An issue- The Celtics know they can go out and thrash the 76ers, and they did so for the majority of the first part of the game. Then they gave up because they had already won in the 3rd quarter when they went up 15. I don’t think it is merely the teams who are coming to play the Celtics are playing “up” because they want to beat the Celtics. Ya, Ya, Ya, every team in the NBA is compiled of professional players so they should be able to compete with the other professional players on the better teams. Realistically the Celtics are stacked, and the 76ers just are not…at all.
Therfore, on a night in which the Celtics are playing a team without their starting point guard in Williams, without their new acquistion of AI, are 6-19, had lost 13 of their last 14, are down 15 in the third quarter, and are playing on the road, you would have to assume the Celtics did not get beat. Instead the Celtics beat them selves by beleiving the game was over due to all of the facts above. Everything was lost and it got very sloppy.
They did exactly what everyone was complaining about early in the season. They got out early and jumped on them to “take them out of the game” from the beginning. The Celtics got comfortable at a 15 point lead, and decided that was good enough and they could pack it in and call it a night because there was no way the 76ers could come back at the TD Garden. Suddenly everything hit the fan in a hurry.
This isn’t the first time the Celtics have played down to their opponent at home. They did so against the struggling Bucks, 76ers in November, Toronto for the majority of the game, and Golden State for the majority of that game. So maybe I am a little nit picky, but the point is the Celtics are 8-4 at home. The home court is where this team should dominate, and then head out on the road and find ways to win. Instead, they are doing it bass ackwards and dominating on the road and trying to find ways to win at home.
Why? Like I said- I think they are comfortable and feel inferior at home. The past 2 years has provided that with the stellar home court performance, and how it led them through the playoffs in 08. The Celtics know how good they are, and play halfway when teams who should not compete with them come in. Instead, if they were to go all out like they did in Charlotte, in Chicago, in OKC, and on and on, these games would not even be close at home.
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