Has anyone seen the Celtics? I can’t seem to find them anywhere. If you’re reading this, then you are probably asking yourself the same question. On Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics allowed themselves to get walked over in their own home. They started out with fire, passion and looked to have the will to win the rebounding battle early, corralling the first four defensive rebounds, which plagued them during game one. The Celtics opened the game with a 7-0 run and pulling down everything in sight, then the Bulls hit back.
The Celtics staggered through the remaining of the quarter like a stunned prize fighter. Except there was no fight from the starting five and only three lead changes the entire game sums it all up. Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk provided some spark off the bench but this is the playoffs, where players make a name for themselves. Where is Jae Crowder? Amir Johnson? Avery Bradley?
I don’t think Jae Crowder could play any more passively than he did in game two. We need the disrespected Jae Crowder to show up. The one who took offense for the Boston faithful for cheering Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward. The one who went mano-a-mano with John Wall. I know he is friends with Jimmy Butler and the days of the players hating each other on the court are of days of yesteryear but come on. Do you want this?
Where is the Amir Johnson before he came to the Celtics? The one who averaged 28-minutes, 10-points and 7-rebounds a game. You know the guy who was one of ten (10) NBA players to gather 200+ offensive rebounds and 100 blocks. He has been virtually non-existent and anybody can get to the paint and do whatever they want, whenever they want. Might as well hold up a sign saying, “Drive-Thru, Free Buckets!” Furthermore, watching Robin Lopez pull an offensive rebound surrounded by three white jerseys is unacceptable, embarrassing even.
Avery Bradley, Mr. First Quarter had 5-points and that was only because of a three with 28 seconds left in the quarter, who ended the game with 12-points. Really? If Bradley is going to give me 12-points, essentially averaging 3-points a quarter then I want him on Butler EVERY! SINGLE! MINUTE! After all, he was named All-Defensive team last year, so play like it.
Heck, the only one who has shown up is the only one you could probably give a pass too. Isaiah Thomas played like a man possessed in game one, dropping 33-points, with what one can only imagine was a heavy heart, after the passing of his sister Chyna Thomas. He played decently yesterday, giving you 20-points, working for every one of them, fighting off Jimmy Butler and the swarming Bulls anytime he went to the paint. They have begun trapping him and you know what might help alleviate that, the pick and roll with Al Horford.
Speaking of the paint. Hey Marcus, how about you drive to the paint? What is the “I am a 3-point shooter” in the playoffs? This is NOT your game, NOT this year. You’re shooting 28.5% from behind the arc this season. Do what you do, go to the rim, draw the foul, put the defense on their heels. Play that suffocating, physical defense. Lead that three-headed monster of you, Bradley and Crowder on the perimeter, which propelled you guys to 4th in the league in defensive rating last year. Your calling card! Allowing the Bulls to shoot 50% from the field and 40% beyond the arc, is going to get you a one way ticket to sweep-ville.
And why is Jonas Jerebko in the dog house? The one thing he always brings is energy, something you showed nothing of in Tuesday’s game. You guys keep telling the media how close this team is. Well, you could have fooled me, with the lack of rotation, quick threes, finesse play down low and the long faces down 19 at home to an #8 seed.
You’re down 2-0. Only one #1 seed has come back down 0-2 to win in the NBA, the 1993 Phoenix Suns. Did you really win 53-games just to throw it all away? You’re from Boston and Boston has guts, will and we NEVER give up. The Red Sox did it in 2004, coming back to win four in a row against their rival, the New York Yankees in what may go down as one the most epic comebacks ever. The New England Patriots completed their own epic comeback down 28-3 with 3-minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Be Epic. Be Boston Strong. The Rocky IV soundtrack is playing and your coach tells you:
#Celtics coach Brad Stevens (channeling Rocky’s trainer in Rocky IV): You know you need to win the next possession. Can you do it?
— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) April 19, 2017
It’s up to you to answer the bell. We will all be watching Friday night! Make us proud and put the Chicago Bulls and everyone else on notice: We are the Celtics and we are Boston Strong!