Last night the Boston Celtics got blown out by a Charlotte Bobcats team that had lost 10 straight games leading up to yesterday. This isn’t the first time Charlotte has done this to Boston. On February 11th, the Charlotte Bobcats managed to win only 1 game in their last 12 before beating the Celtics 94-91. Boston has never matched up well with Charlotte, and they’ve always had problems containing the worst team in the Eastern Conference. Last night was absolutely depressing, but there is no need for overreaction or concern, at least not yet.
The Celtics are still within striking distance for the fourth seed in the East. The Chicago Bulls are only one game ahead of Boston for fifth, and the Brooklyn Nets are three games ahead in fourth. They do have their work cut out for them. The Celtics have a difficult schedule remaining, facing the Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, and Atlanta Hawks within the next month.
I’m not completely sold on the Nets just yet. They’ve been good so far, but I question their depth. Boston does get one last crack at them in April before the playoffs, and it could possibly be a first round preview. The Knicks are having issues with injuries; Amar’e Stoudemire is out for the rest of the regular season after having knee surgery, and Carmelo Anthony isn’t 100% healthy. Boston still has their opportunity to get a higher seed, but quite frankly, last night was unimportant in the eyes of the Celtics. Paul Pierce sat out the game to get much needed rest, and having the pleasure of watching this team for years, they don’t care where they finish in the standings. The Celtics have the ability to flip the switch at any given moment, but that’s not to say that they’re throwing games.
Boston looked flat all night. They didn’t seem to care, there was no energy, and not much effort was put in to trying to get the victory. The Celtics know they’re good, even Pierce has stated that the team can beat anyone, but it remains to be seen. The teams ahead of Boston are having their struggles: the Knicks are falling apart health wise, the Chicago Bulls are still without Derrick Rose, and as I stated before, the Nets still lack depth.
If Boston is unable to capture the top spot in the Atlantic Division, it shouldn’t concern anyone. However, getting the fourth seed is a must because of the home court advantage. The remaining games this week are against the Toronto Raptors and the pesky Charlotte Bobcats. Last night with Pierce sitting out, that was a sign that Boston didn’t view the game as a must win. Personally, they should rest some veterans the rest of the week and get ready for the Miami Heat on Monday. Like I said, there is no need to overreact if you’re a Celtics fan. We’ve seen this from them the last few seasons, this year has been no different.