24 hours after one of their most encouraging victories of the season, the Boston Celtics followed it up with yet another disappointing loss, this time at the hands of the Detroit Pistons. By a score of 108-102, the Celtics fell to the Pistons for the second time this season, which is shocking in it’s own right. The Pistons are one of the worst teams in the league, so the Celtics losing to them twice is not a good sign.
The Celtics jumped out to a quick start tonight and looked like they would be able to roll to an easy victory against the lowly Pistons. They jumped out to a 12-2 lead early on, and held an 18-9 lead with under five minutes left in the first, yet found themselves trailing 27-23 heading into the second. The Pistons were able to ratchet up their intensity on both ends of the court, and the Celtics struggled to keep up.
The game was pretty sluggish from the second quarter on out. Both teams were on the second night of a back to back, and it showed throughout most of the night, especially for the Celtics. Their attacks were often slow and took much of the shot clock, and they rarely found themselves on the fastbreak. They lacked the intensity of Pistons for most of the game, especially in the third quarter.
The Celtics were able to make a game of this in the fourth quarter, as they brought the game to within three points on a couple of occasions, but were unable to make anything of it. Theis had a chance to tie it with under two minutes left, but missed the three point shot. Rookie Saddiq Bey hit a three on the other end which effectively ended the game.
After getting some help from Semi Ojeleye and Payton Pritchard last night, it was back to the Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown show tonight. Tatum had 33 points while Brown had 27, and Daniel Theis was the only other player in double digits with 11. Per usual, when Tatum and Brown get no help, the Celtics struggle, and the lack of help they received tonight provided yet another example to back up that case.
And once again, the Celtics struggled to defend in this game. Bey hit all seven of his three pointers while dropping 30 points, and Delon Wright got pretty much whatever he wanted in the paint while in his way to 22 points. The Celtics continue to give up way too many uncontested looks that other teams continually capitalize on, and it’s made winning games a lot more difficult for them.
It feels like each loss just shines a brighter light on the Celtics two main struggles this season, and it’s surprising that coach Brad Stevens hasn’t been able to solve them yet. It obviously doesn’t help missing their top two guards in Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, but this team should be able to easily get by the Pistons without them. Each loss reinforces the Celtics need for more scoring, and better defensive play. The trade deadline provides a feasible option to address these issues, but if they go unnoticed, the Celtics title hopes will be significantly scaled back.
The Celtics will head into another matchup with one of the worst teams in the league, as they will make a quick trip to Washington to square off against the Wizards. The Celtics should have Kemba Walker back in the action, and hopefully he can build off his positive performance from last night’s game. The C’s will need all the scoring they can get to combat Bradley Beal, who has been the only player keeping the Wizards relevant this season. Walker’s return will hopefully provide the Celtics with a much needed boost to take down the Wizards.
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