I started writing this recap at halftime during last night's game. I had been thinking about the most consistent theme for nearly the entire season - that the Celtics play so differently from quarter-to-quarter - so maybe things could turn around a little in the second half. But then, they had just played two pretty consistent quarters - both dreadful to watch. I wasn't aware the worst was yet to come...
Before the start of the game, Rajon Rondo was awarded The 2010 Red Auerbach Award, which rightfully should go to him. It is a shame, however, that he had to accept it on this night.
In the first half, the Celtics were shooting 30% with 12 for 20 from the floor, the Wizards had 5 blocks in the first quarter alone, and with 2½ minutes left in the first quarter until just about 7 minutes left in the second, the C's just seemed to stand around while the Wizards went on an 18-0 run. Ah... that was just one of the runs they went on during the game. Washington pulled ahead 15-13 with 4½ minutes left in the first quarter and never looked back. Score at the end of the first quarter? 32-17. After Washington was ahead by 30 at one point, the first half ended with Boston only managing 31 total points to Washington's 52. The BOOs rang out in the garden once again, as they had when Memphis came in and embarrassed Boston last month. That didn't light a fire under anyone in a Celtics uniform, but it did keep Andray Blatche lit up along with every other Wizard.
At the start of the third quarter, Tommy Heinsohn noted "Bill Russell would have been throwing up in the locker room at half-time" and wondered doubtfully if anyone on this team had been in that kind of shape during the half. Apparently not. KG was upset that they were playing at home and getting BOOs instead of support from the crowd. Come ON. Really?
It feels pointless to note the haphazard runs Boston managed to put together from time to time. When the scores had Boston within 12, and at one time even 6 with under a minute left thanks to 3 back-to-back threes from Nate, that only seemed to hide the ugly truth about how this team played all night.
The Big Three combined for a total 27 points and Blatche alone had 31 points.
Boston was down 75-54 at the end of the third quarter, and managed to score 42 points in the fourth... Washington never let up, however, scoring 31 of their own in that quarter, with a final score of 106-96. That score really belies how horrible this night was. I really don't like all the superstitious stuff in sports, and to use the "Friday night home game" one would be a poor excuse for this game. It hurt to watch, it was a relief to hear the final buzzer.
Have you ever watched a television show and actually felt embarrassed for one of the characters? For me, Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore show comes to mind... this sort of felt the same except I wasn't watching a SITCOM...
Photo: Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images