With last night’s blowout loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Celtics have now lost 10 of their last 15 games and sit outside the playoff picture in the 9th seed. This 3-game road trip could not have gone any worse than it did, with the Celtics losing all 3 games in a frustrating and embarrassing fashion.
Starting on Sunday, with the overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which the Celtics led by 24 points with 6:29 remaining the 3rd quarter. The Celtics have struggled to maintain double-digit leads all season long, and Sunday was just another embarrassing reminder. Going up big in games and then refusing to score has something the Celtics have done quite well this season as the Celtics shot just 9/30 in the 4th quarter and overtime.
The Celtics followed up Sunday’s loss with a 110-107 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, courtesy of two Luka Doncic daggers. Something to note about Luka’s game-winner, it was the 5th go-ahead FG the Celtics have allowed in the final 30 seconds of the 4th quarter or overtime this season, which is the most in the NBA. Luka’s two shots were incredible and were both contested well by the Celtics so that isn’t the problem in this game. The problem is the Celtics bench scoring was abysmal again, scoring just 19 points! You will not win many games in the NBA when your bench only scored 19 points. The Celtics also exposed their inability to close out games in this one. Boston went on a 16-3 run to take the lead with under a minute left. The Celtic’s biggest problems were on full display here, the lack of bench scoring and the incapability of closing out games as they fall to 2-11 in crunch-time games.
If you thought it couldn’t possibly get worse following the losses to the Pelicans and Mavericks, you are sadly mistaken. The Celtics got blown out at the hands of Danilo Gallinari, as he sank 10 three-pointers finishing with 38 points and a +25 rating. At the half, the Celtics had 49 points as a team, the equivalent of what Trae Young and Danilo Gallinari combined for in the first half. Tatum and Brown continued their cold shooting stretch finishing a combined 10/36. If you are looking for ANY positives out of this game, the Celtics bench played with some pride and cut the deficit to 15.
The Celtics seem like a team that is ready to hit the All-Star break and regroup. Unfortunately for them, they still have 4 more games before the break. Jayson Tatum and the Celtics know they have to dig deep before the All-Star break. Tatum said after the game “We got four games till the break. Four very important games because I think the time is now. Like I said earlier, we don’t have any time to relax. We gotta dig deep”.
The Celtic’s last game before the break is Thursday, March 4th, and it won’t be an easy stretch. The schedule is as follows.
Friday 2/26 vs Pacers 7:30 PM
Sunday 2/28 @ Wizards 7:00 PM
Tuesday 3/2 vs Clippers 7:30 PM
Thursday 3/4 vs Raptors 7:00 PM