|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 8, 2014 at 5:15 AM|
Map your trip toward happiness, it's easy to do in your mind, but reality can be cruel. The reality is that the Celtics are learning lessons the hard way. Things may have been a bit easy for the Celtics, or maybe they became a little over confident with some early success. I think the Celtics played hard, and they played as one. As of late the Celtics seem out of it. I don't even know how they got 22 assists against Denver, the ball seemed to be sticking from my view. The Celtics also had 23 assists against the Thunder, not bad for the Celtics. They average 19.1 assists per game for 29th place in the NBA.
So what's a trend during this current losing streak? Well in the last two games the Celtics have given up 14 three-pointers. The Celtics were the top defensive team when guarding the three ball, so what's the deal now. The Celtics by all means are still one of the top teams guarding the 3-pt line, they're second behind the Pacers. In the 95-92 loss to New Orleans, the Celtics dished out 22 assists, but they only shot 34.8% from the field. They also had 12 more shots then New Orleans. The Celtics have been shooting between 34-39% during the past five losses. The Celtics aren't turning the ball over at a crazy amount, and they only had two bad games guarding the three-point line. The Celtics even have solid assist totals. The issue is shot selection.
Crawford is shooting 33% during the losing streak, and he shot 2-of-14 against the Pelicans. Sullinger has played even worse, he's shooting 29% from the field. It's the shot selection, the Celtics are playing hero ball, and they're not playing like the team that trusted each other on the offensive end. Green is at 39% in the past five games, and his season average is 44%. Even though the shooting has hurt the Celtics, in the past two games the defense has suffered. You can make the case that Tuesday's visit to Denver was maybe Boston's best chance to get a win this trip.
The Celtics will play the 5th seeded team Wednesday in the Clippers, the next game they'll see the Warriors who are now number 4 out west, riding a 10 game winning steak. To end the trip, Boston will play the third best team out west Portland. At this point I would take one win from the remaining games. The Celtics playoff hopes are crumbling by each game, but maybe that doesn't matter.