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What is the deal with the Celtics and superstar-less teams?

Nov 20, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics

There’s something bizarre with these Celtics. They have three losses, and two of them are to teams without or missing their superstar. First they lost to the Cavaliers, which is odd since they don’t have you-know-who anymore, after they beat you-know-who the night before. But it was a back-to-back so maybe it was just one of those things. They lost to the Mavericks in an acceptable, good loss. But last night they fell at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder who were without Jeff Green… and Kevin Durant.

You’ve basically got three theories here:

  1. The “Get-Up” Theory: The Celtics care so little about the regular season, keenly aware that they can sleepwalk through and still make the playoffs which is all they care about, that they fail to get up for games like this one. Without Durant, they simply can’t be bothered to execute and when you do that, you open the door for a young and hungry team to come in and take your cake and eat it. It also explains the Cavs loss, with an emotional letdown after besting the Heat the night before. Next test-case? Toronto on Sunday. If they fall to the Raps (which they won’t), the Hawks should consider keeping out Joe Johnson the following night.
  2. The Total Effort Theory: Teams without a superstar are more likely to share the ball. Without trying to force the ball to your go-to guy, who the Celtics will specifically design their efforts to stop, attacking the Celtics with a balanced effort of sharing the ball and making the right plays goes counter to what the Celtics do. The Celtics are so good defensively because they do attack your stars and leave you limbless. But if you’re hitting them with the body to start with instead of the hands, you’ve got a puncher’s chance.
  3. The “Just A Loss” Theory: Sometimes teams just lose games. It happens. No reason to look for a pattern in just three losses.

Regardless, it’s just weird that the teams Boston should obliterate the most are the teams who wind up besting them.

  1. frankvzappa - Nov 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    you forgot the “cold Ray Allen” theory: when Ray cant hit a shot, the celtics lose…all their losses he was shooting .3xx from the field, 4 for 13 first loss, 4 for 11 second loss, and 3 for 9 last night…when you have the best shooter in the game and he is off, there is nothing you can do…every Celtics win Ray shot near or about .500…just like the celtics would have won the championship last year if he didnt have that atrocious game (see also: if perkins didnt go down)…

  2. kansachusetts - Nov 20, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    I like PBT. Good points. Good point from Zappa too in the comments. The Celts just didn’t get going early and some of that is Rondo. Was Westbrook playing him well defensively? Hard to say without rewatching it. It was clear that Westbrook was their only weapon, and that he would tire in the fourth quarter, which he did. Not sure if Doc adjusted enough to the threat. I thought Rondo was starting to climb out of his lethargy just before he got injured.

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