Sometimes I question why I even keep a blog but losses like these remind me that it’s because frustration and anger needs an outlet and this is it.
Let’s keep everything aside and state that Chris Bosh was dominated by Kevin Garnett to a tune of 9 straight crucial points in OT where the double-team (mysteriously) remained at bay. Those 9 points cost us the game. Ray Allen’s game-winning, heart-breaking, puke-inducing, mind-blowing, eye-gouging three wouldn’t have happened if Bargnani had switched on the Garnett screen on Anthony Parker. With 3 seconds left you have to make Ray Allen make a play that he can’t make in his sleep, not a wide open three pointer which he drains while taking a piss. There’s the short and sweet summary of why we lost, but of course there are deeper issues.
Here’s what we learned, we can play with the Big 3 of Boston if Bosh/Bargnani decide to show up. Bosh/Bargs were non-existent for the first half (I’m not a CB4 hater, just bear with me) and Bosh’s offensive decisions were ranging from somewhere between bad to foolish. I know he’s coming back from a knee injury and we should cut him slack but bad mental decisions have nothing to do with being injured, trying to challenge Kevin Garnett with another guy wrapped around you when you’ve picked up your dribble is just a sick idea. Final thought on Bosh: horrible overall offensive game but he salvaged some respect with his block count and by going to the FT line, overall him and Bargnani’s bad early play probably cost us the game.
Bargnani had a game where he just missed his jumpers, that’s all. He actually played pretty damn good defense on KG whenever he was matched up with him and held his own on the glass with 8 rebounds. What’s unfortunate right now is that if his jumper his not working, he becomes completely useless to us, it’s not like he has another part of his game where he can fall back on. If he had a post-game (which he’s apparently working on and I’m sure will develop), he’d actually be contributing in the fourth quarter rather than riding the pine. Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TJ Ford is the only mismatch we have on the court, nobody else comes even close. A huge testicle performance by TJ where he took and made big, big, ballsy shots. What a player he can be, I thank God for having him on this team every day. But when the rest of the team (Parker, Bargnani, Bosh, Dixon, Rasho) all have sub-par games, we’re destined to lose. Come to think of it, we’re lucky we even kept this one close given how poorly we played and how stagnant our offense was. Boston was unable to put us away which is a credit to our resilience when our offense was struggling.
Sam Mitchell. I have a real problem with his substitution pattern concerning the point guards. Is there a rule somewhere which says that Calderon and Ford can’t play at the same time? It was inexplicable to take out TJ early on when he was the ONLY person scoring for us. Seeing how Boston’s got some PG issues, I’d say make Ray Allen guard Calderon and have TJ Ford abuse Rondo in parallel. At least give it a try? No? Watching the Raptors cut a seemingly constant 10 point Boston lead down to 4 only having it bubble up back to 10 all game long was frustrating to watch and begged for a fuel injection, something Forderon could’ve provided. Even broken record Leo Rautins had the audacity to suggest it. (BTW, thank you Chuck Swirsky and Leo Rautins for explaining the defensive three second violation and how many timeouts are there in an NBA game for our new audiences in Nunavut.
We’re a jump shooting team we live and die by the jumper, it’s an old cliche but it’s 100% true. In the first half we were dying, nobody could drain a shot and the misses were so off that they made you cringe. 31 points at the half for the whole of Canada to see. Even George Snuffleupagus must’ve been regretting doing that intro in the beginning. It was almost like we were playing with so much pressure that we forgot how to play, not until later in the second half did we even start to come close to looking like the team that beat Philly and the Nets. How do you explain this? Nerves? Boston Defense? I’d go with the former because Boston wasn’t doing anything special on defense that might’ve prevented us from doing what we want to do.
Make no mistake, this was a huge game to lose. It’s only 1 of 82 games we play but an early season defeat here only gives more validity to the claim that the Atlantic Division has already been decided. Obviously, it’s not and I do think that given a good Bosh performance we would’ve won this game. Another important note to be made here is that the Celtics bench isn’t as pathetic as many had suspected, James Posey and Eddie House are real threats to score against leaky perimeter defenses like ours. They’re still hollow as a donut inside but when our big guys fail to take advantage of harmless flies like Kendrick Perkins, Scott Pollard and Brian Scalabrine, you deserve to lose.
I’m not scared of the Celtics, we showed we can beat them even when playing like dogs. I know it’s hard to take a good feeling out of this afternoon, but it’s true, we’re right there at the top. This game was just an anomaly. The f**king Hype Guy was right about the Celtics taking this one. Three games in four nights coming up. We want all four. Grab the feed.