It’s no secret the Celtics have been struggling as of late to hold onto the lead and control of their last several games. It seems the loss to Houston created a downward spiral, with every post game interviews echoing themselves. “We’ve got to play better, play harder,” was the rhetoric coming from both coaches and players. “Well figure it out, we’ll be okay,” also coming from those interviews. After Kemba Walker hung his head in shame in regards to his misstep playing the final seconds of the OKC games, fans began to question if this team would indeed be, “ok.”
The Usual Scenario
The guys suited up and took the floor to face the Indiana Pacers, complete with Victor Oladipo. Hearing the grumbling of their fans, the Celtics knew they had to get this win. The game started out eerily familiar with them entering the fourth with a commanding lead. But then, with 6:53 left to go in the game, that lead began to disappear. It started with the lay-up and one by Warren, several scoreless possessions from Boston, to the foul that put Oladipo at the line for the go-ahead free throw. Both the team and fans found themselves feeling the same queasiness in their stomachs and clutching their remotes for the final seconds of the game.
The Different Outcome
Fortunately the narrative of the last five games changed in Indiana. The Celtics were not willing to accept another heartbreaking defeat. They mustered up the fight to play out the last minutes of the game strong. The Celtics driving through the paint forced Indiana to foul and made 5/6 of their free throws which led to the 114-111 victory. With this much needed win they should be able to take this momentum with them to Milwaukee as they face The Greek Freak and company.
Room For Improvement
As with anything in life, there’s always room for improvement and basketball is no different. The Celtics have clearly demonstrated their ability to take control against their opponents. The problem as of late is their inability to maintain that control. This can be blamed on letting off the gas, turning into lackadaisical defense, and as a result the offense suffers. It could be that Brad needs to keep a closer watch on rotations and not leave unproductive players on the court as long. What really needs to improve is the mindset of everyone on the roster. They can’t allow themselves to be deflated in adversity. It’s been a long season with multiple injuries and up and down victories and losses.
Overall this season has been as I expected, victory for Boston. They have played with a very young roster, relatively small line up and no one expected them to accomplish what they have already. Fans should appreciate all this team has done, as well as endure, as Brad and the team navigate through the waves of the NBA. Don’t give up Celtics Nation and as always, #bleedgreen!