Tuesday was not a fun night for the Boston Celtics or their fans. They squandered a great opportunity to find their footing after a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, and instead played what can be described as their worst game of the season against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Boston’s 12th loss of the year came in a spectacular fashion, as they lost by a whopping 33 points, 150-117.
The game as a whole was a disaster. The Celtics fell behind the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander-less Thunder early, and never made any sort of recovery in a game they were heavily favored in. The defense was extremely poor. Boston allowed OKC to shoot 59.2% from the field and 50% from deep. To put those numbers in perspective, the Thunder rank 23rd in the NBA for field-goal percentage at 46.3%.
OKC’s 50% clip from beyond the arc isn’t something that can just be chalked up to luck. Of their 20 3-point makes, 16 of them were wide-open (closest defender over six feet away). The defense just wasn’t there for Boston, and that’s an effort thing. It’s one thing if a team loses a game when shots aren’t falling. That’s one of those “it just wasn’t our night” things. But when the Celtics allow 22 wide open attempts from deep, it’s kind of hard to feel bad when 16 of them fall.
Jayson Tatum pinpoints issue following Boston Celtics loss
Star forward Jayson Tatum discussed the team’s performance following Tuesday’s loss, pinpointing the blame:
"“It’s on that first group… we got to get back to our identity.”"
The 24-year-old added that the team needs to get back to playing faster. He explained that when they were at their best, they were pushing the pace and were nearly unguardable.
They sure weren’t at their best on Tuesday night.