The Boston Celtics dropped a game to the Houston Rockets last night, 109-111, receiving their 22nd loss of the season to a team that won just their 15th game of the year. What happened to Boston at the Toyota Center last night?
Jayson Tatum finished the night with 22-points on 8-of-22 shooting from the floor, eight rebounds, and six assists. He struggled from deep, going 2-of-10 from behind the arc. Using this, Tatum finished 50 percent on his 2-Point shots, going 6-of-12 from inside the arc. He also missed the game-tying layup that would’ve sent the game to overtime, their 12th of the season.
It wasn’t just Tatum who struggled, the entire team struggled, with the exception of Jaylen Brown and Malcolm Brogdon. Al Horford only took three shots, Sam Hauser made one while Grant Williams didn’t take any. This non-production can’t happen from Boston’s depth, which is essential for them to be successful in this final stretch of the regular season and the playoffs.
Brown finished with 43 points on 16-of-25 shooting from the floor and added five rebounds and two assists. There was a stretch in the third quarter where JB couldn’t miss, as he connected at every level of the court.
Brogdon finished with 20 points on 5-of-11 shooting off the bench, as he continues his stellar season and embracing his role as Sixth Man for this team, not to mention he’s the best in the league in this role this season.
Second chance opportunities are becoming rare for the Celtics right now. Although a lot of it can be connected to Rob Williams being out, a lot of it can also be linked to a lack of effort overall. The Rockets won the offensive rebound variance by five and created 17 second chance points from it. The Celtics had 10 second chance points on 10 offensive boards.
Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla enjoys talking about the “metrics” and not undervaluing the analytics when it comes to offense and shooting more 3’s. What about the defensive metrics? Those are important too, especially considering games are being lost from blown leads more often than not over the last month.
For the Celtics to get to where they want to be in the playoff seeding, they need to win the games they’re supposed to. This was one of those games against the Rockets and they just aren’t playing collectively connected right now.
There’s 13 games left in the regular season for the Celtics to figure things out, win some games, and solidify their playoff position for what is hopefully a deep run to the NBA Finals.
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Photo Credit: David J. Phillip, AP