I'm not sure if it's the fact they can't play a complete (or near-complete) game or whether they just can't beat good teams at this point, but the Celtics loss to Dallas tonight is really concerning and can't be overlooked.
First off the Celts got off to a nice 9-2 start in this one and I didn't get to see a minute of it because it was on TNT and they were showing the final minutes of the Phoenix-Memphis game.
Is there some rational behind this? I get NBA League Pass and get to watch every second of every game but then when there's a "big" game, as the nationally televised games are generally considered, I'm at the mercy of what number the game is in the sequence of televised games being played (tonight was the 2nd of 3). ESPN is good about this for the most part- they use ESPN Classic to show the start of the new game. TNT's a joke. What about your sister station TBS where the entire 2008 Playoffs we got to hear about the damn Bill Engvall Show and it being "very funny?" Can't you take off whatever crap show your airing and show the start of the game on TBS? Why don't more people complain about this? It's ridiculous. Can't wait to the Celts-Lakers game in LA in February on a Thursday that we'll get to miss the first 5 minutes of. Sorry for this tangent.
This game reminded me somewhat of the Atlanta game last week at home (minus the terrible officiating) in that it was a strong first half performance by Boston. The Celtics were up 9 at halftime and really controlled the tempo.
Rasheed was doing a nice job on Nowitzki until he picked up his 4th foul early in the 3rd. Dirk proceeded to go off. For about the 18th time in the past 2 months, I'm mentioning again how the Celtics have a glaring weakness of no big guys being able to defend perimeter-oriented big men (guys like Dirk, Odom, Lewis).
Why isn't this obvious to Danny Ainge yet is beyond me. Sheed does a good job in limited minutes as does KG. Scalabrine is just not that skilled and Glen Davis is too slow and too small. I'd prefer not having KG (or Sheed really for that matter) expending extended amounts of energy worrying about this in a 7 game series. Right now, that's what it's looking like will transpire. Fortunately Cleveland doesn't provide this matchup problem and Josh Smith doesn't utilize his skills as much as he should for Atlanta in that regard. But mark my words if the Celts play Orlando and Lewis this is going to take an enormous toll on KG.
The free throw shooting is also a cause for concern. Kevin Harlan mentioned in the 3rd quarter tonight that the Celtics had missed 48 free throws in their last 4 games. That's brutal.
Allowing Dallas to shoot over 80% from the field throughout most of the second half is also pathetic.
The C's offense was also really stagnant in the second half- get it to Paul and hope he carries us to the win. Awful to watch.
This is the exact same Dallas team that played the Flakers at home last week, where L.A. was playing the second night of a back to back after being smoked by San Antonio the night before without Pau Gasol and a pretty banged-up Bean Bryant, and they still couldn't win that game. Watching that game I thought it was inexcusable for Dallas to even be considered a potential contender because you can't lose that game if you're them; they should've pounded LA. Sort of exactly like the Celtics shouldn't have lost tonight coming off of last Thursday's debacle vs Chicago.
This is the worst I've seen the Celtics play since KG arrived- that includes those slip-ups to the Knicks, Bobcats, Clippers and Warriors last season when they were having that rough stretch in January. Celtics are getting blown out by teams that shouldn't be destroying them like this and at home nonetheless. That's just inexcusable and exceptionally frustrating to watch. Hopefully they get out of this funk soon or I'll be watching a whole lot more Animal Planet and a whole lot less NBA.