After losing 91-86 to Portland (recap can be found here ), there is only one big picture thing you need to know about this one: For the first time all year the Celtics  will have questions to answer. Questions about the bench, questions about the offense in the fourth quarter, questions about playing teams in the Western Conference, questions about playing on the road, questions about the minutes, etc.
Now, at 28-5 those aren’t terribly difficult questions, but with Cleveland giving the C’s very little wiggle room in the race for the best record in the East, they will have to find answers to a few of them. This is the first difficult moment Boston has encountered this year, and it will be fascinating to see the response.
Now, here’s one more. Will the Celtics protest the game? I haven’t been able to find, or hear, a coherent breakdown of the ruling for what happens when you allow six guys to be on the floor and a team scores a basket, as happened at the end of the second quarter, when the Blazers scored a bucket with an extra man on the court, despite the wild protestations of Kevin Garnett . Could the refs have replayed it? Could they have simply disallowed the basket? I’m still finding it hard to believe that allowing it to count was the correct call in that situation, but we’ll find out.
The Celtics head home, a little chastened perhaps, and probably a bit more ticked off. Jess and I will be back on Friday when the Wizards come to town. Until then, Happy New Year everyone.