Box – Celtics 112, Raptors 88

So, as everyone knows, two different species (flavors) of cheerios cannot mate, right? That is, if one is honey-nut and another is blueberry, they cannot mate. Anyway, there is this one normal cheerio that is in love with a blueberry cheerio. Unfortunately, he cannot mate with her. He can’t even communicate with her because they are of different species. So, he invents a machine that changes all of his CNA (Cheerio DNA) into whichever type of cheerio that he wants. However, this machine performs a process that is extraordinarily painful, because that sort of thing would hurt. Anyway. He does it, and the normal flavored cheerio becomes a blueberry cheerio. Unfortunately, this girl cheerio hates him so much that she invents an identical machine and does the process on herself in order to become a cinnamon-apple cheerio, just so she can avoid this creeper. So, she does it. The boy cheerio is starting to get upset at this because he really wants her. So he tells himself that he will go through the pain for her, and becomes a cinnamon-apple cheerio. She then changes to a honey-nut cheerio! He decides that this is the last time that he will change cheerio type. He does it, and she changes one more time, into a normal cheerio – the kind he originally was. So he says out loud, “Okay, this is really the last time. If she changes again, I will just stay back with my family.” So he becomes a normal cheerio again, and she doesn’t change fast enough for him to put his moves on her. So, they start dating, and he finally asks her to the Formal Bowl (ahaha, get it, bowl instead of ball). Anyway, they get there and dance intensely for a few hours. Finally, they get tired and she sends the boy cheerio to the milk bowl (you know, since it’s a cereal dance, they have that and punch). He gets there and stands in line for ten minutes. Finally fed up at the really long line, he looks over at the bowl of punch and realizes there is no punch line.

Source: Cracked

Now, that is not a funny joke. It IS, however, what I feel like these last six weeks of the season are going to be like. This season has been a joke, and while the Rudy Gay trade was a glimmer of hope that things might go in a different direction, it turns out there is no punchline, after all.

(On second thought, maybe a Bryan Colangelo extension is the punchline. Ugh, let’s move on.)

Anyway, the Raptors lost in horrible fashion to the Boston Celtics, which is sometimes forgivable, but not tonight. The Raptors had a strong first quarter defensively and actually led by one, but it all fell off from there, with the Celtics doing basically anything they wanted on offense. And by “they” I mostly mean “the Celtics bench players,” since they took this exhibition opportunity to give Garnett and Pierce a nice light workload.

Normally, if a team is late in a bad year, you forgive some poor offense but expect defensive effort. But these Raptors were only without Bargnani, and the offense still couldn’t get anything going. The lack of ball movement was astounding. They also didn’t seem to care at all on defense, looking far more concerned about getting out of Bean Town in a hurry rather than fight to comeback in the second half.

Here are the facts from the second quarter onward: Celtics 53.4 FG%, Celtics +5 rebounds, Celtics -4 turnovers, Celtics 24 assists on 31 FGM, Raptors 10 assists on 25 FGM.

That is some ugly stuff for three quarters. The final was 112-88 and the game had a handful of embarrassing notes:

*If you’ve misplaced any long twos, I’d ask Rudy Gay, because he probably has them. He went 7-for-19 for 19 points, and while he added seven boards and four helpers, his shot chart made me want to throw up. Sure, it might have 10 attempts in the paint, but how do you only finish five? If you’re not getting the calls, go up strong. And those shots just outside the restricted area? Contact-avoidance shots. And then there are eight mid-range gems and a three. Good stuff, $20M-man. I realize if those paint shots dropped at a normal rate, I probably wouldn’t be this upset, but nothing boils my blood worse than long twos. Two is actually an improvement for Gay, and the fact that this shot chart is one of his better ones is the reason I get sarcastic tweets from Basketball Twitter about Rudy so often.

gay shotchart

*Where is the Kyle Lowry I fell in love with? He had 5-4-3 in 27 minutes and got outplayed by Bassy Freakin Telfair when he came in (5-2-3 in 14 minutes, plus two technical and the ol’ heave-ho). Where is the aggression? Where’s the guy who lived and died with every possession?

*17 turnovers? This is a team that I have to begrudgingly include “ball control” as a strength in the pre-game for, but instead Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley disrupted what little ball movement they tried to get going.

*10 assists on 25 field goals from the second quarter on. ARE YOU SERIOUS BRO? That would be…well beyond the worst team in the NBA for a whole season. It was just three quarters, but it’s a complete failure of the ballhandlers to spread the ball around and of the play calls to create opportunities.

*Jeff Green for 20 points? Forreal? The Celtics played pretty small for most of the game, making Green a de facto small-four. He’s probably not as bad as he’s been this year, but he shouldn’t be scoring 20 points, especially with the Amir Johnsons and Rudy Gays of the world on him. He did what he wanted, which is inexcusable.

*Terrence Ross got to play! He even went 5-of-6 inside the arc (1-of-5 from outside) for 13 points, and he added three steals. He didn’t look bad by any means, but a quick word of advice: you want more run? Hit the glass when you’re out there.

*And hey, at least Jonas Valanciunas got 34 minutes of run. He had nine and seven and got roughed up a bit defensively, but at least he’s getting the chance to learn.

You know what? Let’s just call it there while I found a semi-positive note to end on.

The Raps played like garbage and got their asses handed to them. I sincerely hope the last 20-ish games aren’t all going to be like this. This team needs to work to mesh in advance of next season since this will be the core crew in 2013-14, and there’s no room for lethargy or entitlement, even with playoffs out of the reach. Get it together so I don’t quit RR to be a Sonics blogger in 2013-14.