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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The night the Boston Celtics gave up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference


You want to tell yourself that this season is different for the Boston Celtics but after watching them lose for a third time in their last four games (all to inferior opponents) and you have to finally admit that it's 2009-10 all over again.

The New Jersey Nets (22-43) won their fifth game in a row, 88-79 at the Prudential Center. Boston (47-18) was held under 90 points for the third straight game and it really hurt them since their defense was up to the task.

It was another horrorshow in the second night of a back-to-back for the Celts, they seem destined to lose all of them at this point.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points while that skank Kim Kardashian's main squeeze Kris Humphries proved his worth with 16 points and 15 rebounds. How does one bounce from Reggie Bush to Humphries? Granted, I don't have the world's most famous butt. It's just funny that I had never noticed Humphries until I found him on my fantasy NBA waiver wire a few months back. I'm sure Kim discovered him in the same manner.

New Jersey's new point guard Deron Williams notched 16 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals, Anthony Morrow had 15 points and Travis Outlaw put up 12 points off the bench.

Boston received 19 points from Ray Allen and 18 points and eight rebounds from Kevin Garnett but Glen Davis (16 points, 14 rebounds off the bench) was the only other player to really show up. Rajon Rondo blindly ran into Humphries on a hard screen (easy Kim) and that didn't seem to help him in his recent slump as he was held to two points (1-for-10 shooting) and nine assists.

The weird thing is that the Celtics looked in control when the game started. They were up 23-14 after one quarter but the Nets cut it to 38-36 at halftime. New Jersey got it done in the third quarter (31-23) and Boston couldn't hit any shots in the fourth quarter (21-18 for the Nets).

Boston shot 41.2% to New Jersey's 39.7%. However, the Nets led by Williams (4) and Morrow (3) hit nine more 3-pointers (11-2) and eight more free throws (15-7). The Celtics actually grabbed five more rebounds (50-45) and dished out three more assists (22-19). New Jersey had three more blocks (6-3).

Big Baby looked great in his second game back from knee tendinitis. Hopefully Delonte West can have an impact too as he's set to return tomorrow night when the Celts host the Pacers.

Boston needs to not only win but get their offense back on track. They're tied now atop the Eastern Conference with the Bulls and the Heat are only two games back. There's only 17 more games left in the regular season so they all have meaning for homecourt. Thinking the Celts can get to the Finals again without homecourt throughout the playoffs is naive and not very realistic.

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