Few things are as aggravating as hearing an opposing crowd chant “Bos-ton sucks,” but one thing that’s worse is knowing that they aren’t wrong. The Celtics, for lack of a better descriptor, sucked tonight. Aside from Jeff Green (and Chris Wilcox on two field goal attempts), no one shot above 50% from the field. The Celtics were badly overmatched throughout, falling behind early in the second quarter and never recovering.
I’m going to keep this fairly short because that game was gross. Let’s get to the bullet points:
- Hey, weird: Jeff Green was fantastic again. Green finished with 27 points (for the second consecutive game) on 14 field goal attempts (!!!!!!!). He has been a bright spot on an otherwise-dark past few weeks.
- Despite shooting just 6-16 from the field, Paul Pierce was also great. One game removed from a 20-10-10 triple double, Pierce scored 24 points, grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds and dished out five assists through three quarters.
- Boston’s rebounding was a major problem without Garnett (and Sullinger, of course, but that’s academic at this point). The Knicks finished with 10 offensive rebounds, but it felt more like 100, and besides Pierce, no Celtic finished with more than four (Green, Bass and Lee). The Knicks didn’t shoot well from the field overall (48.6%), but without a defensive rebound, a tough defensive stand doesn’t mean much.
- Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford, Jason Terry, Avery Bradley and Terrence Williams combined to shoot 1-13 from 3-point range. Pierce and Green combined for 6-12. Suffice to say Pierce and Green needed some offensive help.
- The Knicks shot 47% from inside the arc and 51% from 3-point range. If you don’t run their shooters off the 3-point line, they will punish you.
- A perfect exclamation point to a bad first half: Raymond Felton banked in a desperation heave as the buzzer sounded which put New York up by 17. For whatever reason, 17 sounds much more insurmountable than 14, but the way New York was shooting, both would have been equally impossible mountains to climb.
The Celtics take on Minnesota at the Target Center tomorrow night. I’m hoping for a much better game because A) Boston could use a win and B) I’ll be in attendance. If the Celtics earn another “Bos-ton sucks” chant, I might start bleeding from the ears.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.