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Listless Celtics 'disgusted' by loss to Nets

Sunday, February 28, 2010 , Posted by dAVe at 9:37 AM

New Jersey Nets

"I got nothing to say. I feel disgusted."

That's how Kevin Garnett reacted after his Boston Celtics (36-21) lost to the New Jersey Nets (6-52) 104-96, a loss that may as well have been by 20.

The Celtics earned a smattering of boos from their home crowd after clocking in with their most lifeless first half of the season, and that's counting a hot start that led to a very early 12-2 lead. As the Nets mounted a 27-14 run to close out the first quarter, the Celtics displayed less energy and willingness to play defense than many teams show every night in the NBA Developmental League.

It was a horror show. It is the low point of Boston's season, and perhaps of the Garnett era. The collapses against the Clevelands and Orlandos of the league are one thing, but scoring 15 points in the second quarter and eventually losing to a team that could turn in the worst record in league history?

"They played better than us. It's not hard to explain," Celtics coach DocRivers said. "We told them yesterday, 'It ain't the system. It's our heads. It's between the ears. And we've got to come out and play. Everyone wants to beat you, you can bank on that.'"

They did mount a comeback, of sorts, though its success would not have removed this game from the category of a moral loss. With some generous shot-clock management from the local staff -- allowing Rasheed Wallace to catch, turn and shoot a 35-footer off an inbounds with one second on the clock -- the Celtics were able to close the deficit, once at 18, to six on two separate occasions in the final 2:09. But four missed threes, good looks all of them, and loose balls going the wrong direction stopped things short.

"I talk about it a lot with our guys, 'Those [plays] are the basketball gods punishing you," Rivers said. "'You have no right to get back in this game.'"

The loss was Boston's 11th of the year at TD Garden, just one less than in the previous two seasons combined.

"Guys are coming in thinking they can win at the Garden, and last year it was totally opposite," Rajon Rondo said.

The Nets' win was no mistake -- they knew they could win. It was a magnificent performance, and one that should not go forgotten in the wake of the doom and gloom that will follow the Celtics around for a couple days.

"I don't [think] it's so much difference between [the Celtics], it's a difference between us," Brook Lopez said. "As we progress through our season we've definitely improved. We finally broke through tonight."

Though the Nets strayed from him on offense in the fourth quarter, Lopez was the bull that brought the game home, playing excellent interior defense while scoring 25 points on just 11 shots, hitting 11-of-14 from the line. Free throws, in fact, were the single largest factor in the game. The Celtics shot a higher percentage -- 50 to 44 -- and made more field goals -- 42 to 32 -- but lost because New Jersey went to the line 41 times, making 34, to their 11 attempts. It was clear which team was the aggressor.

"A lot of the season we've been settling for jump shots at very inopportune times," Lopez said. "Tonight we were very assertive."

It helped that the Celtics were quite the opposite, committing lazy fouls and giving up 18 turnovers and 10 offensive rebounds for a total of 28 extra possessions, handed to the Nets. Those are not problems caused by the absence of Paul Pierce, or by an illness that has gone around the locker room.

"I'm not going to sit up here and give a bunch of excuses," Garnett said. "That's not my style. You lose, you lose. They kicked our [butts] tonight, period point blank.

"Players have to do more, including myself. We all have to dig deep and see what we're made of as a team."

source: Couper Moorhead, for NBA.com

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Currently have 2 comments:

  1. Dave Josef says:

    palakasng palakas team nila sana :)

    |Playgroup Singapore

  1. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

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