In a game that was sloppy, low-scoring, yet entertaining nonetheless, the Boston Celtics nearly overcame a 15-point deficit, but still wound up losing to the Detroit Pistons, 87-77, for their third consecutive loss to begin the 2013-2014 NBA season.
At times, this looked like a game that the Pistons were going to blow wide open. The first quarter especially saw the Celtics lucky to be down 24-21, as Detroit was dominating the Cs in the paint. Between Andre Drummond dunking on three of Detroit’s first four baskets, and the Pistons rebounding the ball at will, it appeared as if the home team was just going to keep pounding the ball inside all game long and send the Celtics back to the team bus with their tails between their legs. The second quarter didn’t go much better, and Boston found itself trailing by double digits at the half for the second time this season. Detroit had dominated the boards in the half, spanking the Cs 26-15 on the glass, and this game was headed for blow-out city . . .
. . . and then the Celtics turned the second half into a giant slop-fest, narrowed the lead to five by the end of the third period, and actually took a lead during the fourth, following a 13-0 run of their own. It may not be much of a game-plan, turning an NBA game into a mud-wrestling match, but the fact of the matter is that this type of game is something that head coach Brad Stevens needs to get used to watching. With no true go-to-scorer on the roster (neither Jeff Green nor Vitor Faverani saw action in the fourth quarter) and no discernible point guard on the hardwood (verdict is still out on Phil Pressey, because he, uh, HAS NOT PLAYED ENOUGH), a conventional, half-court style of play will do the Celtics no good.
Need proof? Did you watch the last five minutes of the game, when Avery Bradley committed turnover and made some very questionable decisions with the rock? There’s your proof. With the game in the balance, Boston allowed the Pistons to rip the game right out of their hands, and they were helpless to take it back. Trying to push the pace and turn the game into pure chaos plays to Boston’s strengths, so they better be prepared to go old-school, give Nolan Richardson a call, and attempt to unleash 48 minutes of hell on their opponents each and every night if they truly wish to avoid tanking and see whether they can win some games.
This team, as built, is not a terrible team, Celtics fans – it just lacks a few component that it absolutely needs to win games night in and night out. Whether Danny Ainge attempts to go out and acquire some missing pieces this season remains to be seen, but at least the Celtics have some fight and resilience in them. This was a fun game to watch, and a pretty good sign that the players on this team are ready to give every team in the NBA a fight whenever the Boston Celtics come to town. Let me know your thoughts below, or Tweet them to @theamazingMrS, and be sure to come back here to see who my three stars of the game were tonight!!!!