New York (5-14): 117-Boston (9-9): 109
Kyrie Irving: 22 PTS 6 REB 13 AST 3 STL 1 BLK
Gordon Hayward: 19 PTS 7 REB 3 AST 2 STL
Al Horford: 19 PTS 7 REB 5 AST 3 BLK 1 STL
Trey Burke: 29 PTS 6 REB 11 AST 2 STL
Tim Hardaway Jr.: 21 PTS 4 REB 4 AST
Noah Vonleh: 16 PTS 10 REB 3 AST 3 BLK
Another night, another disappointing loss for the Celtics. This time, to one of the worst teams in the entire NBA. I try and look at the positives while also addressing what went wrong, but I cannot tell you anything that went right. That whole game, that whole performance, that whole effort, it SUCKED. It sucked bigtime and they deserve to be blasted for it. The only thing that didn’t suck was their new City Jerseys and not even those could save them. They came out flat (again) and got down early as they gave up a 13-3 run to close the first quarter. From the jump you could tell that they didn’t come to play and it was so frustrating to watch. They started the game shooting 7-20 from the field and 0-5 from downtown. It looked terrible from the beginning and it didn’t get any better. Not that I should remind you all, but I will, ~IT’S THE KNICKS~. The Knicks man, that’s who made the Celtics look like a bunch of clowns tonight, the Knicks.
I’d do a regular game recap with all of the takeaways and what not but they don’t deserve that. They got beat, up and down the court, all night long, and it is nothing short of unacceptable. They outrebounded the Knicks, had more offensive boards, had more assists, had more steals, had less turnovers, and THEY STILL GOT MANHANDLED. Ok, I know, I might be exaggerating as they had a chance to win with 2 minutes left, but still, that was so bad. They were down by 15+ most of the game and it felt like a lost cause. The final score made this performance look a whole lot better than it actually was. They shot 39.2% from the floor, 30.3% from three, and 71.9% from the free throw line. Against anybody, that is not going to cut it. They gave up 39 points in the second quarter and were lucky to be down 65-49 at the half as they had a chance to comeback.
The Knicks continued to beg the Celtics to get back into it as they repeatedly turned it over 5 times in the third and shot a mere 35% in the frame. The Celtics responded just how we’d expect this season. They DIDN’T take advantage and played right down to their competition. It was so pathetic and as you can tell I hate writing this. It’s been such a regular thing for them so far and as a true basketball fan it was terrible to watch. In the fourth, they almost came all the way back, getting as close as 112-109 with 34 seconds left. After that, Trey Burke pulled up at the top of the key and buried a dagger from three to seal it. Honestly, it was a highly contested tough shot, but when you play that poorly all night long, you don’t get the benefit of the bounces.
A roster of Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, etc. lost to the Knicks (without Kristpas, dare I remind you all) and never had control of the game. I wouldn’t even be that upset if it was a close game where the Knicks played well but they didn’t (that’s 100% a lie, I’d still be vexed, but it’d feel better than this). All season it’s been, “Oh they’ll figure it out”, “It’s a long season”, “They’ll hit their stride eventually”, and every other cliché in the book. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. They need to stop talking about it and BE ABOUT IT. There isn’t any sort of analysis I can give you besides the analysis that they were absolutely deplorable. All. Night. Long. I’ve had plenty of ideas referring to how the Green can right the ship (check out the Celtics Blogs section, they’re all there) but at this point it isn’t worth it to come up with more. I’ve come to realize that so far, this team’s effort, heart, and attitude all stink and that needs to change. If they want to be a championship team they need to iron things out and come together. No adjustment can make them better. The only thing that can make them better is accountability. Everybody on this team seems to think that since they have talent they’ll be fine. They seem to think that the game is won on paper. That doesn’t just happen. Ask any championship team over the years, it takes everything you have in you. If winning was that easy every team with talent would do it. Look at the Wizards and so many other uber talented groups that didn’t make it over the years. It takes far more than talent to win in the NBA. Do they have that heart to do it night in and night out is the question. My answer to that is YES. We saw it all of year last year and they grinded all the way to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals without Kyrie and Gordon. They CAN do it, it’s just the matter of DOING IT. Until they start to be accountable, they will lose (a lot), and we will be looking at this team wondering where it all went wrong.
Player of the Game: Trey Burke
As poor as the Celtics played, Trey Burke was a man on a mission. Down the stretch, every time it seemed as though the Celtics would come back, he slammed the door shut. 11-20 from the field and 4-6 from downtown, all you can say is the dude was nails. He also doled out 11 assists and made the Knicks offense go. I personally believe he’s been underused by Coach David Fizdale as he was solid for the Knicks last season. He shows flashes of what he can do with extended playing time and I believe he has a place in this league. I hope this means some more run for him and a chance to revitalize his career after being such a sought after prospect out of Michigan.
The Celtics head to the Phillips Center to take on Trae Young and the upstart Atlanta Hawks (3-15) Friday 11/23 at 7:30 ET.
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