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Garden Report: New Rock Bottom for the Celtics

Even some of the best play from Robert Williams all season couldn’t stop the Pelicans from blasting by the Celtics’ lackluster offensive and defensive showings in the second half.

NBA: Boston Celtics at New Orleans Pelicans Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics lost 120-115 in overtime on Sunday, their worst day of the week, marking seven days since their previous low against the Wizards. A 24-point collapse against the Pelicans after dominating the first half and getting a chance to save the game in overtime set a new standard.

The Garden Report discussed the loss, silver linings like Robert Williams and Boston discussed in its own terms the recent struggles that have stemmed back one month now — courtesy of CLNS Media.

Celtics vs Pelicans Game Recap

The Celtics blew a 24 point lead and got buried in overtime by Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram after they held them down in the first half. Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum struggled immensely from the field as the offense stalled after halftime and a few overtime buckets handed New Orleans the largest comeback in the history of this incarnation of the franchise.

Robert Williams is Best Celtics Big Man Right Now

Robert Williams again flushed two astonishing alley-oops, impacted shots and grabbed a key offensive rebound in crunch time playing ahead of Tristan Thompson to help force overtime in Celtics vs Pelicans. Brad Stevens went back to Thompson in the final minute, who got battered by Zion Williamson for a the go-ahead and one before Jayson Tatum tied the game. Williams then played the entire overtime period, blocking two shots and having another taken. back on a Zion layup by a narrow goaltending call. The Pelicans overcame a 24 point deficit to win, but Rob continues to emerge. Stevens said halftime he is playing limited managements due to a hip issue. What will the Celtics look like when he plays more?

Celtics Offense Falling Apart in February

The Celtics offense dipped to 14th in offensive rating and 22nd in points per game coming into Sunday’s loss vs the Pelicans with a bottom-10 pace and one of the five worst 4th quarter net ratings in the NBA. Coming off last week’s discussion about the limitations of an offense led by Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the ball, the Celtics shot 39% from the field, 27% from three and combined for 28 points between the 4th and overtime as they blew their 24-point lead. What is wrong with the offense? Can Marcus Smart remedy these issues whenever he returns? The Garden Report discusses.

Could All Star SNUB Inspire Jaylen Brown & Jayson Tatum?

Both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were not named East starters in next month’s All Star Game in Atlanta, putting them in close races with Ben Simmons, Jerami Grant, Zach LaVine and Trae Young for the final guard and forward spots. There’s a chance one or both of the Celtics stars fails to make the game after their hot starts to the season fizzled into recent inconsistency capped by a 24 point collapse vs the Pelicans. The Garden Report debated if snubs would be good for Boston, and what the chances are of other players beating out the Jays in the east.

Should the Celtics have kept Terry Rozier?

Terry Rozier played four good seasons with the Celtics after Danny Ainge drafted him and stayed as he fell behind Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart in the rotation in 2019. Rumors spread after his enormous role in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals run vs the Cavaliers that he would be traded, but the Celtics ultimately took him to free agency then traded him for Kemba Walker as both teams lost their free agents.

Rozier has emerged in a big way in year two in Charlotte, hitting a game winner on Saturday after scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter vs the Warriors. He’s averaging 21.1 points per game with a 49.6% field goal percentage and a 46% mark from three. Should the Celtics have kept Rozier and stayed young after Irving left? The second guess is easy as Walker toils away with injuries in year two.

Celtics Post Game Show (full)

Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens spoke with media after Boston blew a 24 point lead against the Pelicans, ultimately losing in overtime 120-115. Stevens said he believed the game began to slip away towards the end of the third, and the Celtics failed to keep pace with a great deal of the Pelicans adjustments. Boston’s head coach cited a failure to hit big shots to maintain the lead as a main contributor to Boston’s collapse, and the trend is enough for him to be worried.

Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown sits down to talk with media after a frustrating loss against the Pelicans. Brown (25 points, 7/23 from the field, 3/10 3P, 8/9 FT, 6 REB, 9 AST) said that the tail end of the 3rd quarter into the 4th quarter the team’s performance was rough, and the Celtics got away from what got them the lead in the first place. Jaylen Brown was quick to admit he wished he had played better, and losing a National TV game was hurt. Ultimately, Brown said it comes down to making the right plays and matching energy, which Boston failed to do.

Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum spoke with media following the overtime defeat against the Pelicans, and said “blowing the lead was the toughest part” amongst the issues is failing to put teams away early in games. Tatum (32 PTS, 10/24 FG, 3/4 3P, 9 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL) said the team needs to get the ball up quicker, and the team had some good looks not go through. The young forward also said the Celtics needs to be able to make reads of the defense faster and be instinctual. He also stated when the team failed to get stops, it would slow the team’s pace and transition down.

Robert Williams

Rob Williams sat down with media after the Celtics collapsed against the Pelicans, losing in overtime 120-115. Williams finished the night with 8 points (4/6 shooting), 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 blocks in 21 minutes. The young center says the Celtics need to get on one page and focus on the main priority, which is winning games. Williams says the team has to stay together to win, and that guys can’t get down on themselves for mistakes.

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