Recap: Boston acts like they won the game in 3 quarters, lose it in 4. | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
Red's Army

Recap: Boston acts like they won the game in 3 quarters, lose it in 4.


Remember when we were excited about the Celtics? I do. I also remember when this team was playing well enough that first quarter leads were safe against bad teams. That proved not to be the case tonight in a game that started off fun and then turned into a chore as a pair of basketball teams of middling competence attempted to execute offenses and defenses that you would think them capable of. At the end of an increasingly objectionable basketball game the Celtics were on the short side of a 101-98 score. They were within an ace of extending the misery, but Isaiah couldn’t get a wide open three off in time.

Boston came out looking like they had something to play for and a chip on their shoulders. They went on an early 19-1 run and didn’t let Memphis catch their breath at any point in the first quarter. At the end of twelve, Boston was up on Memphis 34-16 and it didn’t even feel that close.

The second quarter brought lackadaisical execution and David Lee. The Celtics couldn’t build on the lead, and then couldn’t maintain their lead, and then the Grizzlies got as close as 9 before Boston responded and stretched the lead back out to 53-37 at the half on an incredible play drawn up by Stevens. And, frankly, it’s a mistake to talk about these plays like Brad just makes them up on spot and the team goes out and does them. This sequence was one that the Celtics have almost certainly practiced, given how precisely they executed every step of it despite really pretty good defense by Memphis.

The starting five opened the third on a run and an Amir Johnson three pushed the lead up to 21 before the Grizzlies managed to string together a basket and a stop, much less a scoring run–and then the Grizzlies went on an 18-2 run and got the Celtics lead down to 5 before the Celtics responded and built the lead back up to eleven with a bit less than three to go. Memphis got three of those points back before the quarter ended, Boston up 76-68. Boston might’ve been able to end the period with a ten point lead, if not for a truly face-palming David Lee to Evan Turner to camera guy fast break flub.

Boston’s bench crew started the fourth quarter off, and didn’t do much, and at first Memphis didn’t do much either, but then Memphis got hot and Boston stayed David-Lee-level ice cold, and the Grizzlies took the lead with under 4 to go. They mostly held the lead after that and eventually won the game more or less by default. And, I have to tell you, both of these teams looked awful. It was a close game, and the Memphis crowd made it sound like an exciting game, but make no mistake, this was an ugly ending to an ugly game played by teams that have played below expectations for the whole season (Memphis) and the past month (Boston).


The first quarter.

Testimony to the Celtics current funk is that this quarter, in which they played about how we expected them to play in November and the first part of December, is worthy of special notice right now.


David Lee.

And you know what? I’m not a guy who likes to pile on guys. I don’t like taking potshots at individuals in a team game, but here’s the deal: David Lee made his minutes an issue as recently as last week. He complained, to the press, and when given an opportunity today, he looked terrible. He played terrible. He was a double-digit-net-negative for Boston.



If Brad Stevens was giving Lee an opportunity to play his way back into the rotation, Lee didn’t exactly make the best of it. He was -12 on 2-12 shooting.

Like this Article? Share it!

  • MJ


    Every time he went in, the lead dwindled down. Every time. I’m not asking for David Lee to increase the Celtics lead every time he’s in the game, but he can’t even help the Celtics keep things at bay. Every time he plays, the Celtics get worse. It’s not even up for debate. He is the worst player on the Celtics. THE WORST.

    He is Jermaine O’Neal-Rasheed Wallace level of despicability. I hate him that much.

    • CelticsNextGeneration

      I was so glad he wasn’t getting burn anymore. Either Brad Stevens is scared of him or stupid or gave him the minutes to turn his teammates against him… There are seriously no other logical reasons for why he would play tonight.

    • Sean

      I wanted him to work out b/c he’s a Gator. But God he needs to go I’d rather have Gerald Wallace.

  • Curt Hays

    What is it that Lee is doing wrong? Is it that he’s not being used correctly?

    • CelticsNextGeneration

      It’s that he sucks.

    • Sean

      He just needs alot of minutes/shots to get alot of inefficient points. His days as a starter are over.

      • Curt Hays

        Could it be because he doesn’t belong in Brad’s offense? What offense did GSW use so successfully with him? He was matching up against CLE with Iggy next to him. That apparently worked.

        David Lee doesn’t suck. He is directly responsible for the most recent NBA championship. I appreciate you stating facts, and that’s all I’m attempting.

        Maybe we can get Thad for him. Idk. I’m mainly just tired of all the jump shots. Tonight looked better… For a minute.

        • RedsLoveChild

          With all due respect, Curt….maybe GS won it all last year despite Lee, rather than because of Lee.

          They are 35-2 this year. They seem to be doing just fine w/o him.

          • Curt Hays

            He didn’t do much. He just stepped up when the match up was in his favor. I’m not saying we should keep him. I just don’t think he sucks.

            James Young… He’s not NBA level.

        • Sean

          I don’t think it can be that bad of a fit. He played for Billy D in college, Kerr last year, and I think maybe a bit under D’antoni in NYC. All pace & space systems so he should know what he needs to be doing. He’s just not doing it. I’ve been watching him since college and he’s just not getting the ball enough to do his thing. Problem is his game ain’t what it used to be.

          I really wanted Lee to work out more than anyone on the team but he just doesn’t.

          As far as a trade goes, anything for a player like Thad I’m starting to oppose. This may sound crazy, but I’m starting to think if we just got rid of some guys we’d be better instantly like Detroit last year. Addition by subtraction.

          • Curt Hays

            Sooo, @MrTooley:disqus, what you’re saying is, “WTF IS BRAD STEVENS STILL PLAYING DAVID LEE?!”


    • zippittyay

      I like David Lee. It’s just undeniable that his bread and butter shots are no longer falling for him.

  • DC Swish

    The celtics are absolutely atrocious in the 4th quarter. IT is the only player who is capable of making plays when it counts but every opposing team knows whats coming at this point. I don’t really know how we expect to win with no real inside presence and no ability to consistantly hit wide open shots. Keep Thomas but seriously trade anyone else on this roster, what ever it takes, to get us a legitimate scorer.

    ps. Lee doesn’t belong on this team and he knows it.

  • jamoalki

    Remember when it was “These Celtics just don’t quit!”? Where did that go?

    • Mike C

      It’s hard to believe that we’re talking about the same team, I know. In November it looked like we were on our way to a 2nd or 3rd seed in the east. The wheels have absolutely fallen off with this team in the last month.

  • Sean

    Evan Turner, David Lee, Jared Sullinger (and maybe James Young) need to be shown the door ASAP. I’ll take a 2nd rounder for all four. Seriously though, they gotta go.

    • Hugo


  • Pingback: Videos of the Day: Mickey, Rozier shine for Claws | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans()