Here we go again. The Celtics just can't seem to bring themselves to playing consistent basketball (especially on defense) for 48 minutes against lower caliber teams. There were times in the last couple of games where they "turned it on" and absolutely shut the Thunder and Raptors down for long stretches. But it wasn't enough because they allowed other stretches of binge scoring for the opponents.
I don't want to hear about the refs. If you put yourself in a position to lose to the Raptors you don't deserve any calls. Period.
It all comes back to defense. The Thunder were missing 50 points of scoring in Durant and Green and the Celtics basically pitched a shutout in the 4th quarter and still managed to lose. The Raptors scored 102 points. The Raptors.
But don't just take my word for it. Here's a sampling of what the players and media are saying this morning.
The lackadaisical stretches are costing them, especially when they allow upstart teams to make plays, because the Celtics appear tired in the fourth quarter. Yes, a favorable Forte call might have given Boston the win, but it doesn’t eliminate the need to toughen up in the late going.
"We can’t just show up,’’ Garnett said. "We’ve got to play some ‘D.’ These teams that we’re playing against are very high-caliber offensive teams. We know what they are. "On paper they might not be whatever but as far as talent, this league’s got a lot of talent and we’ve got to respect that.’’
"(Old bad habits are) creeping up in there when you see we gave up (38) points in the second quarter. I can’t remember the last time we gave up that many points. I mean, shoot. We have injuries, so be it. We’re beating ourselves. We are our own worst enemy right now. We call ourselves a defensive team first? Well, we have to hang our hat on that regardless of how our offense goes."
Hopefully this serves as a wake up call. Because if you think things are getting any easier against our old friends the Hawks (on the second half of a back to back) you better think again.