Celtics Struggle From The Field, Fall Into 0-2 Hole
The Boston Celtics went ice cold from the field in tonight's 89-72 blowout loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The loss now puts the C's in a 0-2 hole in the best of seven series.
Coming into the game there were questions about how Boston would manufacture points they usually rely on injured guard Avery Bradley to produce. In actuality, the C's struggled all night long to get points out of any of their healthy players.
Boston was ice cold from the opening tip, as they put just seven points on the board in the first quarter. In the first 12 minutes of play, the C's were 3/23 from the field and 0/6 from 3-point range.
While tonight's effort was historically bad, Game 1's first quarter performance was lackluster as well. Simply put, the C's will not win any of these games if they keep playing so poorly in the opening minutes.
Things didn't get much better for Boston either, as they shot just 31.8 percent from the field, on the night.
Maybe the toughest part about tonight's loss is that the Boston defense was good and really limited the Hawks' offensive ability. Atlanta, themselves, shot under 40 percent from the field tonight, at just 39. The Hawks also didn't have a quarter where they scored over 28 points.
Really, with the exception of Atlanta guard Kyle Korver, who dropped 17 points on 6-9 shooting from the field and 5-7 from the 3-point line, the Hawks didn't put much more offensive fire power out on the court.
While the Hawks didn't put on a great scoring display, the C's, especially their starters, seemed like they couldn't have thrown a pebble into the ocean if they were standing on the shoreline.
Throughout the game, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Jared Sullinger combined to shoot just 8-40 from the field and 2-16 from 3-point range. With the exception of Amir Johnson, the C's fifth starter who had 14 points and eight rebounds on the night, the rest of Boston's starting lineup stuck up the joint. With no Avery Bradley, for now, those four must step up and contribute more to the offense because rookies R.J. Hunter and Terry Rozier aren't able to fill Bradley's role, after spending most of the season on the bench.
As the team's head to the TD Garden for games three and four, Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens will have to find a way to break his team out of their scoring slump or they could be left without a postseason win this year. Hopefully, for Boston, a change of scenery and the support from their home crowd is just what they need to get a hot start in Game three and climb back into this otherwise uninteresting series.