The start to the 2023 calendar year has not been pretty for the Boston Celtics. On New Year’s Day, the team fell to the Denver Nuggets 123-111, in a game that was really never close. Denver lit Boston up, shooting a scorching 57% from the field and 56.7% from beyond the arc. Aside from allowing the Nuggets to shoot the lights out, Sunday’s outing wasn’t the absolute worst. Dan Greenberg, of Barstool Sports, tweeted out some things that fans could be excited about following the defeat.
60 points in the paint (46 for DEN)
15 2nd chance points (3 for DEN)
Wild to still not win a game doing all that
— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) January 2, 2023
The worst Boston Celtics outing of the year
As the Celtics headed to the Paycom Center to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder, there was a lot of discussion about the matchup being a great opportunity to bounce back. It was tough to imagine that things would go poorly again, especially seeing the stats that Greenie tweeted out. Plus, OKC was without star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who sat out due to a non-COVID illness.
Despite all of that, the Boston Celtics came out and gave what was easily their worst performance of the season. They fell to the middling Thunder 150-117, despite OKC being without their best player. Boston once again allowed their opponent to shoot the lights out, got nothing from their rotation players, and even saw Marcus Smart get ejected after a second technical foul. Tuesday’s outing as a whole was, quite frankly, unacceptable for a team that has NBA Championship aspirations.
After a humiliating 48 minutes, some members of the Boston Celtics put on a brave face and spoke to the media. One of those players was Malcolm Brogdon, who had a rather interesting comment regarding the team’s shortcomings. Brogdon explained how the team reacted to the news of Gilgeous-Alexander being sidelined to the press:
“We took a deep breath and relaxed.”
A quote like this was not what the Boston Celtics community was looking to hear after being subjected to four quarters of nonsense. It proves that the team still has issues with taking their foot off the gas and playing down to the level of their competition. It’s been an issue for years. Brogdon continued:
“Honestly we should know better than to come out and not play with aggression, not play with energy and urgency.”
If the team knows better, then why does this continue to happen time and time again? Fans just watched this group drop three straight home games to teams that weren’t on the same level as them. Boston had seemed to find their footing during the back half of the recent homestand, but their start to 2023 is something that has supporters concerned.