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Saturday, November 10, 2012

It's Only November, But The Celtics Are Not Right

Does someone want to let the Celtics know that the 2012-13 season has begun? For a team that has been known for its slow starts the last few years, I think it's safe to say they would be staring squarely at 0-5 right now if they hadn't played the Wizards twice already.

Boston (2-3, 1-2 home) fell 106-100 to Philadelphia (3-2, 2-1 away) tonight at TD Garden in a game that didn't seem that close since the Sixers seemingly led by nine or 10 points the whole time.

Rajon Rondo (14 points, 20 assists) and Kevin Garnett (19 points, 10 rebounds) have been themselves and this evening, Paul Pierce (24 points, 5 assists) decided to join them. Jason Terry was the only other guy in double figures with 13 points off the bench. The problem has been that the rest of the team hasn't really shown up yet, at least not consistently. And that's more than you can say for their so far invisible defense that allowed the NBA's lowest scoring team (that hadn't scored over 88) easily reach triple-digits, on the road.

I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the Sixers won since for whatever reason, they've been a bad matchup for the Celts the last few seasons. This was the same team that pushed them to seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals in May. Evan Turner (25 points, 11 rebounds) and Jrue Holiday (21 points, 14 assists) seem to be progressing into the stars that franchise desperately needs. Dorell Wright and Thaddeus Young both had 15 points while Nick Young scored 10 off the bench.

Philly led 23-20 after one quarter and 57-45 at halftime. It turns out that was too much for Boston to overcome since the C's outscored the Sixers 29-26 in the third and 26-23 in the fourth but it wasn't enough.

The Sixers hit three more 3-pointers (7-4), grabbed seven more rebounds (38-31), had five more steals (12-7) and four more blocks (7-3). The numbers that really stand out for Philadelphia were their advantage in fast break points (26-9) and points in the paint (56-48). The Celtics aren't going anywhere allowing that type of differential to a team without a dominant point guard (sorry Jrue) or big guy.

Boston travels to Milwaukee tomorrow night (8:30 p.m., CSN) to face the Bucks (3-1). You'll remember that Milwaukee spoiled the Celtics' home-opener a week ago, 99-88. That no show was the first sign that this team has some major issues to address.

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