The Celtics have scored 101 points in the 2 first halves of this series. The problem is that in the 2nd halves they've scored just 48 points. (h/t to Mike and Mike for that nugget) I mean, what else can you say about that? Yet, as a blogger, I'm somewhat obliged to add words so here goes.
Want some more sobering postseason stats? How about 39% from the field and 26% from 3 point range? How about an offensive rating of 84.0? In the playoffs, only the Lakers are faring worse than that. I'm also pretty sure that the Celtics broke or tied some kind of futility record(s) but I'm too depressed to go look that up.
You can sort of give last night's last few minutes a pass as the game was in garbage time at that point and stats kind of start to get skewed in those moments. But you can't say the same thing for game 1's 4th quarter, nor the 3rd quarter and early 4th of last night. This team is horrible on offense right now. Period.
Boston’s problem is it cannot create any easy baskets. The Celtics work overtime to score, and when shots fall, they appear capable. When they don’t, they don’t have any other options. They can’t get to the free throw line. They have erratic finishers and they don’t shoot well from the 3-point line.
Wasburn goes on to rip the Celtics every which way from Sunday - but I'll let you read the rest of it yourself.
I suppose you have to give some credit to the Knicks for playing good defense, but it really seemed more like bad offense. They didn't turn the ball over as much as they did in game 1, but there were forced shots, bad decisions, and poor ball movement. Even when there was good ball movement, someone would step out of bounds or it would be one pass too many. When there were open shots, the ball just didn't fall. The confidence and groove just hasn't been there late in games.
The only hope here is that they'll gain some new life and confidence by playing at home. This team has proven all year that they are terrible with a capital T on the road, winning just 34% of their games there. But they do have a 67% winning percentage at home. So there's that.
I'm pretty sure this team will bounce back and pick up a few wins at home and make this a series. They've got too much pride not to. But to actually win the series, you have to win on the road, and what evidence have they given us that they are capable of that?
Seeing Rondo roam the sidelines is a painful reminder of what we're missing. Can we all agree that the "better without Rondo" argument is over? If not, then just don't talk to me until the offseason, cause I don't think I can discuss it rationally right now.
I could get into specifics and point the finger at specific players or the coach, but there's time for that in the next few days. Right now, to a man, the whole team stinks. Especially after halftime, when it is kind of important to be good. None of this bodes well for this team's advancing chances.
Not to be the boy that cried wolf (again) but this could be it folks. If they can't find a way to steal a game on the road, then this season is over and (as has been the case for the last 3 years) that could be all she wrote for this era. Or maybe not. Maybe they'll decide to run it back for another year, or two, or more. I don't even know anymore. All I know is that this isn't the lasting impression I want to have.
I want the next two games. Give me that at least. The home crowd, the emotion, the familiar environment, that should be enough to spur the team to some better offense. Get a couple wins and you've tied up the series and you've captured momentum. There's still plenty of time. But that feels like a long way away right now and the first step is getting some offense from somewhere.