Monday night the Celtics lost to the Clippers 116-102, blowing a 13 point lead they had early in the second half. The story here is Thomas’ reaction to this loss. Saying, “We should have won this game. We should have won Sunday night in Phoenix. We can’t be experimenting in Game 63.”
The Celtics didn’t have their two front-court guys; Al Hordford and Jonas Jerebko. With both out, it gave Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan a heavy advantage over the Celtics; 26 points for Griffin and 15 for Jordan.
Now we can’t really blame the guys who were out because they had injuries (Jerebko is battling the flu). Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics in scoring with 32 points, so he has a reason to be frustrated with this loss. So whose is it?
Well I like to think that it’s Danny Ainge’s fault. “Why him?” you’re probably saying with a puzzled look? Because he’s protecting his treasure cove of draft picks instead of trading them for superstars like Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
Including Thomas, 2 Celtics players scored double digit points; Bradley and Smart. Everyone else was single digit or just none at all. That seems a little hypocritical, but it shows that they don’t really have the personal to compete against Cleveland or Washington or any top 5 team in the Western Conference. Thomas leads that team in scoring at 29.2 PPG; the next highest on the team: Bradley at 17.1 PPG (granted he missed 20+ games).
If you want to compete, you’re gonna need to trade some assets (like draft picks) to get guys other than Thomas to score for you. Yes he’s “King of the 4th quarter”, but what about the other 3 quarters? Whose helping him?
Right now the Celtics are 3 games behind Cleveland and Washington is breathing down the Celtics’ necks, behind 1.5 games for 2nd place. These next few weeks will be interesting to see if Danny Ainge’s plan works out.