The worst game for the Boston Celtics in the last two weeks came at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, as Boston got blown out 113-99. The Celtics played no defense, didn’t boxout on rebounds, and made too many careless mistakes. This loss was a complete team effort, or lack thereof, as Boston came out with no energy. It’s possible that the second night of a back-to-back had something to do with it, but the Celtics didn’t look tired or physically fatigued.
Throughout the entire game Boston failed to boxout and play defense. Time and time again, the Lakers would set up their offense and there would be someone wide open under the basket for the easy layup or dunk. The perimeter defense wasn’t any better as the Lakers guards got open looks from three-point land, and unlike in Boston, L.A.’s shots were falling. Tonight, not one player could be blamed for the breakdown of defensive execution, it was everyone, from the starters to the bench players.
What really was frustrating to watch was the Celtics inability to grab rebounds on both the offensive and defensive end. The Lakers got way too many second chance opportunities and a majority of the time they capitalized on Boston’s lack of height. Dwight Howard showed up for the first time this season, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Boston could not matchup with him, and he singlehandedly exploited the Celtics weakness of not rebounding.
With the trade deadline today at 3 pm, Danny Ainge may now look to make trades after the Celtics got massacred. If there was a time that players had to play at their best to prove that Boston doesn’t need trades, it was last night. No one stepped up, and now, one has to speculate that Ainge may look to blow it up after many of Boston’s problems came to the surface. If last night was Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett’s last game in Celtics uniforms, it was a horrible way to go out.