Miss after miss after miss…I wanted this win tonight mostly so that we could have possibly rested Paul a bit more in the next one. He really needs rest and simply isn’t going to get any anytime soon. Bass also needs to pull it together. We need his offense right now w/Paul banged-up.

  • Quest

    PP and his team mates may get all the rest they want very soon while sitting back watching the Philly vs Heat game.

  • Not sure if they’re looking ahead or just tired, but they need to stop waiting till the 4th quarter to play well. As long as they win a game in Philly, all is well. Would love to see them put 4 good quarters together sometime very soon. Avery is a freakin warrior!

  • Indeed man. It was painful watching tonight. We kept thinking they'd go on a run and they never did. You know us though-nothing easy… *sighs*

  • Danno

    What the fuck are you talking about with the crowd comment? I’ve been to nearly every home game for the past 7 years and tonight was as loud as it gets.

  • One game guys! This was going six regardless. Boston is holding Philly to 21 points per quarter since that eruption first quarter game one. If the C’s offense can’t score 84 points per game than this group is done.
    Peitrus should have stayed in there for sure but the game was not lost in the fourth, it was lost in the middle two quarters. Boston took SO many make able shots during this game to no avail.
    I gotta give Rondo some crap here. EVERYONE played awful but when your up against athletes you should match them with athletes. Rondo is an alpha athlete who owned the first quarter then turned lackadaisical. That’s okay though, I know Rondo will put his stamp on the road.
    Truth should rest up. The trouble is the Sixers beat a hobbled Bulls team so when could you sit Paul and expect to win?

  • My god, some of you guys above are just being straight up haters. I definitely understand the frustration, but I like how Shawn said it above, it was just ONE game. Some of the stuff you guys are saying about Bass and Doc and stuff is just ridiculous.
    Regarding Doc: For one thing, the criticism in the recap is definitely a bit much. In fact, bordering on the ridiculous side. Anyone can say “what the hell was Doc thinking” in hindsight–you don’t sound intelligent making those comments. My first reaction was the same as yours, but after thinking it over, many coaches would have made the same decision to instruct Rondo to foul with 14 seconds left. For one thing, there was a LESS than 4 second differential between the shot and game clocks. I don’t know if you realize this, but the shock clock just means the amount of time the other team has to GET OFF a shot. Say they release the shot with 4 seconds left, the shot takes a second(ish) to reach the team, then you factor in time for the rebound…time would be down around 1.5seconds or possibly even LESS to get a shot off–plus, its not like the clock stops RIGHT as the celtics catch the ball and call time–the timekeeper is human. Either way, you had one opportunity for the win, so I don’t really know what you’re bitching about. The execution by the team is a different story. Rondo was certainly not at his best and hasn’t been in these playoffs (despite what his stats might show) and Pierce, as mentioned above is clearly hobbled by this knee issue.
    Regarding Bass: Just one of the most idiotic comments I’ve ever read above about Bass thinking the offense revolves around him. I don’t know if you’re a casual fan or not, but I certainly hope so. Just one of the more ignorant comments I’ve read. If you’ve watched any games this season, you’d know that much of the Celtics’ offensive success this season can be attributed to Bass’s ability to knock down open mid-range jumpers. When he hesitated on those SAME shots in the ATL series, many people were bashing him for not taking them, and being afraid of the moment. The team NEEDS guys who are willing to take open shots, particularly if they are as good of shooters as Bass is. He missed them tonight, so what? That’s basketball, but I wouldn’t expect you to know that if you’ve never played.
    Stop hating. It was a shit effort tonight, but this team is OLD, and in my opinion it’s a pleasure to watch these guys night in, night out, because I know that this could be the last time we see a team that trusts and respects each other as much as these guys do. Not to mention, I’m pretty positive they’ll win game 3–assuming pierce plays, but maybe even if he doesn’t.

  • Alex

    I am sure it was loud, but in the start of the game, I saw a BUNCH of empty seats.

  • jadams5214

    The Pietrus comments were right on —
    I would love to hear Doc’s reasoning for taking him out at that point in the game. The offense was finally scoring with Pietrus hitting two HUGE 3 pointers. He has been known to catch fire in the past but Doc didn’t even give him the chance. Basic basketball is to feed the hot shooter but Doc decided to take Pietrus out on a night when the team was desperate for offense. Terrible coaching move by Doc there.
    The end of game offense was pathetic. It looked like the only play was Ray coming off a screen. When Rondo didn’t pass initially he looked confused, just standing there waving his arms. Why in the world wouldn’t Rondo drive to the basket there and least try to be aggressive? The last two trips down where Rondo went inside resulted in a layup for Rondo and a dunk for KG.
    Then the next possession another play for Ray resulting in a terrible shot. Ray had just hit a 3 pointer but he was set and going straight up. He hasn’t been able to hit that fadeaway jumper hardly at all since coming back from injury due to not having enough spring in his ankles. Yet that was the Celtic’s shot, a contested Ray fadeaway jumper.
    The offense had been running through KG in the 4th quarter yet on those 2 key possessions he was not involved. Philly has no one to stop KG’s jumper unless they double team. However when they double teamed earlier KG made the right pass as he almost always does.
    The Celtics team with Doc as coach and experienced crunch time players Rondo, KG, Pierce and Ray on the court were outplayed by the mediocre 76ers.
    The Celtic’s offense scored 24 points TOTAL in the 2nd and 3rd quarters which is one of the worst 24 minutes of offensive basketball in Celtic’s HISTORY! Couple that with Doc’s horrible decision making and the Celtics failure to even get a good shot on two potential game winning possessions is absolutely inexcusable…

