What an exciting game last night. It was a thrilling back and forth game with plot twists and buzzer beaters and overtime to boot. It was destined to end in dramatic fashion. Except it didn't.
It ended with a thud. It ended with Jeff Green walking around after the buzzer with his hands on his head wondering what had just happened. In short, it didn't go as the coach drew it up.
So exactly what happened?
According to Stevens, his Celts miscommunicated on a switch, letting Davis get free. But instead of going for what looked like an easy hoop, he sent the ball back out and the C’s were caught chasing as the clock ran out. "The bottom line is we didn’t get to the ball quick enough," Stevens said. "We just didn’t finish the game out well on the defensive end of the floor on the last play. But they’re still in better shape than we are at that point in time, because we were out of timeouts because we used them all to advance it. But if we can get a foul with five seconds left or so, we’ve still got a shot." "The plan was to foul," Rajon Rondo said after his six-point, 14-assist, 45-minute night, "but we didn’t win or lose on that play."
I didn't see it live, but several people reported that two Celtics ran into each other as the ball was being inbounded. That certainly doesn't help things.
I agree with that statement about not losing on that play. A lot of stuff happened in this game, including a huge night by freak Anthony Davis. I'm not sure I fully agree with this next statement though (even if I understand where it is coming from).
"We keep coming up short," Rondo told reporters following Sunday’s loss, which extended their road losing streak against Western Conference teams to 19. "I have to do a better job of finishing plays. I pretty much blame this on myself again." "My floaters aren’t there," Rondo said. "My touches around the rim aren’t there. But I’ll keep shooting them. I’ll continue to be aggressive."
Sure, Rondo deserves some of the blame, and he's trying to be a leader by taking the blame on himself. He's the best player so he should be leading them to victories not losses. Still, at the end of the day this is still a lottery level team so wins are going to be scarce and they'll depend on everything breaking right for more than just a few players.
If anything, I'm impressed that they were able to force the Pelicans to overtime when Davis was on his way to a 40-20 game and a few other Pelicans were having good nights as well. So I get why the super competitive leader Rondo is taking the blame. As a fan, I'm just chalking it up as another moral victory.