The most important game for the Celtics this year only seemed to bring out the worst in them. In a game where the #1 seed in the playoffs were on the line, the Celtics got beaten badly by Cleveland 114-91. The first quarter was tight, back and forth between the two teams; 20-19 Celtics after the first quarter. After that, the Cavaliers just went on a roll; missed 3 point shots by the Celtics and bad turnovers helped the Cavs put up close to 40 points in the 2nd quarter; making it 57-42 by half. At one point during that quarter it was 41-24 with 5 minutes left in the quarter; biggest lead for the Cavaliers was 29 points.
So how did the Celtics lose with so much on the line. Well for starters they were out-rebounded 51-38, their free throw percentage was 62.1% (18-29), and their 3 point percentage was close to 20% for the night. Overall there was no offense for the Celtics that night. Thomas led the Celtics in scoring with 26 points, the next top scorer for the Celtics was Crowder who scored 13 points. Two other Celtics scored 12 points, the rest who played were single digit scores. Cleveland on the other hand had 5 double digit scorers, the lowest being 10 points; Lebron James scored 36 points to led the team.
Overall it was a terrible night for the Celtics and would much rather like to forget about that night. But it proved something; the Celtics aren’t on Cleveland’s level yet. Everyone was talking about how the Cavaliers are starting to collapse and the Celtics could take advantage of that. But last night proved that they couldn’t, the offense wasn’t there and no one other than Thomas can’t score 20+ points constantly a night.
I said that the Celtics could beat the Cavaliers if it was a 7 game series, which I still believe to be true. But looking at that regular season series between the two team, it’s 3-1 in favor of the Cavs. Obviously the regular season is far different than the playoffs; more intensity, the best of players comes out, just overall better team playing. Lebron said it himself “I’ve been to the Finals 6 straight times, you’re asking the wrong person to answer if this regular season game means much to me”. Does it matter if the Celtics don’t get the #1 seed in the playoffs; kind of, but I don’t think it will effect how they play.
If the Celtics truly want to beat the Cavaliers, someone has to step up. Bradley, whose mainly been that second guy behind Thomas, only scored 4 points last night; that just can’t happen. Hordford, our big free agent signing, scored 12 points last night; which helps but he definitely can score more. If the Celtics want to prove they can beat the Cavs they need to do one or two things, or both; either slow the Cavs down on offense or have the Celtics offense step up. Other than that the Cavaliers will stomp all over you and go right back to the finals.
Right now it’s halftime and the Celtics are losing to the Atlanta Hawks 71-55. I don’t know what’s happening with this team now but it needs to be fixed ASAP before the playoffs begin.