By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
In their first nationally televised game of the season, the Celtics had an opportunity to show the rest of the country what all the hoopla that fans and media around the team were spewing was all about. They didn’t take advantage however.
Going up against last years number-1 seed in the Eastern Conference in the Atlanta Hawks, the Celtics, or “Baby Hawks” as they been called this season, couldn’t make their prelim to the GSW vs. LAL game anything to write home about losing by the largest margin this season, 121-91.
“We had this coming. We haven’t played well in a few days now, even when we beat BKN at home… We need to reconnect as a group,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Avery Bradley, who scored 25 points on 10-17 shooting, said “In order for us to be successful, all of us have to play hard.”
And they did not tonight.
Isaiah Thomas had a rough game only hitting 3 of his 11 shots on the night while scoring 14 points.
Boston allowed the Hawks to hit 56% of their shots from the floor and the easy thing to point at as a reason for the C’s defensive woes is the loss of Marcus Smart (lower leg), but that seems to easy. Yes, he is a huge part of the teams defense, but there are plenty of players that can pick up the slack.
This team just needs to rediscover its identity and soon.
- Avery Bradley was one of the bright spots for the Celtics in this one. Again he was the aggressor and was on fire in the first half. He is starting to hit the 3-point shot with regularity (4-8 tonight from deep) and is attacking the basket with a lot more confidence.
- Also on Bradley, people forget out young the guard is. He’ll only be 25 on Thursday.
- R.J. Hunter arguably had his best game as a Celtic scoring a caree high 12 points on 5 for 6 shooting. He played a total of 21 minutes off the bench and with games like this one, he’ll warrant more meaningful minutes.
- Jae Crowder did not have a great shooting night (3-11) and recorded no steals or blocks for the second game in a row.
There are no two ways about it, it was a bad loss for the Celtics. Maybe the worst all season. Brad Stevens was not happy with the effort, or lack there of, out there and apparently let his players know it.
Let’s see if they respond.