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Fast Break: Celtics get crushed by Raptors
Posted By Paul Flannery On February 10, 2012 @ 9:39 pm In General | No Comments
Oddly enough, the Celtics have not been that bad in back-to-backs this season. Coming into Friday’s game against the Raptors, they had won four of six on the second night and each of the last three.
However, all four of those wins had been at the Garden and their two losses — at New Orleans and Indiana — ranked as two of the worst losses of the season. You can add Friday night’s 86-74 loss in Toronto to the list as the Celtics looked not only old and tired, but disorganized and ineffective.
They scored 14 points in the first quarter and 17 in the third, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the starting five.
WHAT WENT WRONG
– Rajon Rondo put together perhaps his most ineffective nine minutes as a Celtic, taking two shots, missing both and turning the ball over four times with no assists. He wasn’t much better in the second quarter, either. Or the third, or the fourth. In what was Rondo’s worst game of the season, he scored five points on 2-for-10 shooting, while allowing Jose Calderon to score 17 points and hand out 13 assists.
– It wasn’t just Rondo. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined to shoot 7-for-19. Rondo, Allen and Pierce were outscored by Calderon, DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson by a combined score of 52-23.
– Jermaine O’Neal joined Keyon Dooling and Sasha Pavlovic on the injured list. O’Neal has somewhat remarkably missed only five games this season and has already played 49 more regular season minutes than he did all of last season. Somehow, someway the Celtics have to get through the rest of the season with O’Neal playing 75 percent of the games.
– The Celtics switched to a zone to get more shooting on the floor, but they didn’t play it well. The Raptors made just 1-of-11 3-pointers through the first three quarters, but buried 4-of-8 in the fourth.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Avery Bradley, on the other hand, did what Avery Bradley does. He caused havoc on the defensive end, brought the ball up the court without incident on the offensive end and then got out of the way. Unfortunately, Bradley could only give them seven minutes because of an injured shoulder.
– Kevin Garnett scored 17 points and had eight rebounds, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
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