Kevin Garnett was pissed after last night’s two-point loss.
“I’m mad as [expletive] we lost,” Garnett told the Boston Globe. “We had so many chances to win that game. But they came up with most of the big plays. I thought we had the game pretty much intact and under control and it comes down to trying to get rebounds.”
It’s true. A couple rebounds go the C’s way in the fourth, and they probably would have come home with another too-close-to-call ‘W.’ The Bucks’ two heart-wrenching offensive rebounds in the fourth were enough to hold off the Celtics, even though the C’s held Milwaukee scoreless for the final 2:42. I understand why KG was so upset.
But where I come from, a two-point loss, on the road, to one of the league’s hottest teams, is nothing to be ashamed of. Especially when three of your starters can’t throw a rock into the ocean. (Kendrick Perkins, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce finished a combined 6-25 from the floor.) With three key players in the middle of a David Blaine-esque performance, Andrew Bogut playing like the second coming of Kareem, John Salmons in his inevitable post-trade rejuvenation, and Brandon Jennings shooting at least 50% for only the second time this decade, were the Celtics really supposed to win this game?
I was actually pleased with the performance. I could sleep well last night, knowing that my squad continued to show a little backbone. I think Doc Rivers summed it up best: “We came to play hard and we did that – we just didn’t play well,” he told the Boston Herald. “We didn’t make shots.”
If you discount the whole making shots thing (which, I suppose, is what basketball is all about) the Celtics played their most complete game since before Santa Claus came to town. There’s nothing you can say about their effort: They brought it, and brought it for as close to 48 minutes as we’ve seen from them in a long time. I was much happier with the game last night than I was after the Wizards comeback.
That win was great, but where did Boston hide for the first 42 minutes? Where was the mentality to shut the Wizards down? Sure, the Celtics pulled that game out down the stretch, but if they’d played against Washington with the same urgency they displayed against Milwaukee, the Wizards would have been crying to their mothers and wives before the end of the first quarter.
Back to Milwaukee. I maintain that last night was nothing for the Celtics to hang their heads about. A few bounces go the other way, and the Celtics would have been coming home to play Memphis as the gritty winners of a game played with playoff-level intensity against a peaking team.
There is absolutely nothing for Boston to be ashamed of after last night’s loss. Actually, there IS one thing, and it’s more on me.
Counting a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks as a moral victory.