Well, that sure was no way to head into the All-Star Break.
Facing a San Antonio team that was without Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter, and Kawhi Leonard, the Celtics still managed to allow the Spurs to outscore them in every quarter except the second, including a fourth quarter that saw Boston give up 33 points.
I know the Spurs are the model franchise in the NBA, the epitome of stability and consistency, a picture-perfect example of how a good set of coaches and a winning system can get results year in and year with a seemingly ever-changing cast of characters . . . but come on. At some point, injuries take their toll. This Spurs team lost to the Detroit Pistons on Monday, barely beat the Charlotte Bobcats by four on Saturday, and lost to the Brooklyn Nets by 14 last Thursday. For a team that wants to make a push to get its name back into the playoff conversation, not being able to beat the beat-up Spurs just won’t get it done.
Gotta blame the starters for most of tonight’s loss, since the Celtics didn’t have a starter reach double-digits in scoring until late in the game (fourth quarter, I believe). Eventually, Boston saw three of its starters notch double-digits in the scoring column, with Rajon Rondo leading all Celtics scorers with 16 points on the evening, but when the best +/- any of your starting five has is -8, you know what’s up. Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, and Marco Belinelli carved the Cs up tonight, combing for 59 points on 23-for-39 shooting. Ouch.
The highlight of the evening for me was watching rookie Kelly Olynyk record the first back-to-back double-double of his young career, as he was good for 15 points and 10 rebounds off of the bench. That ought to have him feeling good when he takes the floor Friday as part of the Rising Stars Challenge Game in New Orleans.
Boston heads into the All-Star break with some time to get healthy, but also with a lot of questions left to be answered. Who will stay? Who will go? I’ll be tracking the NBA trade rumors closely in the next few days, so keep checking in with us!
Tags: Boston Celtics