Frustration mounts as Celtics lose big in L.A.

Frustration mounts as Celtics lose big in L.A.
December 28, 2012, 2:55 pm
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LOS ANGELES Just outside the Boston Celtics locker room, not a sound could be heard.

Once inside, silence was still the pervading sound of choice.

After a humbling 106-77 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the scoreboard said it all.

There is no masking the disappointment that such losses can bring about in a team as prideful as the C's.

Beyond winning games, the Celtics will be challenged in the coming days and weeks in keeping that disappointment from turning into frustration which is never a good thing.

"If you're a competitive player like I am, it's frustrating to lose," said Celtics guard Rajon Rondo. "It's frustrating, but at the same time you have to move forward. It's the NBA. We don't have two weeks to linger on this game. We have to move forward and get ready for Golden State."

"On to the next one" is a once-popular Hip-Hop song by rapper Jay-Z. It's also an appropriate title for where the Celtics' heads have to be right now in what is clearly the darkest day in what has been a season full of overcast-like moments.

More than a third of the way through this season, and the Celtics are a .500 team.

The reasons for their most recent setback vary.

Head coach Doc Rivers believes his players were thinking too much, and not just playing the game.

"I really thought we out-thought the game," Rivers said. "I could hear all the talk about different coverages ... we play the same defense every night for the most part. I just thought we were out-thinking ourselves tonight."

Kevin Garnett felt the C's weren't "firm" enough with their play consistently enough.

"We got away from stuff that we had been doing, that's been working for us," Garnett said. "We weren't firm enough; you have to be firm."

Regardless of the reason, the one lesson the Celtics can take away from Thursday's game is clear.

The Clippers are the better team - much better team - at this point.

And if there were any doubts about that, they should not exist after Thursday's thumping.

"We know at this point in the season, they're a better team than us," said Celtics guard Jason Terry. "That's the way they played. For us, you're not going to get frustrated. You just move forward, and keep grinding."

While that sounds good in theory, it too is a recurring theme with this team as they continue to make little to no progress from one game to the next in terms of winning.

"For us, it's the same old story," Terry said. "Win one and then you lose one. Until we break that cycle, we're not going to take that next step. And we know that. For us, we have to win this next one."