Recap: Celtics home win streak clangs to a halt | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Recap: Celtics home win streak clangs to a halt

James Harden, Jared Sullinger, Evan Turner

It wasn’t for lack of effort, mostly. The Celtics looked like they were trying for most of the night, but they could barely hit anything they threw up there.

The Celtics shot 36% from the field, 23% from 3, and fell to the Rockets 102-98

The C’s actually hit 2 of their first 3 3’s in this game and took an early lead after 1. Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas did all of the early damage, combining for 6 of 9 shooting in the 1st quarter for 14 of the C’s 23 points. Unfortunately, Bradley shot 5-12 the rest of the way (0-5 3pt after the 1st quarter).

The Rockets bench did most of the second quarter damage, outscoring the Celtics bench 14-9 in the period and powering the Rockets to a 3 point halftime lead. It was fairly even after that in the box score… frustratingly so because the Celtics had their chances to take this game.

Two things really hurt Boston in the second half: Jae Crowder sprained his right ankle and played only about 3 and a half minutes. And Michael Beasley thought he was back in China, going off for 12 second half points off the bench (5-9 fg for 10 points in the 4th quarter). Without anyone to stop Beas off the bench and with James Harden (32 points, 13-15 ft) doing James Harden things, the C’s never got over the hump thanks to their cold shooting.

The Green

Jared Sullinger had a nice game, especially considering he was going against a true center in Dwight Howard most of the game. 24 points on 50% shooting and 12 rebounds (6 offensive) was pretty great. And he had an awesome steal and score on Howard late in the game that resulted in a frustrated Howard throwing a bullet chest pass at the official that somehow didn’t result in a tech.

… just a brief aside on this… that was absolutely tech-worthy. After a guy scores, player pick the ball up, step out of bounds, and inbound the ball. There’s never a need to check it with the ref. Howard was pissed off and he fired that “pass” at the official and got away with it. That’s total bullshit.

Terry Rozier got meaningful minutes and played really well. In 10 minutes, he somehow managed 7 rebounds and 3 assists while also hitting a 3. This was nice to see.

The Gross

Amir Johnson was supposed to be our rim protector. I don’t know what’s going on with him… maybe he’s more banged up than we realize… but man is he ineffective. He’s so bad right now that I want Tyler Zeller out there over him, and Zeller is pretty bad against big, physical centers.

The Celtics had some brain farts out there. Marcus Smart goaltending a late basket by Avery Bradley that would have cut the lead to 4 with :30 left was a very bad mistake because the ball was going in. I understand he was being aggressive but there was still no need to grab the rim there. Just a bad mistake.

There were quite a few times where C’s guards were matched up on James Harden and refused to drive… even when he was in foul trouble. Here’s a newsflash… Harden isn’t going to stop you… get to the basket. At the very least, force someone to help him and make an extra pass or 2 to get a better look.

The Greenlights

Isaiah with the super floater over Dwight

Sick behind the back move by IT4

Jerebko Euro-step

The Grid

  • Points in the Paint: Rockets 60, Celtics 46
  • Second Chance Points: Rockets 16, Celtics 16
  • Fastbreak Points: Rockets 14, Celtics 25
  • Crowder: 4 points (1-8 fg, 0-6 3pt)

On the plus side… Philly beat the Nets tonight, and Crowder’s ankle seems to be OK. The Celtics have a few days off for everyone to rest and get their minds (and bodies) right.

Box Score

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  • art

    Once again, I really object to all the 3 point shots – 31 of them with 8 makes. I know everyone on Earth thinks Brad Stevens is a great coach but sometimes you just have to scratch your head. How about this? if someone has a hot hand, sure let ’em shoot. But late in the game for example when Avery Bradley couldn’t hit anything, why does HE keep shooting ’em? And why, as John notes above, wouldn’t Brad Stevens instruct his guards to drive on Harden? Take it to the hoop and F–K the 3’s!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rod Shaftwell

      Driving on Harden, yeah that definitely should have happened more. But they took so many outside shots because they couldn’t get through Houston’s defense inside.

      Even IT couldn’t really drive once their defense was set. Luckily he’s a pro and scored in many other ways. If just one more player didn’t have such an abysmal shooting night this could have easily been a win.

      • MikeABQ

        Agreed, Rockets were putting Ariza on IT, and the length of their team all over was bothering us. I remember having same problem with the Bucks a couple times. We are shortest starting line up in NBA and every now and then that’s tough to overcome.

      • art

        Yup. This size issue will be addressed over the summer and over the next 3 drafts.