Dallas Mavericks 99 Boston Celtics 90
TD Garden – Boston, MA
Tonight the Boston Celtics welcomed Dirk Nowitzki and the visiting Dallas Mavericks to the TD Garden for a nationally televised matchup. Coming into the game we expected this to be a good one and for the most part it lived up to the expectations. The game saw the Celtics grab a double digit lead in the first half before the Mavs used a huge run to take a double digit lead of their own. The Celtics did try to make a run for it but ultimately dropped this one to the Mavs by the score of 99-90. The Celtics drop to 27-12 on the season and have given us serious reason to worry.
The Celtics started off the game red hot and came out of the tunnel with all the energy you could ask for. Led by Paul Pierce’s dominant eleven point first quarter performance and Ray Allen’s great play throughout the first half the Celtics stretched the lead to eleven at one point near the end of the first half. Doc Rivers led his troops into the locker room ahead by nine.
Like we have come to expect the Celtics left some of that energy and aggressiveness in the locker room with them. Led by Erick Dampier (I know that sounds funny) and Dirk Nowitzki the Mavs took the lead with a little over one minute left in the third quarter. Dampier had eleven points in an eight minute stretch and was having his way with Kendrick Perkins, a guy in which we brag about for his dominant defense on other big men. Nowitzki also had eight points of his own in a two minute stretch, and 15-2 run, which helped put the Mavs on top by seven at the end of three quarters of play.
There is nothing that bugs me more watching a basketball game than seeing a guy that is red hot from the floor get open shot after open shot. That is exactly what the Celtics allowed Dirk Nowitzki to do during the entire second half. Dirk ended up with 37 points on the night and did it without having to put up a ridiculous amount of shots (14-22). Most of this can be contributed to poor defense from the Celtics standpoint. Doc said after the third quarter that the Celtics were too worried about offense in the third, thus it resulted in the team forgetting that they still had to play defense.
I really don’t know what’s going on with this team right now, but I know I am getting very frustrated. Doc continues to say that things are all right with the team, that he likes the team, blah blah blah, but it doesn’t matter what he’s saying when the team is performing like this on the court. Maybe it’s time for the fun and games to end. Maybe Doc needs to work the guys harder in practice. Maybe they need to build up some stamina. I honestly don’t know the answer but I don’t get paid thousands of dollars to know, that is Doc River’s job and we expect him to do it properly.
I am not trying to take any credibility from the Mavs, as they are a very solid team and proved it in the second half. But I really believe the Celtics are giving up and not handling adversity very well this season. It really is a shame to watch and all of us Celtics fans have to hope it ends very soon. The Celtics look to get back on track Wednesday night in a must win game in Detroit against the Pistons.