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Wait, we just lost to the Bucks?

March 16, 2009

Yes, lets just watch that happen.

Yes, let's just watch that happen.

Wait, we just lost to the Bucks? Wait, really? I go down for a little nap, wake up, look at the box score, and notice that they just lost to the Bucks. As I type this, I am working diligently not to vomit all over myself. It’s hard to think about this terrible turn of events because I didn’t see the game, but will review some of the numbers that really jump out.

Before I go ahead and rip into today’s performance, I need to say 2 things. ONE: I am not your typical Boston sports fan. After a loss, I don’t go into shutdown mode or rip off obscenely long tirades about why this year’s team is the worst team in the history of the universe. My default is not to think the worst– I am realistic about my team’s chances. I am realistic at the fact that the ’09 Celtics, on paper and in practice, have one of the best teams in the league and have one of the best shots at competing a back-to-back title run, which hasn’t happened since the Lakers 3-peat earlier in the decade. TWO: Not every loss means the world is ending; I know that. I can keep that in perspective. But this loss after the win on Friday night against Memphis is tough. Leon Powe’s 30 points on 10 for 14 shooting and 11 rebounds was fun, and now this?

Looking at the box score, these are the uglies:

  • Aside from Bill Walker’s 5 minutes on the court, not a single player on the Celts had a positive +/- rating (remember that a player’s +/- rating is a simple statistic to show if your team or the opponent scores more points when you are on the floor).
  • Our starters (Rondo, Ray, Pierce, Leon, Perk) went a combined 19 for 55: a whopping 34%. WHOA.
  • Ummmm… Perk took 16 shots. He hit 9 of ’em, but anytime Perk is putting up 16 shots you know things aren’t going well.
  • Well what wasn’t going well? How about Ray Ray going 2-11. Could it get worse? Yes: Pierce was 4-15.
  • How about 25 turnovers. 25 turnovers. Think about that again: 25 turnovers. The team turned the ball over, on average, slightly more than once every 2 minutes. Holy crap; the biggest perpetrator? Pierce had 7 turnovers… now THAT’s the truth.
  • Sorry Rondo, you’re not off the hook either: 5 turnovers. Your assist to turnover ratio was a whopping 1.6 today, compared to your usual 3.2. Math wizards out there? That is half what it normally is. You earn a “get free out of jail card” for this game, though, because you make that yellow headband look so good.
  • Pierce played 39 minutes and Ray Ray played 37. Damn it, Doc… what happened to their rest??
  • We had 28 personal fouls. Why is that problematic? It’s not if a lot of those fouls were committed to prevent an easy two points and make a terrible FT shooter work for his points (Dwight Howard, Shaq, etc.). Unfortunately, the Celts committed 28 fouls against a team that decided to shoot 24-27 at the line. Can I get an 89%? WHOA.
  • How about the fact that we scored 16 points in the second quarter and 14 in the fourth. So in half of the game, we only put up 30 points. The Celts average 101.3 points per game during the season, which breaks down to about 25 a quarter. Tonight, the Celts barely surpassed their quarterly average with a combined 2 quarters.
  • 25 turnovers? Yes, I said it again. It was that bad.

I am a little angry that I can’t sit here, ignore the easy win against the Bucks, and really talk about what everyone else wants to talk about… the fact that Leon Powe has been an ABSOLUTE ANIMAL in the last few games. Let’s hit up his game log: 20 points on 3/6 v. Cavs, 23 points on 3/11 v. Miami, and 30 points v. the Grizz on 3/13. He is emerging as a true low post player. At first, team’s scouting report on Powe simply said, “Kinda big guy, tries to get fouled, makes a living on the FT line.” Now, his scouting report says, “His nickname is The Show, will make most of his FT when fouled, can finish when being fouled, can spin + hook, has soft hands, crashes the glass like a CTD, and moves very well without the ball to get himself free.” Hey NBA, have you learned? When you shut him down, he’ll find another way to contribute.

That is what I should be talking about tonight. Not the fact that the Celtics just  lost to the Bucks.

We are hurt. We are injured. I am looking forward to guys returning. Big Baby and Scal and TA for some much needed depth on the bench. Rondo to be fully healed. But most of all, I need the illegal energy of KG. Please come back soon. Look, I am not asking for much KG. Just come back, get this team’s defense back on the same page, help run effective screens / pick-n-rolls, hit you 18 footers around the elbows, get in on some Rondo/KG oop-action, and bite someones head off.

Bring back the fire. Please.

Bite someones head off, KG.

Bite bite bite, KG.

Go ahead, take a nibble off that ear!

Bite, bite, bite, KG.

Dessert? How about some yummy nose.

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