You know how Manny Ramirez actually HURT his reputation by being so awesome for the Dodgers… that it confirmed he dogged it Boston? Well… the Celtics are sort of setting themselves up for something similar. If they come out and dominate tomorrow night at home against Houston… they’re going to confirm that they have a big time problem on the road. This is starting to leave “lull” territory and creep into “concerning.”
The C’s dropped their 5th of 7 games… this one a 114 – 106 loss to Charlotte in overtime.
The Celtics were in full schizophrenic mode in this one. At one point, I wanted to take the shoe that flew off Rondo’s foot (seriously Rajon… again?) and throw it through my TV. The Celtics were starting to build a lead in the second quarter when they fell apart (as detailed in the previous post). They continued to flat out suck during the process of falling behind by 10 points in the 3rd. It was classic “road Celtics” mode: guys were just standing around and no one seemed interested in being there at all. Rondo even tried to feed the left post from the right elbow. Huh?
Suddenly, something clicked and they woke up. The defense became stifling again. The Celtics actually won the 3rd quarter and built a lead of their own. Rondo was in full “Rondo” mode, complete with wild, violent, sprawling falls.
And then, Adam Morrison went nuts. Raymond Felton hit big shots. And we had a battle on our hands. In overtime, we saw the same frustrating mistakes (a Garnett travel, which they’re calling A LOT on him this year) and missed rotations (an insanely easy Emeka Okafor dunk) that have frustrated us over the past few weeks. Ray Allen (7-20 fg, 3-11 3pt) started out hot and then his shot disappeared. He and KG (7-18 fg) missed good looks in the overtime. If they had just hit a few of those shots, this ending would have been different.
Question for the C’s: In last year’s playoffs, Paul Pierce became the unquestioned “go-to” guy… option #1 when the C’s needed a bucket. So why hasn’t that really been the case this year? Why did it take the last 2 minutes of OT for Pierce to have the ball in his hand every time?
And one thing I’d like to mention about Charlotte: I think DJ Augestin is underrated. I know this year’s rookie class is all about Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo and Michael Beasley… but Augestin is pretty good. And for a rookie to step up and go 12-12 from the line, half of them in OT, against the Champs is a big deal.