During the first half of Friday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Boston Celtics looked like the team they could be. With a 27-point second-quarter lead and presenting a vision of a team that was finally starting to play together, the Celtics faded, got complacent and by the second half the team that they have been all season decided to show up and Boston fans watched the Hawks erase the lead and turn it into a double overtime victory, handing the Celtics their sixth straight loss.
Kyle Korver drilled eight 3-pointers, two of which came in a 27-second span that propelled the Hawks to the comeback that left the Celtics both stunned and in disbelief. After the Hawks tied the game in the third quarter, Boston was able to regain their type of basketball and build a 96-87 lead heading into the final minutes of the game before squandering the lead again.
The team is saying the right things after the loss, but even they seem disappointed and definitely very frustrated with the teams overall performance. A very dejected Kevin Garnett said following the game:
“When we had a chance to put this game away, we didn’t do that. We gave this team life. Korver came out, he got hot and obviously we couldn’t turn it off. When we got teams down, man, we gotta step on them. We gotta figure out ways to come out and finish the game.”
The lack of ability to put teams away is what is really hurting the 2012-13 edition of the Boston Celtics. Something else that seems to be missing is the hunger and identity. Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who said the team was in need of changes, could only sit on the bench doing another tough loss down the stretch.
“One of the things I told them was, ‘Who do we think we are?” said Rivers. “We’re under .500. We get a lead, guys; we start acting like we’re the 2008 team. We’re not. We haven’t earned that right. So, disappointing.”
This team is far from the 2008 team that won its 17th championship. In fact the only players that remain are Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Garnett and Pierce are older and Rondo has been dealing with injuries and issues on the court that has led to suspensions from the league. Last night’s disappointing loss after showing a great first half effort was evident that the team perhaps is in need of a change either trade wise or some shuffling with the lineup.
Celtic pride is on the line and it’s time this team comes together and showcases Celtic basketball. It all starts with the players.