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Saturday, April 20, 2024

A blowout bummer: 10 Takeaways from Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards

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1. The Boston Celtics have a behavior of blowing off unhealthy losses. There’s the standard “We acquired good photographs, simply didn’t make them.” Or “We’ve got to be higher subsequent time, and we’ll.” Or generally it’s simply the previous “Each season you may have nights like this.”

Right here’s the factor: All of that’s true.

Right here’s the opposite factor: Everyone seems to be sick of listening to it.

The Washington Wizards aren’t staff. They have been lacking a number of key gamers. The Celtics ought to have received this recreation, and as an alternative they acquired blown out.

It’s truthful to insert right here that Boston has hardly ever been blown out this season. They’ve the least 20-point losses within the NBA. So, this isn’t an everyday incidence or something.

It’s additionally truthful to notice that the Celtics do normally bounce again by being higher shifting ahead.

However shedding video games they need to win is a irritating common factor. If the Celtics had taken care of enterprise towards the Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz or Washington Wizards, they’d be within the combine for the highest general seed within the NBA Playoffs. As a substitute, that’s most likely off the desk.

Let’s dive into the most recent disappointing loss.

2. The Celtics defensive effort was poor. There’s no different solution to put that. It wasn’t simply execution, however the scheme was additionally bizarre.

Perhaps Boston was pre-switching actions, or possibly they’ve such little respect for Kristaps Porzingis that they didn’t really feel a have to put measurement on him. Regardless of the cause, having the one huge (Al Horford or Rob Williams) floating whereas Porzingis took smaller gamers into the mid-post space was a nasty selection. Porzingis repeatedly turned and shot over the smaller guys or drew a double-team and arrange his teammates for beauty.

This was a mix of a nasty scheme, one which was by no means actually moved away from, and poor effort and execution. Predictably, that led to one of many worst defensive video games Boston had performed this season.

3. Two different issues led to the poor protection. The Celtics couldn’t management drivers all recreation. And it’s not like Washington is stacked with elite off-the-dribble gamers. This was the Wizards shot chart:

Wizards shot chart vs Boston
NBA.com

31-of-45 taking pictures within the paint, together with 19-of-22 on the rim for Washington.

That’s ridiculous. And these weren’t nice setups or getting mashed within the publish or something. It was Deni Avdija and a bunch of Wizards guards breaking Boston down off the bounce to get to the rim time and again.

Primarily, the Celtics let the Wizards run a layup line from the tip, and that by no means actually stopped.

4. Including to the frustration, was the handful of occasions Boston compelled Washington kick the ball out, they didn’t make a lot effort to get to the Wizards shooters.

Washington took 37 three-pointers. Of these 37 makes an attempt, 35 have been labeled as open or wide-open.

Meaning Boston fairly contested two three-point photographs. Two. In a full recreation.

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That’s merely not ok and a flashing crimson warning mild of low effort.

5. This one play summed up the evening higher than a complete host of clips ever might:

Corey Kispert missed the preliminary layup off a lower. His momentum carried him out of bounds. Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Sensible are all roughly proper there for the rebound. None acquired it. Kispert outhustled all of them and acquired the straightforward putback.

6. It was a bit of stunning that we didn’t get the “I favored the photographs we acquired” direct quote from Joe Mazzulla. It’s been his standby on nights the place the Celtics miss numerous three-pointers.

Like numerous the opposite issues we’ve referred to as out, Mazzulla isn’t incorrect. Boston continues to generate actually good photographs nearly each recreation. About as soon as each 5 video games, these photographs don’t fall.

The problem isn’t a lot that the Celtics proceed to shoot so many threes. Nobody needs to listen to that, however an open three-pointer for shooter remains to be shot, even when that man is 0-for-5 that evening. Regulation of averages is an actual factor.

What’s an issue is what else occurs on the unhealthy taking pictures nights. On offense, and handful of fellows (Al Horford, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, Grant Williams and generally even Jayson Tatum) get tentative on taking the subsequent one. These document scratches throw the offense off-kilter and all the pieces will get messy.

The opposite factor that occurs is the misses carry over to the opposite finish of the ground. A man misses, heads drop, and the opposite staff finds shot. Shoulders stoop about permitting a rating and the Celtics offense bogs down. It’s a vicious, spiraling cycle.

The very last thing that occurs: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and generally Malcolm Brogdon and Marcus Sensible, all begin to attempt to carry the staff again themselves. We find yourself with no-pass or one-pass possessions and all the pieces will get even messier.

It’s late-March. The playoffs are lower than two weeks away. The Celtics have to determine tips on how to play by means of bad-shooting nights with out missed photographs dragging the entire staff down. And to be fully trustworthy, they need to have figured it out a very long time in the past. That is equal elements on the gamers and the coaches for this nonetheless being a problem after 76 video games.

7. On the plus aspect, the deep bench guys did alright. They modified the power and made a mini-run on the Wizards. It was good to see Joe Mazzulla stick to them as an alternative of going again to the low-energy regulars when the sport acquired again inside putting distance.

In the long run, it didn’t matter and Boston nonetheless acquired crushed. However possibly this offers Mazzulla some religion that if he simply wants to alter the power and spark his regulars, he can go to his bench for that jolt.

8. The one seed within the Jap Convention could be very seemingly off the desk. It’s a disgrace, however that huge matchup on Thursday on the Milwaukee Bucks is unlikely to even have an effect on the seeding.

That doesn’t imply it’s not an essential recreation. Boston can nonetheless make a press release by profitable in Milwaukee. They’ll present that they received’t be afraid to play there within the playoffs with out homecourt benefit. And that appears like risk, as a result of the Celtics have fumbled away any sensible probability of operating down the Bucks for the highest seed.

9. Following the Milwaukee recreation, that is the Celtics schedule:

· vs Jazz

· at 76ers (after three days off)

· vs Raptors (ultimate back-to-back)

· vs Raptors

· vs Hawks

It’s not a straightforward stretch, neither is it overly daunting. For the Celtics, these video games are an opportunity to discover a rhythm forward of the playoffs, as three of the 4 groups seem like they’ll be postseason groups, and the Jazz aren’t fairly completed but.

It’s additionally a chance for Boston to concentrate on relaxation and well being. Even with their uneven play not too long ago, the Celtics ought to have the second seed nearly locked up. A win a Philadelphia would actually clinch that. That would make that first Raptors recreation probability to relaxation some guys on the back-to-back. Then, Boston can play out the second Raptors recreation with an everyday rotation. The finale may be dealt with as case-dependent. If it issues for seeding, you play it to win. If it doesn’t, then you definately sit everybody who will see main playoff minutes and concentrate on Recreation 1 the next weekend.

10. The Celtics have the Bucks subsequent. It’s nonetheless a giant recreation, even when it’s not fairly as huge because it might have been. Perhaps Boston will get fortunate, and Milwaukee stumbles a few occasions unexpectedly and the one seed remains to be in play. That solely actually issues if the Celtics beat the Bucks on Thursday.

However because the gamers and coaches have instructed us advert nauseum, they’re extra involved about how they’re taking part in than seeding. This final recreation wasn’t instance of that, as a result of it seemed like nobody actually cared very a lot about both factor. There are six video games left to determine it out and get it proper. That’s the main focus now.

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