The Problem with the Celtics: Boston Gets Stung by Hornets

Akash ACorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2010

BOSTON - JANUARY 31:  Paul Pierce #34 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics react to an official's call  against Pierce in the closing moments during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the TD Garden on January 31, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  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 Jim Rogash /Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Celtics have lost 10 games since Christmas Day when holding a double digit lead. This team is unable to close out games. Tonight, against the Hornets, Boston held a 12 point lead early in the second half. Unfortunately, this third quarter is when they have been losing games. Tonight, they got outscored by 17 points, losing the quarter by a final score of 27-12.

Throughout the second half, they lazily closed out three point shots, were unable to keep up with Hornets’ players, and were unable to score. The team missed over 10 free throws in the second half, and turned the ball over 23 times.

This is not a team that will win a championship, and at this rate this team may not even be playing deep in the playoffs.

Looking at the team, it is obvious that there is very little camaraderie and a small amount of chemistry on the court. And, why shouldn’t there be?

For all of December Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett were out, and Marquis Daniels only recently returned. On top of that, Ray Allen missed his first game with back spasms, so the Celt’s have not had the time to develop chemistry.

Essentially, what you have is a team with a lot of skill, but very little chemistry, something that will not get you far.

Look at the 2004 Yankees (Red Sox won the WS that year, winning four straight games in the ALCS against New York).

The defense is lacking in the second half, the offense seems energy-less, as players jack up seemingly random jump shots, and the free throw shooting is abysmal.

In terms of defense, the entire third quarter was marked by open Hornets players in the corners drilling threes, with Celtics players barely entering the frame at times. Late close outs, and an inability to stick with their opponents is the reason the Celtics need to worry.

But, looking at what I just said, what seems to be the problem? Why does this team seemingly lose every big lead they have, in the second half, especially the third quarter?

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