A Cs Loss That Had Me Feeling "Meh"

Currently, the Cs hold the best record in the league at 35-13 after being short of a 10-game winning streak with a loss to the Orlando Magic. And yes, Orlando is the first team to sweep the Celtics in their season match-ups.

Even though I would have preferred the team to go 10 straight, as for a couple of possessions they looked like they were going to get this one done, I don’t feel as annoyed with this loss as their previous losses this season.

Let me explain.

For starters, let’s state the obvious, the Celtics were down three players in Brogdon, Smart, and Rob.

Smart is day-to-day, Rob might play against the Heat so they’re being cautious with him after the Toronto game, and Brogdon had some personal reasons to attend to.

Not only did they play without their main floor general and the one that gets their engine going, but they also lose their elite big defender in Rob against a tall Magic team, and even missing their main scorer of the bench that is crucial in pushing the Celtics’ offense and providing key timely baskets.

Sure, they pulled off a great mentally tough game against the Raptors but the outcome of this game is a reminder that a depleted depth can only get you so far in a long season.

Speaking of depleted depth, as Tatum knocks down a triple at 6:58 in the third quarter to give the Cs a 2pt lead, he holds his rib area and intentionally fouls Harris to get himself checked out and exits the game.

At that point on, the Celtics’ energy quickly goes down, and the Magic go on a 20-5 run until Mazzulla calls timeout. Honestly, at that point, I was just worried about Tatum’s status and I struggled to pay much attention to the game.

Luckily, JT does return to the game and even got the team to within 2 with his three-ball at 6:20 in the fourth, but then some lackluster defense crept back in as the Celtics for whatever reason couldn’t contain Cole Anthony in getting to the rim, and converting layups. Not jumpers, layups now. Coupled with tons of missed shots, sloppy turnovers, and the ball game became clearly wrapped up at that point.

When it came to offense, the Jays did their thing with a combined but the others couldn’t catch up and produce enough to give the Cs a stronger fighting chance in getting the dub:

Grant Williams - 4 points on 33% shooting from the field as he lacked in showing some much-needed aggression to boost the second unit on the floor

Al Horford - 6 points on 25% shooting from the field and 28.6% from deep

Derrick White - Really needed more aggression from DWhite as he racked up 11 points on 50% shooting from the field but he got banged up a bit which had him sidelined a bit in the third

Expected better production from these guys on a night that the Jays needed help in scoring as the team’s down 2 starters and 1 key second-unit player.

Besides scoring, the defense was atrocious. The Celtics allowed the Magic to shoot the rock at 51.2% shooting from the field, and 40.7% from deep. It also feels weird that this was the second game Paolo played against the Cs wherein he comes out shooting like Steph Curry for 60% shooting from the field.

Yes, the defense was somewhat better in the second half but not for continuous stretches of play as the Magic would be able to counterpunch whatever the Celtics threw at them. Added to the fact that the Magic dominated the paint with 66.4% shooting under the rim, and 50% shooting near the FT line. I know they’re without Rob, but they have more than enough players to provide rim protection in Al, and Kornet, along with JT and the rest of the guys to add some help as well.

But hold on, I did say that I felt "meh" about the outcome of this loss.

Well, that’s because this game was all over the place with three players unavailable for the Cs, Tatum being in and out of the game, the bench being asleep for long stretches, and lastly with the team hooping well for 9-games straight before this stinker of a loss.

My two cents? First, this was a tough loss that they should have won but not enough to lose sleep on the team has been balling well lately and this stinker shouldn’t take that away. And second, win streaks are always bound to end at some point and it usually goes like this one.

Hopefully, we get Smart and Rob back for next week’s slate of games as I’m manifesting the team’s next win streak goes for 10 straight strong.

But first, it’s on to Miami.

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