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Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeBasketballClasses from Celtics-Magic: getting punched within the face

Classes from Celtics-Magic: getting punched within the face


You ever simply get up on the improper facet of the mattress and get punched within the face?

Your alarm goes off, and when you pry your eyelids open and roll over to face it, you understand your neck mysteriously hurts. You then simply let the alarm ring for a couple of minutes, as a result of the prospect of truly lifting your arm to show it off is method too difficult.

Ultimately you must rise up, however cosmic forces have determined to give you the trail of most resistance. The bathe takes perpetually to warmth up, your hair is a catastrophe, you’re out half-and-half, it’s only a unhealthy time general. However you made it via the morning. Now think about somebody sucker punches you as quickly as you open the door.

On Friday, the Celtics awakened hungover and with sufficient neck ache to go to the chiropractor after work. After which they bumped into the Orlando Magic, a bodily, painful workforce that hit the torpid Celtics with two left-hooks and an uppercut.

The Magic are a great workforce, however—extra importantly—they’re an enormous workforce. They’ve dimension everywhere in the map, and play with world-beating physicality that has allowed them to punch above their weight class this yr. In reality, the authorities are presently reviewing if the Magic ought to simply be moved to the highest weight class straight away, to make sure the bodily security of their friends.

The Celtics have incessantly fallen sufferer to robust groups and gamers, with the ghosts of P.J. Tucker, Draymond Inexperienced, and Jimmy Butler haunting TD Backyard to today. Within the 2021 NBA Finals, Jayson Tatum was repeatedly bodied by Andrew Wiggins to neutralize the Celtics’ primary choice. Elevated physicality was one in all my hopes coming into the season, with Tatum coming into media day trying like a physique builder and the Celtics as a complete getting older and harder.

However the Celtics had been sluggish, and fully unprepared for the Moe Wagner revenge recreation, who got here off the bench possessed and dropped a cool 27 factors on his former workforce. Oh, did you overlook that Wagner was even on the Celtics? I typically do, as a result of he was fully unplayable for the 9 video games he was in Boston. Thanks bro.

Now, I’m not going to say that the Celtics’ loss at 2:30 pm on Black Friday was as a result of they ate an excessive amount of Turkey the day earlier than… however I’m not not going to say that. I, for one, ate method an excessive amount of on Thanksgiving and was mainly motionless on Friday, so if somebody requested me to journey to Orlando to play in a basketball recreation, I wouldn’t have been thrilled.

These of you accustomed to my basketball philosophy will know that I don’t—beneath any circumstances—bake excuses right into a recreation earlier than it even occurs, and that applies right here as effectively. After final week’s loss to the Hornets, I sounded the alarm concerning the Celtics’ late-game execution and full failure to shut a recreation towards a workforce they completely ought to have beat. That recreation had extra built-in excuses than a child whose canine ate their homework, however that didn’t imply blowing a double-digit lead down the stretch was okay.

However Friday was a wall-to-wall catastrophe, and it’s exhausting to give you any rationalization apart from an entire breakdown of construction. It was undoubtedly a troublesome spot to be in, particularly with Jrue Vacation lacking from the lineup and coming off of a tooth-and-nail victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. Issues went from unhealthy to worse as soon as Porzingis needed to depart the sport with calf tightness, and a very disastrous third Quarter dug the Celtics in a gap that they lacked the tools to dig out of.

The lack of Vacation clearly affected the Celtics’ tenacity on the glass, shedding the offensive rebound battle by a convincing margin. Vacation has been inconsistent offensively this yr, however he by no means fails to carry it within the effort division. The Celtics have struggled this season when each Derrick White and Vacation aren’t accessible, so it’s value questioning if Brad Stevens will probably be taking a look at guard depth across the deadline.

As soon as Porzingis went down, the Celtics discovered themselves leaning on Luke Kornet to lock down the paint within the face of the Magic’s excessive dimension. Kornet had a strong recreation as an inside scorer, however couldn’t decelerate the Wagner brothers or Paolo Banchero, who obtained mainly no matter they needed within the paint.

I’d advise towards overreacting to this loss, because the Magic aren’t the middling workforce that many anticipated them to be coming into the season. They’re legit good, and are going to be a nightmare to play all through the season, particularly after a vacation primarily based round consuming and consuming greater than ordinary.

The Celtics can and can bounce again, but it surely appears they caught the improper finish of a popping out social gathering in Orlando. It was an announcement to the NBA that they aren’t be underestimated, and the Celtics obtained introduced on fairly exhausting.

Subsequent up is the Hawks on Sunday night time, the primary recreation of a seven-game dwelling stand. So relaxation up, take some melatonin and get up on the appropriate facet of the parquet. Beginning Sunday, the Celtics must stroll out the door and do the punching.

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