Boston Celtics' Two-Game Skid: The Team's Habitual Post-Christmas Struggles

B.Contributor IJanuary 12, 2011

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10:  Ray Allen #30 of the Boston Celtics shoots a three point shot as Courtney Lee #5 of the Houston Rockets defends on January 10, 2011 at the TD Garden 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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After out-grinding the Spurs, who have the league's best record, and beating down the Raptors, the Celtics have lost two consecutive games.

And the final scores were not one- or two-point losses—they were convincing.

Now, they have the same amount in the losses column as the Miami Heat, who took advantage of their decent schedule and have one loss since November.


KG down

First and foremost, Kevin Garnett is one of the the most important players in this team alongside Rondo and Pierce. Together, they lead the team in various aspects.

Rondo conducts the offense and Pierce is the go-to guy for scoring. Kevin Garnett embodies defense and the "heart" of the team.

Without Garnett, the defense has taken a step down and the team looks uninspired, much like last year.


Lackluster Defense

For the Celtics, needless to say, the defensive effort was sub-par. But what has really killed them were second chance points.

It is almost routine for the Celtics to allow opposing teams multiple possessions per game and with the weak defense they are playing, it has really come to bite them in the rear.  


Whistles, Whistles and More Whistles

This may sound like an excuse coming from a fan, but I am simply calling what I see.

In the Bulls matchup, Derrick Rose had almost half his points coming from the charity stripe and he had an incredible career-high 19 FTA. 

In the Rockets game, while there were not as many foul calls, there were several dubious calls leading to turnovers during crucial possessions. This was also somewhat prevalent in the Bulls game. The Celtics did not commit many errors during the past few games but in the recent two got some strange calls leading to turnovers.

These calls make the games sluggish and frustrating, but they have to stay mentally strong.


The Ticket Stub

In the successful games, Glen Davis has been effective on both ends of the floor by shooting a high percentage and defending well. 

In the Bulls matchup, the Bulls took advantage of the size advantage against Glen Davis thanks to both O'Neals being in foul trouble. After several terrible defensive possessions, Glen Davis looked frustrated and began bricking shots.

Last night, he carried his bad stroke from the Bulls game and missed some easy buckets.


Kevin Garnett is not going to play against the Kings tonight. To stop this drought, the Celtics must stay mentally strong, which is a tall task especially without Garnett.

Once the defense sets, everything will begin to fall into place. The Kings may be in the bottom of the barrel when it comes to their record but it will be a tough game as they have a lot of size on the KG-less Celtics.