“They got whatever they wanted on the offensive end.” – Jae Crowder.
He was speaking following Tuesday’s 123-108 loss at Washington, but the sentiment could have been for any number of games we’ve seen the Celtics play this season.
- Highlights: Washington Wizards 123, Boston Celtics 108
- 'Different opinions' spark heated exchange between Smart, Celtics coaches
- Wizards back up trash talk, bury the Celtics, 123-108
They talk about being a team that’s defensive-oriented. But what we’ve seen this season is a team that looks more disoriented defensively while one roster after another seems to light them up in a nightly basis.
And the Wizards loss ranks among the worst of the season, and it’s not just because Washington shot 57.8 percent against them which is the best shooting percentage any team has had aginst Boston this season.
The Wizards made it absolutely crystal clear that the Celtics would get their best shot, and that shot would – from a basketball sense – bury them.
And you know what?
They were right.
The Wizards backed up their talk with the kind of smackdown that we have not seen administered to a Brad Stevens-coached team.
It was the kind of loss that raises questions about the mental and physical toughness of this team, things that haven’t been questioned in the past.
“Every guy is on an island,” Crowder said when asked about Boston’s defense. “We don’t talk enough.”
And that lack of communication has made them a soft team that no one fears.
Marcus Smart was asked about whether they were a tough team this season.
“No we’re not and that’s the problem,” Smart said. “Everybody on this team has had moments. Last year we were the team guys hated to play against. Everybody wants to play us (now) because we’re not doing what we used to do on the defensive end.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Tuesday’s game
He was the architect of Washington’s all-black look on Tuesday, and his play left the Celtics feeling quite blue when all was said and done. He led all scorers with 31 points on 12-for-18 shooting to go with five assists.
He has had more efficient nights shooting the ball, but there was no mistaking he once again made a huge impact on the game for Boston. He led the Celtics with a double-double of 25 points and 13 assists.
After scoring just nine points when these two met a couple weeks ago, Wall bounced back with a strong showing on Tuesday with 27 points on 11-for-20 shooting to go with seven rebounds and seven assists.
He didn’t stretch the floor as much as the Celtics would have liked, but offensively at least, it was a solid all-around performance for Horford. He finished with 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting but only grabbed two rebounds – not good enough if you’re a starting center who played more than 33 minutes.
The Polish Hammer continues to batter the Celtics seemingly every time they meet. He had 16 points primarily diving to the basket on pick-and-rolls for lay-ups and dunks which explains why he was 7-for-8 from the field.
He was one of the many Washington starters who stepped up to play well, tallying a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds with four assists.
As easy as it may be to blame their struggles on not having Avery Bradley (right Achilles), Boston’s problems defensively are much deeper than just missing a player even one as valuable as Bradley. The Wizards are good, but even without Bradley they should not have shot 57.8 percent from the field. Boston plays with no force, no toughness and if that doesn’t change, they’ll have no shot of making any noise come playoff time.