BOSTON – Al Horford has never been a high-volume shooter, evident by him never averaging more than 14.5 shots per game in a season (2014).
But in Boston’s 121-114 loss to Detroit on Wednesday, there were lots of numbers that left the Celtics scratching their heads afterwards.
Horford taking just five shots from the field?
That’s one of them.
- Highlights: Detroit Pistons 121, Boston Celtics 114
- Defense, not shot selection, the bigger issue in Celtics loss to Pistons
- Celtics last-second rally falls short, Pistons win, 121-114
“That’s the first thing I saw when I looked at the stat sheet,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “It’s not enough; I know that. So we need to do a better job of making sure that we help put him in position to be successful.”
Horford had three games last season with the Atlanta Hawks in which he took five or fewer shots from the field, with Atlanta winning two of the three.
The last time he took five or less shots was on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers March 4 when he had eight points on 2-for-5 shooting as the Atlanta Hawks prevailed 106-77.
“I think that I probably could’ve got more shots,” Horford said. ‘But at the end of the day we needed to be better on the defensive end and we just didn’t get the job done on defense.”
Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday’s game.
He’s starting to play at a level you expect to see in a contract year. Pope-Caldwell not only led the Pistons with 25 points but also did as good a job on Avery Bradley as we’ve seen done this season.
One of the few starters who played well, Thomas led all players with a game-high 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting. He also managed to dish out four assists.
The former UConn star was a dominant force most of the night, finishing with a double-double of 20 points and 17 rebounds.
No one seemed to give the Celtics more problems on Wednesday than Smith, whose ultra-quick speed allowed him to get into the paint or open for jump-shots seemingly all game long. He finished with 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting in addition to grabbing eight rebounds along with eight assists.
It’s rare that Olynyk has a big game scoring and the Celtics don’t win. But that was indeed the case on Wednesday with Olynyk coming off the bench to score 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
He finished with 14 points but for most of the game Bradley was a non-factor at both ends of the floor – a rarity for one of the league’s most improved players this season. In addition to the struggles he had limiting Detroit’s guards from scoring, Bradley didn’t make his first field goal until late in the third quarter. And nine of his 14 points came in the final 76 seconds when the game’s outcome had for the most part been decided.
They have had some defensive stinkers this season, but Wednesday stood out as one of the worst to date. The Pistons shot 55.2 percent from the field, the best any team has shot against Boston this season.