Boston Celtics: Reaction to Their Opening Day Loss to the Miami Heat
The good news though is that the Celtics still have 81 more games to play. But for now, the whole season consists of just this one game. So, I feel obligated to super analyze it, despite the fact that it's only one game.
The Celtics Need More from KG and Jeff Green
Throughout the playoffs last year, the Celtics went as Kevin Garnett went. When he had a monster game, as he often did, the Celtics won. However, when he had a bad game, the Celtics lost. So far in this one-game season, we have seen the same trend.
Kevin Garnett (nine points) played poorly tonight, and the Celtics lost. Coincidence? I think not.
He was not a factor on the offensive end of the floor and that needs to change. Granted, not all of it was his fault. They ran very few plays for him, including no pick-and-pops between him and Rajon Rondo.
In a similar position to Kevin Garnett was Jeff Green. The Celtics did not run any plays for Jeff Green, but that should not have limited Green the way it seemed to. For the whole game, Green was a non-factor on offense—finishing with three points, all from the free-throw line.
Plain and simple: When Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green combine for 12 points, the Celtics lose.
Leandro Barbosa Can Flat out Play
If I hadn't gone to the Celtics practice on Sunday and noted the potential and talent that Leandro Barbosa has, I would have been completely shocked by his unbelievable performance. He was the oversight in terms of offseason acquisitions, but tonight, he was clearly the best.
16 points in 16 minutes is incredible for anyone, especially considering it was mostly in the fourth quarter to keep the Celtics in the game. Name the last time a Celtics bench player took over a game like that in the fourth quarter?
Even I can't come up with the answer, but all I know is that it never happened last year.
The Defense Was Sub-Par
Just to be clear here: The Heat are a fantastic team. They outplayed the Celtics tonight, particularly on the offensive end, in part because of all the weapons they have.
However, that is still no excuse for a Boston Celtics team to let up 120 points. I don't care if it's the Dream Team, the Celtics are just a better defensive team than that.
There seemed to be several defensive breakdowns throughout the game, and the Celtics need to fix those up if they want to be considered an elite defensive team again. Because right now, letting up 120 points a game is far from elite.
About Ray Allen...
It was weird watching Ray Allen in a Miami Heat uniform, and it was downright frustrating watching him do everything he used to do with the Celtics to the Celtics.
That opening corner three was his bread-and-butter in Boston. Those awkward, forward leaning jump-shots accounted for a lot of his points as a Celtic. Now, none of that matters though.
He is on the Heat and, as a member of the Heat, had a major hand in beating his former team with 19 points. Deep down, though, I wonder if Ray Allen secretly feels that he would have rather played that way as a Celtic to beat the Heat.
If anything, maybe he just wishes that KG would acknowledge him again.
It's Gonna Be a Fun Season
I know, it's an interesting leap to make there. One second I'm talking about what the Celtics did wrong and now I'm talking about how fun the season is going to be.
Hear me out though: the rivalry with the Heat is now at an all-time high, we know Pierce still has it (23 points tonight), Rondo is in MVP-esque form (20-13-7), role players are ready to step up and we're just getting started.
Let's just say, don't get used to the Celtics losing—and be prepared for a fun season.