This game had it all – missed layups, double-digit deficit against inferior competition on a double-digit losing streak, and a red carpet to the rim on defense for opponents to casually stride down at their leisure. To make all of that worse, Jayson Tatum and Payton Pritchard (15 points) weren’t enough to propel the Boston Celtics over the Cleveland Cavaliers with a trend-continuing 102-94 loss.
Most of this game was mind-numbingly and unbearably bad, so I’m going to give this game the recap it deserves.
- You could put my grandmother out there and Aaron Nesmith would show her no mercy, giving 110% effort at all times. Surrounded by a team that goes through really lethargic stretches at times, it’s refreshing to see a guy who gives it his all at all times.
- Jayson Tatum can really sleepwalk to 20+ points even when it feels like nothing offensively is working. He went hard downhill to set the tone on a few occasions when the team needed it. He’s our superstar, and it’s disappointing that the rest of the roster can’t help him out. He finished with 29 points and 8 rebounds.
- Payton Pritchard’s range is insane, and he almost saved this game by playing with the exaggerated swagger of student athlete in college just as the Celtics needed someone besides Jayson Tatum to play well.
- The beginning of almost each quarter was just atrocious. The beginning of the game? Disgusting. The beginning of the second quarter? Despicable. The beginning of the third? Actually not that bad. The beginning of the final frame? Pretty awful.
- This was just a bad basketball game from both sides.
- The team’s defense was pretty unacceptable at times, but also, I’m trying to be fair considering the lengthy injury list for both teams.
- Jayson Tatum had to play in the fourth quarter. In fact, Tatum had to play 35 minutes in a disappointing loss.
- The Celtics went on several scoring droughts. Like, multiple.
- Kevin Love posted 28 points and 13 rebounds. He’s averaging 11.5 points this year.
The “Eh, Whatever I Guess”
- Evan Fournier was very assertive on offense, which was a welcome sight. The shots didn’t fall, but as we’ve seen, they will eventually. He posted 15 points on 6-20 shooting.
- Tatum tried to get a couple of guys involved in the offense, but he ended up with 1 assist because players just couldn’t finish wide-open looks.
- This was cool, I guess:
- Boston has lost the season series against the Cavs, Pistons, Kings, and Pelicans – all really bad teams.
- Boston has lost to the Thunder and the Cavs – two teams on double-digit losing streaks.
- This is some of the worst basketball the team has played all year, and I didn’t have an ounce of fun watching it.
The Boston Celtics are mathematically eliminated from placing higher than sixth. They’re officially in the play-in tournament next week. The Celtics take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on the front end of a back-to-back before the season ends on Sunday in New York.