The final score, 106-96,will tell you about the Boston Celtics’ embarrassing loss to the Washington Wizards. But – please believe me on this – the score cannot begin to describe the dose of humiliation the Wizards forced down Boston’s throat. Ladies and gentlemen, Celtics fans of all ages, we have a new contender for the lowest moment of the 2009-2010 season.
If you thought losing to the godawful New Jersey Nets, at home, was embarrassing, you should have seen tonight’s performance at the Boston Garden. For most of the first half, it looked like the Washington Wizards were playing five second-graders. The game was 20-17 in Washington’s favor with 2:40 left in the first quarter. By the time 7:15 remained in the second quarter, the score was 38-17. Just your regular old 18 to zip run. A 15-15 tie became a 47-19 deficit. A 32-4 run. By one of the NBA’s worst teams. No big deal.
The game wasn’t just painful to watch, it made me want to go all Eminem on myself. You know, stick nine-inch nails through each one of my eyelids. If I didn’t have an obligation to write a recap, I would have switched the channel in the second quarter, and never thought about the game again. If I don’t have nightmares about this game, it’s only because the memory of the loss left me unable to sleep.
If I do have nightmares, they’ll be about Andray Blatche scoring every which way. They’ll be about JaVale McGee skying for blocked shots and hustling for boards, and Shaun Livingston (yes, the same Shaun Livingston everyone left for dead) scoring and dishing at will. They’ll be about Wizards frolicking unharmed through the lane, and athletic big men. Oh, so many athletic big men. I’ll have nightmares about Kevin Garnett playing like Mikki Moore, and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen missing jumpers. And a 42-point fourth quarter that still couldn’t get the Celtics to the century mark. And about the scoreboard: Big Three–27, Blatche–31.
My nightmares will be about anything, and everything, I saw tonight. Except the comeback. I won’t remember the comeback, not even a little. It isn’t exactly valiant to start trying only after spotting an opponent 28 points. In fact, the sight of Nate Robinson drilling three-pointers in an already-decided game almost made me lose my lunch. That the Celtics needed a barrage of three-pointers and a barrel of Wizards turnovers just to make the final score respectable is not cause for cheer. Actually, the only thing about tonight’s game that brought a smile to my face — and I mean THE ONLY thing — was the final buzzer. It was over. Finally.
Oh yeah, and Rajon Rondo was honored with the 2010 Red Auerbach Award before the game, then notched 17 points, 12 assists and 6 rebounds. What, exactly, is the Red Auerbach Award? According to the Celtics press release, it is given to a Celtics player who best exemplifies the spirit of what it means to be a Celtic. After tonight, it’s surprising that exemplifying the spirit of a Celtic is a good thing.