Boston-Atlanta: Celtics Coaches Lack Trust in Bench, Lose to Hawks

Frances White@WestEndGirl62Analyst IIJanuary 12, 2010

ATLANTA - JANUARY 08:  Glen Davis #11 of the Boston Celtics against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on January 8, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It would be easy to blame the referees for what was essentially another collapse by the Celtics. The Atlanta Hawks came into the Garden and swept the season series. 

Tom Thibodeau was put in charge of leading the troops after a flagrant foul was called on Glen Davis and Doc Rivers was ejected for protesting the call.  

Brian Scalabrine, the consummate role player, was having the best offensive and defensive game in a Celtic uniform. The refs robbed him of a great play on an attempted layup by Josh Smith. His ensuing fourth foul forced the Celtics to insert Davis.

Thibodeau rode the starters in the fourth quarter with Davis. The only offensive threats were Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Rondo was exhausted, team injuries had forced him to think score. The game screamed for Thibodeau to put Scalabrine back in the game. It would have balanced the floor and opened up driving lanes for Pierce and Rondo. None of this was done.

The coaching staff had collective gridlock as the cameras continually scanned the bench for any signs of life. The usually animated Celtic bench simply sat there and watched the team's collapse. Eddie House, Tony Allen, and Scalabrine were all fourth-quarter DNPs.

Not once did Thibodeau so much as look their way. He sacrificed "ubuntu" because he assessed his best chance was to ride the starters. The team failed miserably without them.