WASHINGTON — There have been games when the Celtics have had their problems defensively, but few compare to the abysmal performance in losing 118-92 to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
It was like watching the 1985 Villanova Wildcats knocking in shot after shot after shot against the heavily favored Georgetown Hoyas in the national Cchampionship.
Whatever shot went up for the Wizards, seemed to go in.
But this was no David versus Goliath take-down.
Actually, it was kind of how that whole David versus Goliath thing was supposed to play out with the bigger, stronger adversary prevailing with ease.
Indeed, the Celtics were no match for the Wizards, who clinched a spot in the playoffs after six-year absence.
I asked Celtics coach Brad Stevens when he thought the wheels became unhinged for his team Wednesday night.
"Right about when the game started," he said.
Stevens said it with a grin, but truthfully he was right.
"We had no energy tonight," a subdued Jared Sullinger said after the game. "Everything was flat; we didn't go hard. We didn't really show up as a team."
By the end of the night, Washington had shot a season-high 62.5 percent from the field, which was easily the best any team has shot against Boston this season.
Defensive breakdowns, missed shots.
You name it and chances are the Celtics struggled in that particular phase of the game.
"We laid an egg," said Stevens, who praised the Wizards for their performance. "It was pretty obvious. We didn't provide any fight tonight."
And with that, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Boston's sixth straight loss and 11th in its past 12 games:
He led all players with 25 points on 8-for-15 shooting, although most of his damage came well after the Wizards had a firm grip on the outcome.
His numbers (eight points, career-high eight rebounds) don't say a lot, but he was one of the few Celtics who displayed a great amount of energy when in the game. "Not to discredit anyone else, but C.J. came in and made some plays and he pretty much helped us get back in the game," said Rajon Rondo. "Not scoring-wise, but just all the intangibles on the court."
They are the group assigned to setting the tone, and they collectively stunk up the place from the opening tip-off. They quickly found themselves down 8-2 just two minutes into the game, which became the first of several stretches of poor play.
This hasn't been one of the Celtics' strengths all season. But the performance Wednesday was bad, even by Boston standards. The Celtics misfired on 21 of their 24 3-point attempts.