Celtics currently their own worst enemy

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Celtics currently their own worst enemy

TORONTO The damage had been done, in an unexpectedly decisive fashion.

Boston, 74. Toronto, 86.

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers had said all that he had to say. He left the players in the bowels of the visiting locker room to themselves while the coaches convened outside. They could vent, scream, yell, do whatever they wanted to do.

But make no mistake about it.

The message had been delivered.

If the Celtics are to get out of this two-game malaise they're in now, in that room, at that moment, were the answers to their problems.

Their first shot at getting on track comes Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Bulls, hands-down the best team in the Eastern Conference. With or without reigning league MVP Derrick Rose available (he's questionable with a back injury), Chicago has proven they can win - and win big.

But the Celtics' biggest foe these days isn't the fellas at the other end of the gym. It's the guys in that room, at that moment, who will continue to search for the answers that, to a man, they know are literally in front of them.

"We need to be us, be consistent every night," Boston's Avery Bradley told CSNNE.com of the general mood among the players inside the locker room following the loss. "We need to know what we're doing on offense, know what we're doing on defense. And we just need to be more consistent and play the same every night."

Far too often against Toronto, and to a certain extent against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, there were plays when it was clear that at least one Celtic player was thinking one thing, while his teammate was looking for something else.

That's focus, or something," Rivers said. "We have to fix that."

It won't be easy.

Breaking down video of ways to improve will help.

Extending the amount of the time in shoot-around to make it almost like a pseudo-practice, would benefit the Celtics as well.

More than anything, they have play smarter, play with more passion, more pride, more purpose and less passivity.

In other words, play more like a Celtic.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rough start for Al Horford

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rough start for Al Horford

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons in which the Celtics lead 54-50.

 

STARS

Isaiah Thomas

At the half he led all scorers with 16 points coming on 6-for-10 shooting from the field.

Reggie Jackson

The former Boston College star has been a main cog in the Pistons’ offense tonight, leading them with 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting with five assists.

 

STUDS

Marcus Morris

He was relatively quiet most of the first half, but came up with a last-second 3-pointer that sent the Pistons into the half with some momentum to cap off a 15-9 run to end the quarter.

Jaylen Brown

Boston is looking for a steady No. 2 scorer to compliment Isaiah Thomas, and Brown was that guy throughout most of the first half. He finished with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting to go with three rebounds.

Amir Johnson

The former Piston looked very much at home around the rim in the first half, scoring just four points but grabbing seven rebounds in addition to dishing out two assists.

Andre Drummond

He had six points and six rebounds in the first half, but didn’t really dominate the way you would expect from the best big man in the building. Boston didn’t give him too many looks at the basket, and when they did they fouled him. He went to the line for five free throws in the half, and missed all of them.

 

DUDS

Al Horford

Boston has made getting him the ball tonight a priority, and the four-time All-Star is simply not finishing off plays. Credit Detroit’s defense which has contested most of Horford’s shot attempts. That said, he has to deliver more offensively than the two points he scored while missing eight of his nine field goal attempts.

Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

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Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars where Patrice Bergeron scored two goals.