Celtics - Bobcats review: That was embarrassing

Celtics - Bobcats review: That was embarrassing
March 12, 2013, 10:30 pm
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —  A broken clock is right at least twice a day.

And as it turns out, a broken team like the Charlotte Bobcats (14-50), at least when it comes to the Boston Celtics, can indeed pull off the seemingly improbable and beat them not once - but twice - with the most recent win over the C's coming in blowout fashion.

It's not a hard stretch to imagine all the head-scratching for many after Charlotte clocked the C's 100-76.

Celtics fans were in disbelief at not just the loss, but the magnitude of it as Charlotte handed the C's their most lopsided defeat of the season.

And for Charlotte, losers of 10 in a row and an NBA-record seven straight by at least 17 points, it was an astounding night for a team whose season is one fans would just as soon forget about as quick as possible.

"It hurts," Celtics guard Jason Terry told CSNNE.com. "That's why I can't wait to not only see our reaction tomorrow against Toronto, but Saturday when we play them (Bobcats in Boston) again. I know we'll respond."

Maybe so, but there's still the matter of the damage left behind in the wake of what easily qualifies as the worst loss for this Celtics team that has had more than its share of bad defeats this season.

Trying to make sense of what happened is a pointless exercise in futility because truthfully, the Celtics had no business losing this game, let alone getting blown out so decisively.

Not surprisingly, the Celtics will try and shrug it off as just one of those games, the kind that most teams experience during the course of a long season.

They're right.

Most teams will get popped at least once by a bad team.

But the Bobcats aren't just a bad team.

They are the worst team in the NBA.

And they didn't just win ... they crushed the Celtics.

It's the kind of performance that should not be discounted or treated as though it's not a big deal, because it is.

And while the Celtics are expected to respond with a strong game Wednesday against Toronto, and are expected to beat the you-know-what out of Charlotte when the two face off again on Saturday, no one has a true feel for that to happen.

Because as we've seen thus far, expectations for the Celtics - at least when it comes to facing Charlotte - don't always pan out how they're supposed to.

There were several contributing factors to Boston's worst loss of the season. Here are some outlined prior to the game and how they actually played out.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR:  Unforced mistakes was a major player in the Celtics' loss at Oklahoma City, as they turned the ball over 19 times which led to 19 Thunder points. But the fourth quarter of that game saw the C's not commit a single turnover, something they need to do more of against a Charlotte team which forces more than 14 turnovers per game.

WHAT WE SAW: The turnover numbers weren't particularly high, but there were more than a few brain cramps committed by the Celtics all night long. For the game, the C's turned the ball over 13 times which led to 18 points for Charlotte.


MATCHUP TO WATCH:  Kevin Garnett vs Bismark Biyombo: The Big Ticket will be looking for a Big bounce-back game against the Bobcats. Against the Thunder on Sunday, Garnett had 10 points on 5-for-19 shooting. It was only the fifth time this season he took 19 or more shots in a single game, with his five made baskets on Sunday being the fewest made in such games. Biyombo is not a scorer, but his rebounding, defense and shot-blocking make him someone that Garnett and the rest of the Boston bigs have to pay attention to.

WHAT WE SAW: Garnett wasn't particularly good against Oklahoma City. He was even worst tonight, scoring just five points on 2-for-10 shooting. Rivers said Garnett's struggles have more to do with the C's not getting him the ball in the best locations, than it does with him being fatigued or anything like that. With Garnett playing less than 21 minutes on Tuesday, he should be in good shape energy-wise for Wednesday night's game.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Byron Mullens was the best player on the floor when these two met last month, which says more about how poorly the C's played than it does Mullens' game. The 7-foot big man put up some ridiculous video game-like numbers (25 points, 18 rebounds and four assists) that you can bet caught the eye of the C's coaching staff who are sure to make limiting his effectiveness a much greater priority.

WHAT WE SAW: Mullens was never really a factor; not that the Bobcats needed him or anything to beat Boston (strange to think let alone see that sentence in front of me). Mullens had two points, three rebounds and three assists for Charlotte off the bench before leaving for good with a lower back strain in the third quarter.


STAT TO TRACK: The Celtics' recent run of success has included them doing a better job at shooting 3s. Although they rank 22th in the league this season shooting 35 percent on 3s, the C's have stepped it up of late while connecting on 40.7 percent of their 3s in the last six games which is tied for fifth in the NBA during that span according to nba.com/stats.

WHAT WE SAW: Boston's 3-point shooting, like most of what they did on Tuesday, wasn't particularly good. For the game, they connected on 4-of-13 of their 3s, or 30.8 percent.