Tonight was the night I was hoping to flush my mind of all the bad thoughts I’ve had about the Celtics this past week. The Celtics were taking on a great Orlando Magic team and I thought the thought of revenge would be on the Celtics mind. Maybe it was or maybe it was not, but the Celtics did not come out and prove it. For the third straight week the Celtics dropped a Friday night home game, this week to the Orlando Magic by the score of 83-78.
The Orlando Magic, lead by Vince Carter (26 Points) , jumped out to at 16 point lead by the end of the first quarter. The Celtics exhibited horrible defense, no offensive slow, and no motivation to beat the team that put an end to their 2008-2009 season. The second quarter then showed us the Celtics team we all would like to see on a consistent basis, driving to the hoop, helping on defense, and showing the devotion to win.
The Celtics then came out sluggish again in the second half and could never really find what they needed to come out with a victory. Every time you thought they were going to make a strong run they would make a sloppy play on the offensive end, or let up an easy two or three on the defensive end. With a little help from a former tight end at Minnesota (referee), the Celtics could never grab ahold of the lead. A foul on Paul Pierce, in the rebounding action, while getting pushed away by Howard killed all hopes of a Celtics victory
There are many things I have on my mind right now but my main problem with the Celtics right now is consistency. Every aspect of the game they are lacking some kind of consistency in. One night it is the rebounding, one night it is the lack of defense, one night it is too many three point shots etc. You get my drift. If the Celtics want to be a serious threat to win the championship, consistency needs to be there every minute, every quarter, of every game.
The other problem that we again saw was horrible shooting from the three point line. The team shot 2-19 from beyond the arc, percentage wise that is 10.5%, yuck. This is horrible, just horrible, most of this is because of forced shots. Rasheed Wallace is the most noticable, right now he is showing us why Pistons fans were so dissapointed last year. Tonight he shot 0-8 from beyond the three point line, something we don’t want to see on a nightly basis. Despite getting the Tommy award and hustling on the floor for rebounds and lose balls Rasheed hurt our team tonight. This is something I’m very ashamed to say as I am a huge supporter of him. Hopefully Rasheed and the rest of the Celtics can regroup after a tough loss tonight.
The Celtics need to go into New York on Sunday and give the Knicks a total beatdown to prove they mean business. They can’t go in there and play to the level of their opponent, like they have been known to this year. They also can’t let the Knicks control the pace of the game, just like Orlando they like to throw up three pointers whenever possible. We knew that coming into the Magic game tonight and we did not stop them from outside. The perimeter defense was horrible for most of the game and as a result the Magic shot 10-22 from downtown.
Overall this was a very disappointing game for the Celtics and their fans. There are many things the Celtics need to work on over the next few weeks to prove they are the real deal in the east. I hope in a week or so the Celtics can quit playing in spurts and play the brand of basketball we all know they can. For now, on to New York City in hopes to get back on the right track.
For comments on the game from the winning side of the matchup make sure to check out Howard the Dunk.
Photos via (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)