Celtics Journal: Game 15 of 82, Tues 12/2, Celtics @ Hawks (Schizophrenia)

Game 15 of 82 (18.3%), Tuesday, December 2, 430 PST

Celtics @ Hawks


noun \ˌskit-sə-ˈfrē-nē-ə\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SCHIZOPHRENIA

: a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as in delusions), perception (as in hallucinations), and behavior—called also dementia

Example: The Boston Celtics are playing like a team of schizophrenics. First half: Free and easy. Second half: Terrified.


Our Celtics need a team intervention and group counseling. They are clearly terrified of the fourth quarter and perhaps the second half in general.

26 points in the game’s first seven minutes. Rondo tallied 7 assists before the first break in the action. 42 first-quarter points, like a flood, like a dream. 77%. They made 17 of 22 shots. All four from deep splashed through. Twelve assists in the first fucking quarter. Too good to be true. And it was. These are not games, so much as they are mirages.

Numbers are nice. 14 first half assists for the brilliant Rajon Rondo. All those points created. All those rebounds. All that determination. 66 points. A 16-point lead. And yet, it had been 23. It was already starting to slip before the halftime break. Jared Sullinger’s buzzer-beater was a butterfly, floating above a pond.

Rondo is a marvel, and yet he can’t help them when they’re stuck in the half court swamp and desperate for a basket. Jeff Green’s athleticism makes you gasp when he throws down a tomahawk dunk, but he can’t force the team to communicate on defense.

This Rondo stat line is mind-blowing in its absurdity. 2 points, 19 assists, 12 rebounds. 1 of 8 from the field with 7 turnovers. It is as if Rondo is on a personal mission to make everyone else better while refusing to score. The only problem is that he’s the best player on the team, and he’s lost confidence in his jumper. Remember how good his elbow jumper was for those two years prior to the ACL tear?

It keeps happening. This quirky group of players are psyching themselves out. They have the free-and-easy part down cold. But when they get cold, there is nothing free and none of it comes easy. They haven’t shown anything resembling mental toughness. They haven’t learned how to play together and defend. They need the spirit of Marcus Smart. He won’t save them all, but he has a relentless energy that this team lacks.

These losses are brutal. If they don’t get a win against Detroit, I may have to avoid the 4th quarter entirely for a few games. I’d rather have the dream, and not the somber reality of the standings.

Hawks Notes

  • Kyle Korver scored 24 points on 9 shots, going 6 of 7 from deep. This is flat-out ridiculous.
  • Paul Millsap remains one of the more under-appreciated and versatile two-way players in the league. His three steals and three blocks were key in thwarting any Celtics attempts at offense in the second half.
  • Dennis Schroder is one of the quickest guards in the league. He played so well that starter Jeff Teague sat for the final 17 minutes of game action.
  • The empty seats in the Philips Arena crowd were impossible not to notice on television. Official attendance was 12,705. When will the NBA make an arena policy that makes sense? If your best seats are empty in the 4th quarter of a close game, let the fans who want to move down pay an extra $10 for the chance to sit wherever they find an empty seat.
  • The organist in Atlanta needs to take a break every now and then.
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