You didn't actually think they could go 82-0, did you?
The Boston Celtics lost for the first time this season to the Phoenix Suns, 110-103. In a game that featured fast pace offense and poor defense, the Suns were able to come into the TD Garden and play their style of basketball.
"The game was fast, I will admit that," Kevin Garnett said. "Overall, I thought when it came down to it, they made shots and we didn't."
The Celtics were playing from behind for the majority of the game, and although hung around to make a game out of it, could never go on a long enough run to take the lead in the second half. Every time the Celtics would try to get something going, Phoenix would come back on the other end and hit a shot to take the wind out of the Celtics' sail.
While the Celtics went 4-18 from three-point territory, the Phoenix Suns shot a whopping 13-24 from the same distance. That was ultimately the difference in the game.
"They really put you in a position when they have four three-point shooters out there," Paul Pierce said. "They spread the court well, a lot of pick and rolls in the rotation and when they skip the ball we're a step slower. I thought all night to the three point shooters instead of running them off the line we stopped short and allowed them to shoot the three, even knowing that they are a three-point shooting team."
On top of that, the Celtics missed some easy shots and went 9-18 from the charity stripe, with Rajon Rondo going 0-3 and Kendrick Perkins going 4-8.
"We go 9-18 against a good offensive team; you're going to lose games... And in the NBA if you miss a layup it usually leads to a three because in transition," Doc Rivers said.
Often times it takes a loss before a team really starts to figure out what it needs to improve on. Obviously there are a lot of things working well for this team, but it's clear now that they aren't indestructible. That being said, there hasn't been enough time to work out these issues in practice.
"It's easier for them to believe you after an ‘L'," Rivers explained. "You know, I don't know if they believe you after a win. But we have a pretty mature team. They know that because of the amount of games that we've had, it's impossible to practice. They can see the slippage. We've showed it on film. We talked about it; the last three games it's all we've been talking about. But it's tough to do something about it until you can get some real practice time."
While it appeared that the Celtics looked lazy on defense, there were also some possessions where they settled for jumpers instead of working the ball around and finding the open man.
"We could have took our time on offense more," admitted Rasheed Wallace. "There was a couple possessions, myself included, where we shot it real quick. We didn't make them play any defense I think it was like one, two passes if that. The times we did make good passes and share the ball real well with at least three or four passes they were running all over the place and we hit the majority of the shots."
Sheed went 0-6 from beyond the arc tonight, and the bench only combined to score 19 points. Kevin Garnett had his best offensive game of the season, scoring 26 points on 13-20 shooting while grabbing eight boards. Steve Nash and Rajon Rondo put up similar stat lines with Nash putting up 16 points and dishing out 12 assists and Rondo right behind him with 14 and 11.
While the Celtics won't have much time to practice before tomorrow night's game, it helps that they play the New Jersey Nets, the only winless team left in the league. While no win is a guarantee, tomorrow night's game against New Jersey is as close as it gets. The Celtics will do everything in their will to not lose two games in a row, and New Jersey just doesn't have the talent to match up to the Celtics.