Good, Bad, Ugly: Close but no cigar - again

Good, Bad, Ugly: Close but no cigar - again
March 28, 2014, 10:30 pm
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Jeff Green drives to the basket against the Toronto Raptors.

(USA Today Sports Images)

 This good-but-not-good-enough-to-win script is one the Boston Celtics have played out time and time again this season.

The latest chapter to that narrative came Friday night as the Toronto Raptors slipped past the Celtics with a 105-103 win after Amir Johnson's tip-in of a Kyle Lowry miss with seven seconds to play.

"We have to finish better," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "But we all have to take every detail through the game better."

Boston lost 99-90 to Toronto on Wednesday, a game that wasn't decided until the Raptors made back-to-back 3s to secure the victory.

While the Celtics have shown the ability to compete with just about every team they have faced, Stevens isn't close to being satisfied.

"We're not in the business of hanging in," Stevens said. "We can't be in the business of hanging in. We have to get over the hump and do a better job with that."

And with that, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Friday's loss which is the 49th loss for the Celtics this season. That total equals the number of games Stevens lost in six seasons with Butler.

The Good

DeMar DeRozan

Amir Johnson had the game-winner, but it was DeMar DeRozan hitting a slew of shots in the second half that propelled the Raptors to the win. Even more important to the Raptors, the victory secured a playoff berth for the first time in six seasons. DeRozan finished with a game-high 30 points, 24 coming in the second half.

Jerryd Bayless

He gave the Celtics a shot to win in the fourth, which is when he scored 14 of his team-high 20 points. However, he had the daunting task of trying to guard DeRozan who has a few inches over Bayless and shot over the top of him with relative ease.

Jeff Green

His neck injury was indeed a non-issue on Friday as Green had 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting. It was a good bounce-back performance for Green who had just six points on 3-for-9 shooting in Boston's 99-90 loss to Toronto on Wednesday.

The Bad

Perimeter defense

The Raptors shooters made some really tough shots, but there were far too many instances where Toronto's shooters were able to get great looks at the basket or take Boston's perimeter players off the dribble and get into the paint for an easier score.

The Ugly

Late game execution

Boston did a lot of good things offensively, even in the game's final minutes. But it takes a solid effort at both ends of the floor in order to win which is something the Celtics have consistently come up short in accomplishing.