Good, bad, & ugly: C's still can't close out

Good, bad, & ugly: C's still can't close out
March 31, 2014, 10:15 pm
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Boston had moments of good play offensively. There were stretches where the defense was pretty solid.

But the Celtics once again failed to do anything well enough to win, extending their losing streak to five in a row following Monday's 94-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

It was their second loss in as many nights to a Chicago team that's trying to continue building momentum heading into the playoffs and unseat Toronto for the No. 3 seed.

Boston (23-51), officially eliminated from the playoffs with tonight's loss, held their own against the strong-charging Bulls, but couldn't make the plays needed to get the win down the stretch.

"You have to play really physically and detail-oriented at the end," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "You have to do it all the way through. In the last five minutes of games, whether we want to say it or not, it (intensity) goes up a notch."

And sadly, that is when the Celtics tend to play some of their worst basketball.

After holding their own in the first quarter, the Celtics found themselves on the short end of an 11-4 run by Chicago to close out the half which cut Boston's lead to 50-48. Chicago had a strong finish to the third quarter as well, outscoring the Celtics 11-4 over the final 4:35 which gave them a slim 71-70 lead going into the fourth.

A 13-0 start to the fourth put the Celtics in a hole they could not dig themselves out from under.

And with that, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Monday's loss.


The Good

Brandon Bass

He was into a good flow offensively throughout most of the game, finishing with a team-high 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting and nine rebounds.

Phil Pressey

Pressey did his part in helping fill the void left by Rajon Rondo (rest). In addition to scoring nine points to go with three assists, he also finished with a career-high four steals for Boston off the bench.

The Bad

Turnovers

After a turnover-free first quarter, Boston wound up coughing the ball up 18 times which resulted in 17 points for the Bulls. The margin of error for the Celtics is slimmer than it is for most teams. And those kind of numbers ... that's not going to cut it.

The Ugly

Offensive droughts

Far too many times this season, we have seen the Celtics offense completely fall off the map. They were especially atrocious in the fourth quarter as the Bulls opened the quarter with a decisive 13-0 run that was finally snapped when Kris Humphries hit a jumper that cut Chicago's lead to 84-72 with 7:47 to play.