Good, bad, & ugly: 'The proof is in the pudding'

Good, bad, & ugly: 'The proof is in the pudding'
January 28, 2014, 11:30 pm
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Brad Stevens' stay-the-course demeanor continues to be tested as his Boston Celtics seem to become more and more consistent at derailing the team's chances at winning.

"The proof is in the pudding," Stevens said after Boston's 114-88 drubbing at the hands of the New York Knicks. "Whatever we are record-wise, we're not a very good basketball team."

And the Knicks proved that in emphatic fashion on Tuesday by handing Boston (15-32) one of their worst defeats of the year.

Of course New York came in with added motivation after Boston crushed the Knicks by 41 points in December.

Still, that doesn't explain away the Celtics playing with such a wide disconnect at both ends of the floor which makes it nearly impossible to get into any kind of flow, let alone win a game.

"We need to embrace these opportunities to get better; to be the best we can be and try to compete all the way until the horn and win at the end of games," Stevens said. "That's something we gotta get better at."

He added, "It's not a knock on anybody. It's where it is, and where we are right now."

And with that, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from yet another Celtics loss.

The Good

Chris Johnson

He continues to be the one flicker of brightness in what has been dark times for the Celtics. Johnson, who signed a second, 10-day contract with Boston on Tuesday, had yet another strong game off the bench with 12 points. "He's played like one of our best players right now," Stevens said. "I gotta figure out a way to find more time for him."

Jerryd Bayless

Having missed the last four games with a toe injury, Bayless returned to score 10 points off the bench along with four assists. Having him back is huge for a Celtics team that has been decimated by injuries in the backcourt.

The Bad

Gerald Wallace

Just about every one of the Celtics struggled, even Wallace who tends to make up for poor shooting nights with better-than-average hustle plays. But it just wasn't there for him or the Celtics, as he finished with five points on 2-for-7 shooting. Even more telling was the fact that he had a plus/minus of negative-27.

The Ugly

Celtics defense

After Boston came into Madison Square Garden and handed the Knicks a 41-point smackdown last month, you knew New York would come out with better focus to not just win, but do so in convincing fashion.

Regardless of New York's intentions, the Celtics made it far too easy for them. Throughout the game, Boston looked totally clueless defensively with players rotating late, if at all. The guards put little to no pressure on New York's playmakers, and they promptly made the Celtics play with lob passes for lay-ups and dunks. It was one of the weaker performances that Boston has had this season.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens probably said it best: "It was a good old-fashioned, butt kicking."