The Boston Celtics fall to 4-5 on the year after being defeated by the Charlotte Bobcats, 89-83. The Celtics were unable to pull off their fifth win in a row despite 19 points from small forward Jeff Green.
With a halfhearted effort, the Celtics reverted back to their ways from the first four games of the season. The C's appeared unwilling to attack the rim and they were unable to find consistent transition opportunities because of their failures rebounding the ball. Despite a burst of energy early in the fourth quarter, the Celtics were unable to take a single lead tonight. However, Boston turned up the notch on their defensive intensity late in the game, cutting the lead to two with fewer than 35 seconds remaining. On the other end, the Celtics chose not to foul, and they actually forced Kemba Walker into a tough shot, but Al Jefferson grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for a score, extending Charlotte's lead to four. With 17.7 seconds remaining, the Celtics inbounded the ball but Avery Bradley quickly turned it over, sealing the win for the Bobcats.
Sullinger rests, Celtics hurt inside
Power forward Jared Sullinger sat out tonight's game with a bruised knee and the C's were unable to overcome his absence inside. Charlotte out-rebounded Boston 50-to-45, and while that differential isn't staggering, the Bobcats were able to buy themselves far too many second-chance opportunities with 11 offensive rebounds. The Celts also had a hard time containing both Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller. In his dominant return to the Garden, Big Al had himself a double-double with 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, and 11 rebounds. Rookie Cody Zeller came off the bench and scored 8 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in only 22 minutes.
The last time the TD Garden sounded this silent had to have been before the Big 3 era. At certain points of the game you could hear a pin drop, and the Celtics weren't exactly helping the cause. With a handful of missed layups, offensive fouls, a lane violation, and no sense of urgency, fans didn't have a lot to cheer about tonight. The JumboTron would play "DE-FENSE" and the crowd responded by sitting there quietly, looking down at Facebook on their cell phones for the 78th time today.
Jeff Green a bright spot
Early in the first quarter Jeff Green hustled into the locker room while being followed by a trainer, but he only had a small cut on his finger. Green returned to action and played an extremely strong offensive game for the Celtics. He was one player consistently driving hard to the basket and drawing fouls. For the night, Green totaled 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Was I playing basketball at TD Garden tonight? Looking at the statistics, I almost thought so, but it was actually real life NBA players. Both the Celtics and Bobcats combine for 59-of-159 shooting, which is a dismal 37.1 percent. I don't want to embed the image because it's so disgusting to view, so click here to view the Celtics' shot chart from tonight's game. Isn't it hideous? For the Celtics, Brandon Bass went 2-for-9, Kelly Olynyk shot 1-for-4, and Phil Pressey didn't hit one of his 4 attempts. But no one was as bad as Charlotte's Kemba Walker, who made me proud, hitting only 1 of his 12 field goal attempts. Boom goes the dynamite? No, not tonight.
The Boston Celtics close out their three-game home stand on Friday night as the Portland Trail Blazers come to town. On Saturday, the Celtics will make a long trip to Minnesota for their third back-to-back of the season.