Saturday, March 26, 2011
The Boston Celtics really don't want the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference
All season, the Boston Celtics hadn't lost back-to-back home games. Well I guess it took the heavyweight duo of the Memphis Grizzlies and Charlotte Bobcats to end that impressive streak.
Both Ray Allen (14 points) and Kevin Garnett (12 points, 9 rebounds) had chances to win it with wide-open 3-pointers at the end of regulation but it wasn't to be as Charlotte hung on for a 83-81 win last night at TD Garden.
Even without Stephen Jackson, the Bobcats (29-42) won their second straight against the Celtics (50-21), to split the season series (2-2). Charlotte is still two games behind Indiana for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Speaking of being two games back, Boston is now two games behind the Bulls (who are on fire) and only half a game in front of the Heat.
Needless to say, facing the Pacers is much more appealing that the Sixers (6th) or Knicks (7th) in the first round of the playoffs. Not to mention that if the Celtics and Bulls meet in the playoffs-which seems likely-home court could certainly mean the difference in a seven-game series.
What made this meltdown so strange for the Celtics was that they led by 13 points heading into the fourth quarter (66-53) but proceeded to get doubled up in the fourth (30-15) by the Bobcats.
D.J. White led Charlotte with a team-high 17 points off the bench. Yes the same D.J. White that starred at Indiana but has bounced around the NBA. Gerald Henderson added 15 points, D.J. Augustin scored 14 points and Kwame Brown had 12 points and seven rebounds. When you look at that list of bums, you have to ask yourself: how did the Celtics lose?
Paul Pierce led Boston with 18 points and Rajon Rondo added 10 points. Glen Davis put up nine points and six rebounds off the bench and Nenad Krstic had seven points and eight rebounds.
Boston travels to Minnesota tomorrow night to face the Timberwolves. With any luck, double-double machine Kevin Love will be out nursing his groin injury. Regardless, the Celtics have to smoke the Timberwolves, no excuses.