  • xkenchy

    they deserve to lose this game with that crappy effort and have no one and i mean no one to blame but them selves

  • RaeRae

    “What in the hell were the Celtics trying to do with their possession at the 1:00 minute mark? Up 1 with the ball, Rajon Rondo stood at the top of the key and the Celtics kept running sets until Rondo jacked up a 20 footer. Awful. ” – Totally agree with this statement and it’s not like he had to jack the shot up too. After that the Sixers got on a roll. I have a feeling he wanted to play the hero. I just hope we win the next two. We can’t beat the likes of Miami and OKC with this dreadful offense. I know Pietrus hit a couple, but I still think he needs to lay off the 3s from time to time.

  • Leo

    “What in the hell were the Celtics trying to do with their possession at the 1:00 minute mark? Up 1 with the ball, Rajon Rondo stood at the top of the key and the Celtics kept running sets until Rondo jacked up a 20 footer. Awful. ”
    that part of the game made me so mad… rondo should have passed it.
    Ray was open for a brief moment… kg was open too
    they had been down 1 or more for like the previous 10 possessions and got great shots for the most part…. the moment they get the lead they take a garbage shot…. (rondo did hit a clutch jumper late in g1 but i still dont like the shot…. especially when members of the big 3 are open)

  • Only KG and Ray showed up last night, Pierce and Doc killed us.
    I think we lost the game in the third (the worst, crappy piece of basketball I’ve ever seen): Pierce was a shame to watch, and Doc let him in the game almost all quarter. The 76ers didn’t go by 20 just because they were shooting poorly as well.
    And then, in the fourth, all the mad stuff you already talked about. Plus a dumb substitution of a come-to-life Pietrus with a dead Pierce, plus the dumb plays by Rondo, plus the dumb possessions in the stretch.
    It was an horror movie, literally.

  • Quest

    Com’on its HOW the Celtics played that is at issue. This is the playoffs you don’t bring your A game your grabbing golf clubs at the end of the week. CAN”T compare the regular season with the Playoffs.
    Not the way to end your career better to go out on top than playing like crap. Not a problem losing its how u use… passion no urgency no energy no respect for the fans who have stuck with you ….. If u are going to lose at least be able to say I put my all in.

  • Quest

    Good comments

  • Dutchgreen

    Nothing much to add here, except that I am glad I stayed up a bit to see the Lakers getting destroyed in OKC. Makes for a slightly less depressing night 😉 That’s how you play a third quarter guys!

  • ItCelticFan

    Come on, man, I know it’s frustrating to lose that way, but you’re panicking way too much. true enough, paul needs to rest, but you’re talking like he had a plan to lose this game.
    we have been in this situation before and I believe we’ll be just fine down the stretch. what should the fakers fan do??? ask for coach brown’s public execution?

  • Danno

    7pm start on a Monday. Bad decision on the NBA’s part.

  • aaron

    F all this noise.
    we played like shit and in the 4th, cant remember where specifically as i was slamming PBR and jager to just get THRU this one…. it was like under 2 min left… we locked down on philly’s d and then ray ray had a turn over, AB had a TO and we basically had 5 offensive sets where we couldnt convert AND we stopped philly on defense. we were down like 2 points and what happens? someone from the sixers drains a 3. now down five. momentum swing. boom.
    basketball=game of momentum and runs. we had our chance w/ under two minutes to take the lead and press. energy in garden was nuts at that point and we were feeling it. didnt execute.
    other random memories from my drunken stupor-
    brandon bass should not play more than 12 min a game and only when KG looks like he is going to pass out.
    AB needs to play more minutes, BUT i like the rotation w/ him, RR and Ray. in fact, i love the lineup of RR, Ray, AB, KG and Pietrus. call me nuts but its fast, athletic, can disrupt shots and has inside/outside scoring. pierce looked like a 50 year old, i doubt he could have scored on Doc last night let alone one of the most athletic plays in the NBA (iggy).
    ok time for a pedialite.

  • jon

    It certainly was an awful timing on doc and Rondo’s part to run the Ray Allen hide and seek play that takea forever to materialize. Rondo should have just called the high PnR with Kg which Rondo could possibly have more options available than that stupid Ray allen run around screen play.

  • Quest

    Perhaps Rondo needs to be able to shoot in those situations rather than looking around to who he can pass to. Kudos to Coach Collins, playing defense in Rondo’s face rather than slagging off shuts down his vison and passing lanes to confuse his decision making on how to make the pass so the only option to beat the clock is chuck up a free throw he didn’t want to do in the first place and missing.