The Loss Hurts, But There's No Need to Panic.
Going into this matchup against the 1-9 Pelicans, everybody, including myself, was confident we’d come out of New Orleans with a win. The Pelicans are made up of Anthony Davis, rookie Buddy Hield, and not much else right now. They’re 1-9 for a reason, and we’re 5-4 for a reason. But now the Pelicans are 2-9, and we’re 5-5. What the hell Boston. Three of the five teams we’ve lost to this season have terrible records, but this may have been the worse loss out of all of them. Who cares if the other two losses were blowouts; we lost by one point to a 1-9 team. One point losses hurt, regardless of who you’re up against. Let’s dive into the goods and bads of this game that I wish was erased from existence, shall we?
- Isaiah Thomas is a bad, bad man. Finishing with 37 points and seven assists sounds like an elite point guard to me. That sounds like an All-Star to me. That sounds like an MVP candidate to me. I’m forever grateful that Danny Ainge stole him from Phoenix and made him the face of this franchise. This dude’s shooting finger was messed up entirely but still managed to drop 37 points on the Pelicans. Sure it was the Pelicans, but he came up huge when it mattered. He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and led the C’s from being down 12 at one point in the fourth to taking the lead with a minute left. He is the Celtics’ team right now. He shows up every game, especially when it matters. If we didn’t have Isaiah, we would’ve lost by more than one point.
Right now he’s making Celtics’ history, too. He’s now the third Boston Celtic player EVER to score at least 20 points in the team’s first ten games of the season, joining Kevin McHale and Sam Jones. Not even Paul Pierce could do that. Paul Pierce of 2008=Isaiah Thomas of 2016.
Keep saying Isaiah isn’t elite, or he’s overrated. Right now he’s second in the Eastern Conference in scoring, only behind the scoring machine himself Demar Derozan. 5-5 isn’t a sexy record to have, but without Isaiah, it would be a whole lot worse. Isaiah isn’t having a career season because he’s a “good player on a bad team.” This team is a good team that is missing two of their top players. Isaiah is just doing his part to make sure this team doesn’t fall apart in their absence. Isaiah is no joke, and shouldn’t be treated as one. It’s time for the critics to wake up. Isaiah is putting the league on notice.
- Marcus Smart is a hell of a player, isn’t he? 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, four steals, and 3-6 shooting from three. Isaiah may be the face of the franchise, but Marcus is the muscle and hustle of this team. I’m not sure if that makes much sense, but I’m leaving it there. Marcus lays his body out every game, dives for loose balls, and does all the dirty work. He’s a special player. He is better known for his defense but has taken leaps with his offensive game. You can tell he’s been putting a lot of time in the gym improving his shot and being able to finish in the paint.
- Avery Bradley with another double-double. I’m not surprised anymore; he’s a beast on the boards. He’s got a jumpshot like MJ and rebounds like Rodman. What a man.
- Shooting 17-20 from the free throw line is pretty efficient, but not when you lose by one point. FREE THROWS MATTER!!!
- If I can be blatantly honest, I think we did a good job containing Anthony Davis, all considering what he’s done so far this season. He “only” scored 25 points on 7-22 shooting. I was expecting a lot worse, to be honest. I’m just happy he didn’t 50-piece us.
- Jordan Mickey got solid minutes last night and even did an alright job of defending Anthony Davis when he was in the game.
- Anthony Davis dropped 25 on us, which was expected, but Langston Galloway dropped 21 points off of the bench for the Pelicans. If you think about it, Langston Galloway beat the Celtics. We let a guy averaging eight points a game drop 21 on us off the bench. He beat us. Langston Galloway beat us. That’s inexcusable; we need at least one person off the bench to match performances like that. It wasn’t a career performance, but the trend of letting unexpected players go off on us is still alive and well. Ugh.
- Isaiah Thomas shot 8-10 from the free throw line last night. That’s a good statistic to have, but those two missed free throws ended up deciding the game. I’m not bashing Isaiah because he is the MVP of this team, but in a close game like this free throws matter.
- Amir Johnson hit a three-pointer at the beginning of the game. I’m okay with that because if he’s open, he surprisingly enough can hit that shot. He made a three then airballed the next two he shot. He can make one if he’s open, but Amir needs to understand that he can’t continue to shoot threes just because he made one. He was forcing them, and airballed them. Not the types of shots I want to see from him.
I know we’re 5-5 right now. That isn’t the record we were all expecting to start the season. I know we’ve gotten blown out twice this season to teams with records worse than ours. I know we just lost to a 1-9 team by one point, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. It’s a loooong season. We didn’t have Jae Crowder or Al Horford for any of those games, and I can tell you the outcomes would not have been the same if they were playing in those games. We have to stay confident in the Celtics, and we have to get through this together. We’ll be fine, I promise. Once Jae and Al come back, we’re wrecking havoc on the league. No more blowouts. No more one point losses to the worst teams in the league. Al’s coming back soon and so is Jae. Let the countdown begin.
My apologies for missing the last game against the Pacers. I was unable to catch the game and didn’t have much to write about besides the box and final score. But we back baby.
Ten down, 72 to go. On to Dallas. #5-5 #AllAbout18
Written By: Dante Turo (@dturoswag)