My, oh my, was this an ugly game for the Celtics. The Celtics got outplayed throughout the game last night against the New York Knicks . This loss is one to be worried about and here’s why.
Let’s start with the Celtics, shall we.
Kyrie Irving played some of the highest minutes of the season for a Celtics player at 37 minutes. Throughout the game, it almost seemed like Brad Stevens was scared to take out Kyrie. The Knicks had the lead for almost 36 minutes, equivalent to the time Kyrie was in. Brad Stevens took Kyrie when the Celtics lead was up to nine, but put him back in when the lead was four (around six minutes into the third). Brad Stevens has made Kyrie the go to player, and it just doesn’t seem like Kyrie is built to be that player every game.
Along with this, Kyrie is not passing nearly the amount he should be. He seems to be trying to do everything by himself, by taking unnecessary shots. I could see at least five times where he would just pull up with about an inch of space. His shot selection did not look good at all (kind of like his shot to win the game against the Heat). Well, someone might say, he scored more than 30 points, that’s good. In fact, he’s had 11 30 point games in the past 18 games. In the first 15 games? He had one 30 point game. But take into consideration, that we playing a much better team game in the beginning of the season, since we of course went on the 16 game win streak. His play looked downright selfish last night, which is not contributing to the team.
Speaking of unnecessary shots, let’s talk about Jayson Tatum. Tatum looks like he had one of the highest IQ’s of the 2017 rookie class, but tonight, he didn’t show it. He went 2-6 from beyond the arc, and those four threes he missed were bad shot selections. He was taking unnecessary as well, and it was almost like he knew he was one of the best three-point shooters in the league. He was taking threes he should not have. Though, he did put up 17 points and had a good night shooting twos. It just looked like a bad night for Tatum, and he was not playing his usual game which has gotten him a lot of success.
The Celtics as a whole did not play well as a team either. The offense in the first, second, and third quarter was pretty bad. There was one or two hot streaks made by the Celtics, and the Celtics were able to get a nine point lead, but really, the Knicks were leading for the entirety of the game.
While the Celtics played great defense (only allowing a point for Porzingis, as he went 0-11 on field goals), they couldn’t produce enough offense to go along with the defense, which has seemed to be a bit of a trend over the past few games. If the Knicks were able to get any good offense going in the first three quarters, this would have been a complete blowout. They did get offense going in the fourth with Michael Beasley and the Knicks ended up scoring 34 points in the quarter. If Porzingis got his usual points, this game would have been over fast for the Celtics.
Michael Beasley went off for 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds last night in 25 minutes. He’s a bench player who produced above average numbers. Remember the last two games? Olynyk scores 32 points as well along with 7 rebounds. Then, against the Pacers, Oladipo scores 38. The Celtics lose two of these three games (they almost lost three out of three), because of the one player scoring too many points.
This entire game was just bad for the Celtics. How else should I put it? They didn’t get the shooting they should’ve earlier in the game. They didn’t capitalize on the 17 turnovers made the Knicks.
The game against the Heat just seemed to carry over into New York. It also looked like the second half of the game against the Pacers. It looks like Brad Stevens didn’t take any of my suggestions I made in my article about the Celtics Pacers game (go check it out).
We play an okay Bulls team tomorrow. If it turns out to be like the last game against the Bulls, where we lost by 23, that is when we should start to worry.