Celtics lacking extra effort during recent skid


Celtics lacking extra effort during recent skid

By A.Sherrod Blakely

INDIANAPOLIS To be a good team, it takes more than just good effort to win.

When you look at the Boston Celtics, putting forth good effort isn't the problem.

It's the multiple-effort plays that are hurting them these days.

And for a team whose core has already won a championship, the Celtics should know that those multiple-effort plays are what, on many nights, mean the difference between a dominant win or a disappointing defeat.

Boston suffered the latter on Monday following a 107-100 loss to Indiana.

It was yet another game when the Celtics were outhustled and outworked for much of the night.

"We're a first-effort team," said Paul Pierce. "We make the first effort. The second effort, the third effort . . . those are the plays that are killing us."

Effort at times can be difficult to quantify, but there are some telling indicators as to which team fared better in the hustle war.

Notably, second-chance points on Monday were decisively lopsided -- as in, 16-5 -- in favor of the Pacers.

"That's just who you are; what type of team you are," said Kevin Garnett, who like most of the Celtics, is admittedly frustrated at the team's play defensively of late. "The first, second effort has been there. But the third and the fourth, getting on the ground, and getting on the floor, we have to become . . . we're a grit team. That's what we do for 48 minutes. These last couple of weeks, we haven't been doing that."

Even with the lack of multiple efforts being a team-wide issue, Garnett remains convinced the C's will get on track before it's too late.

"We're just dealing with our issues," Garnett said. "You can either quit and go home, pack it up and give up. Or you can do something about it. We've always been that type of team to do something about it and continue to work."

Garnett added, "It's frustrating, for lack of a better word. It's frustrating. But, we put ourselves here. Just like we put ourselves here, we'll take ourselves out of it."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”


James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”