Gameday Report: In midst of playoff push, Clippers visit Celtics

Jose Verdugo
Febrero 15, 2018

And just prepare them better.

The Celtics gave up over 120 points for the second straight game, allowing a season-high to the Clippers after giving up 121 against Cleveland on Sunday. I told our guys excuses are contagious. "So I gotta prepare for myself and then go from there". Perhaps young players like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have hit a wall or have become too complacent or perhaps the team just needs the time to focus mentally. I know I want that [expletive]. The Celtics are doing the opposite. "I've said all along I don't think we're all that we were cracked up to be during our 16-game winning streak and it's probably hit us more in the last month than it hit us before".

"This is like the stakes are at their highest". I just want our team going into the playoffs playing well as a group'. "But my focus is how to get the group to be better".

In comparison, Brad Stevens' team looked exhausted, out of rhythm and short of ideas. "Other teams are starting to get their gears".

On another night when they started out at a low ebb, got up to speed and collapsed down the stretch when they were unable to keep pace with a hot offensive opponent, the Celtics shot 43.3 percent.

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"We're a group that's built what we have so far based on the defensive end", Horford said following Wednesday night's loss.

The question is whether Stevens will consider bigger changes, including potential tweaks to the starting lineup. Jordan, who had the first of three assists 55 seconds into the game, did not even score until he dunked with seven minutes and 42 seconds remaining in the first quarter. They should be somewhere in the middle, inching closer to that elite group, but we're now left wondering how they stack up with the rest of the rest in the East. The scary part isn't that Toronto is playing at a whole different level right now or the Cavaliers are invigorated by their deadline day trade spree, but that teams like the Sixers, Pacers, Wizards and Heat are currently legitimate threat to upend Boston's hopes to make it back to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics have only gone 1-4 since Irving's return from injury, uncalibrated, and failing to take advantage of having their best player on the floor prior to the mid-February festivities. They have also proved they can with without Smart, so what is really wrong with the Boston Celtics? Unfortunately, those are the kinds of teams the Celtics have been losing to lately.

As soon as Gordon Hayward went down five minutes into the new year, we all expected this to be a bit of a roller coaster ride of a season.

The Clippers (29-26) will take on the Boston Celtics (40-18) on Wednesday, in the final game of a four-game East Coast swing. We'll find out who the real Celtics are soon enough.

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