The Boston Celtics (5-4) lost to the Nets (5-2) last night 102-97. The seven-point difference in the score was connected to just a few Celtic misses, including 2 frees, 1 three and 1 from the field. The other problem was once again offensive rebounds where the Nets dominated 18-12.
Celtics Behind Most of the Time
The Celtics had to play catch up for most of the game. They were behind at the half 59-50. However, Boston took the lead at the end of the third and started the final quarter 74-79. Paul Pierce, who led the Celts in scoring with 22, missed two frees near the end, which hurt the team’s attempt for a fourth straight win.
It did not help that Rajon Rondon, who sprained his ankle in the last game against Utah, was out. Rondo, who has 10 or more assists per game for 32 straight contests, is day-to-day at this point. His playmaking ability was surely missed.
It is significant that three shooting guards hit for 40 points last night. Leandro Barbosa was good for 17 and Courtney Lee had 13. Jason Terry kicked in 10 more.
The Nets were dynamite when it came to blocked shots. Center Brook Lopez had 4 of the team’s 7 blocks. Lopez also had 24 points as did point guard Deron Williams. Overall, the Nets were tight on “D.” Lopez also had 4 offensive rebounds as did Nets power forward Andray Blatche.
This isn’t to say that the Celtics defense was bad. They were just outplayed a bit, especially on the offensive boards by Brooklyn and that was the real difference in the game.
Celtics in Good Shape
I feel that the Boston Celtics are in a good place. They played the Nets fairly close without Rajon Rondo, who is extremely important in their success. Boston sits in third place and has proven that they can score and defend. Once again, I’d like to see them doing a better job on the offensive boards. That would be a major help. By the way, the Celtics are 30th overall in rebounding. That does have me worried.
Tomorrow the Celtics play the Toronto Raptors (2-6) in Boston and then the Detroit Pistons (1-8) on Sunday in Motown. Wins against both teams are certainly possible as both teams are weak. This is a good time for the club to work at improving their rebounding.