Celtics history was made tonight in Sacramento(I’m only half being sarcastic). In all seriousness, in addition to a disappointing loss on the road the Celtics saw Brad Stevens ejected for the first time in his short time as an NBA coach. For someone with a usually very cool and calm demeanor, it was strange — it’s not like he lost his temper or anything but it was out of the norm, but losing frequently does that to people.
You can watch the video of his ejection below:
Now onto the actual game itself, which wasn’t exactly the definition of pretty basketball, it went pretty much exactly how you’d expect a game to go in which a team that struggles to score when healthy loses it’s two best offensive players. Not having Rondo or Sullinger hurt them a lot; they only had 17 assists to 14 turnovers, they shot a dismal 39% from the field, they managed only 10 fast break points, and they only shot 28% from 3. That does not seem like the box score of a team that had many things going right for them.
Humphries helped out a lot on the boards and was the ONLY Celtic who shot over 50% for the game. Basic math says it’s hard to win basketball game when one player on the team is shooting efficiently from the floor. Jeff Green struggled from the floor but redeemed himself at the free throw line going 13-18 and scoring 19 points, not great but just enough of a contribution to keep this team from getting completely blown out.
Sacramento, on the other hand, found themselves scoring the basketball quite frequently. They shot 52% from the field, 55% from 3, and hit free throws at an 85% clip. Now again, basic math tells me that teams win most of the time when they put up those kinds of shooting figures.
Isaiah Thomas had himself a pretty good game I would say, scored 21 points, and dropped 12 assists.
Looking at this loss optimistically, the Celtics have dropped below the Kings for the 4th worst record in basketball, really helping their chances in the lottery. It’s not a perfect system but it’s one that could help expedite this rebuilding process so we don’t have to watch games like these very often in the near future.