Celtics get their first taste of double-digit defeat

Celtics get their first taste of double-digit defeat

BOSTON – While the mood was noticeably more subdued inside the Celtics’ locker room Monday night, they didn’t seem all that worse for wear after their first double-digit loss of the season, 118-108, to Detroit.
“It’s eighty-two games. It happens, you lose,” said Marcus Morris. “We missed some shots down the stretch. They scored the ball. It happens, you know. I hate losing, but we’re still together. Guys aren’t hanging their heads. It’s all good.”

Even with the loss, Boston (18-4) still has the best record in the NBA. And with the next four games at the TD Garden, the Celtics will have ample opportunities to build on what has already been an impressive start to the season.

Here are five takeaways from the loss:

He had 18 points and nine assists, but the Pistons did a really good job of making sure he didn’t keep the ball in his hands for very long, courtesy of timely double-teams and the usual tough defense played by ex-Celtic Avery Bradley. “This one’s eating me a little bit,” Irving said. “I know it was a couple of decisions that could have, when it was a two-point game or a four-point game, turned into a six-point game or eight-point game based on a few empty possessions.”

The Celtics have been the best defense in the NBA for weeks, but you would not have known it by the way they performed collectively on Monday. Along with giving up a season-high 118 points and allowing the Pistons to shoot a season-high 51.8 percent from the field, Boston failed to deliver that game-changing play defensively to swing the game’s tide in its favor. It was an odd sight to not see from a team that has been all about the signature play defensively which catapults them to victory.

Boston has been among the league leaders in fewest turnovers made per game. However, that didn’t do the Celtics a lot of good against a Detroit team that did more than force Boston into more turnovers than usual. Those mistakes became a sizable chunk of the Detroit offense, which used Boston’s 17 turnovers to generate 26 points

There’s no way to know if the outcome would've been different if the Celtics had done a better job of making free throws. Boston shot just 57.1 percent from the free throw line (12-for-21). It certainly played a role in the loss.

For the second straight game, Marcus Smart had an extremely efficient game at both ends of the floor. He had 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting. On Saturday against Indiana, Smart had 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting. For him to see a few shots go down, is huge. He has been among the worst shooters not just on the Celtics roster, but in the NBA this season. So, for him to put together a couple of strong shooting nights, bodes well for him going forward and maybe most important, gives the Celtics another player that foes have to be worried about getting hot from the field.


Celtics assistant McCarty to become coach at Evansville

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Celtics assistant McCarty to become coach at Evansville

BOSTON – The first member of the Brad Stevens’ coaching tree is about to take off. Celtics assistant coach Walter McCarty is expected to be named head coach at Evansville University.

McCarty, an Evansville, Ind. native, was selected over a field of candidates that included former Indiana University standout Calbert Cheaney and David Ragland who, like McCarty, is an Evansville native.

The 6-foot-10 McCarty, a 10-year NBA veteran with seven-plus spent with the Celtics, has been part of Stevens’ coaching staff since 2013. The former Celtic has been a college assistant coach at Louisville (2007-2010) in addition to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers (2010-2011).


NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

NBC Sports Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.