The Boston Celtics are now 0-2 on their southwest trip after a disheartening loss to the Dallas Mavericks 104-94. Boston came into the game with no energy or urgency and Dallas took advantage of that. There was no boxing out on missed shot attempts, the defense was out of sync, and their was no intensity on either end of the floor. After a disappointing outing in New Orleans on Wednesday night, it was expected that the Celtics would redeem themselves against the Mavericks, but tonight’s lack of effort was much worse than in the previous game. There are many things that Boston didn’t do tonight, so let’s take a look at how they lost to Dallas.
The Celtics failed to boxout on missed shots by the Mavericks. Dallas had 13 offensive boards, but it felt like they had more as Dirk Nowitzki and Brandon Wright crashed the offensive glass with a vengeance which gave the Mavericks multiple second chance opportunities. Even on the offensive end for Boston, there were times when they didn’t position themselves for the rebound. The lack of height is a major problem for the Celtics moving forward. After witnessing the last two games, I am concerned about this team, especially when they face someone in the playoffs who has depth in the front court like the Indiana Pacers.
Boston didn’t push the tempo at all tonight. The Celtics played a half court offense instead for three and a half quarters which hindered their ability to get easy shots in the paint. Without Rajon Rondo, Boston cannot afford to walk the ball up the court, and set up the offense at the top of the key, which is exactly what they did tonight. By not running, Dallas was able to utilize its size down in the paint which resulted in highly contested layups and missed second chance opportunities. As a fan, it’s extremely frustrating to watch this team not execute throughout games, and not pushing the tempo was one of the reasons why Boston’s didn’t come away with a win.
If you thought tonight was bad, the Celtics take on the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow. If Boston plays like they did tonight, I can assure you that they’ll get blown out by Memphis. Tonight was a golden opportunity for the Celtics to gain some ground on the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks who both lost their previous games. Boston needs to show up and not just for a quarter or a half, but for an entire game. Tonight’s loss was embarrassing. The lack of rebounding, the careless attitude, and no energy was extremely disheartening. We can only hope that the Celtics get out of this fog that they are in and play harder tomorrow than they have in the last two games.