Well… We’re Not Going Undefeated

The short win streak was cut short, as was all hopes of going 82-0 this season. Thursday’s matchup against the Bulls was filled with a rollercoaster of emotions.  One minute we were down ten, then fifteen, then five, then we were up one, then down ten again, then ultimately losing by six.  There’s so much to talk about, so let’s get started.

Isaiah looked great once again, scoring a game-high 25 points on 10-15 shooting. Although he had 15 shot attempts, it felt like he wasn’t shooting enough.  Isaiah was efficient and was getting the job done.  He was getting to the rim and drawing contact, shooting six free throws.  What was strange, though, was that Isaiah missed four of those six free throws, which is very unusual for him.  He’s an 86% career free throw shooter.  Three missed free throws down the stretch were crucial.  Apart from falling apart at the free throw line, Isaiah had another solid night.

Al Horford didn’t have a spectacular game but had a very well-rounded night.  Al Horford isn’t by any means the go-to scorer on this team, and you won’t see him scoring a substantial amount of points.  He scored 11 points while collecting seven rebounds and dishing out five assists.  He missed every three he looked at and shot below 50%.  I try not to make a big deal out of missed shots, but at one point in the game Al Horford had a wide open layup and just missed it.  It wasn’t a deciding factor in the game, but you can’t miss your layups.  Add that layup and the missed free throws, and down the stretch it’s an entirely different game.  Al was also caught in foul trouble throughout the game, as was Amir Johnson, causing them to sit out parts of the game where we could’ve used them.

Avery Bradley had another good all-around game, scoring 16 points with six rebounds and five assists.  His defense was critical when the C’s went on runs, and he did a good job locking up DWade and Jimmy Butler.  At the end of the game Wade hit a three in AB’s face that ultimately put the Celtics away, but it was very well-contested. Sometimes just can’t contest somebody’s clutchness.  Jae Crowder also kept up his scoring attack, dropping 14 points on 4-6 shooting.

The bench didn’t have a great night, plain and simple.  Terry Rozier had good moments on the court.  He shot the three ball well and was rebounding and assisting efficiently. Tyler Zeller and Jonas Jerebko were just straight pissing me off.  Why they got so many minutes is beyond me.  Zeller couldn’t make a shot and Jerebko was just making me angry.  Why?  I don’t know.  I found myself making fun of his haircut and inability to make a layup and a free throw, but that’s probably just because I was upset we were playing Jonas Jerebko rather than our starters.

Jaylen Brown.  Jaylen…  Brown…  A crucial turnover at the end of the game is probably what will be remembered the most from him this game, but it shouldn’t.  He played 20 minutes and big minutes at the end of the game, which is good to see.  It helps him learn and become more knowledgeable by just being out there in those late-game situations.  He was not afraid to take it to the basket, which I loved to see.  He wasn’t getting calls he should’ve, but then again, nobody was for a good chunk of the game. Regardless of whether he was getting calls or not, he kept going up strong and finishing at the basket.  He had a brain-fart at the end of the game, where he went to shoot but got stuck and came down with the ball, which resulted in a turnover.

It was a typical rookie mistake.  A crucial one, but a mistake that happens.  Making a mistake like this isn’t always a bad thing.  Jaylen will look back on this and try not to commit the same mistake again.  It’s a long season, so the rookie shouldn’t get too down on himself for making one wrong decision.

Now the overall look of this game.  The Bulls’ defense was looking elite.  They were locking down the Celtics and weren’t allowing to get good shots early in the game.  As the game went on, though, the Celtics would bounce back and get good open shots. Boston would end the game with a better field goal percentage than the Bulls (50% to 39%), but it was the rebounding and three-point shooting that lost us the game.  The Bulls outrebounded the Celtics 55 to 36.  55 TO 36!! In any game where you’re being outrebounded by 19, you’re not going to win.  And, to make matters worse, 18 of those rebounds were offensive rebounds, compared to the Celtics’ measly 3.  Excuse me while I rant for a quick minute.  REBOUND REBOUND REBOUND.  YOU CAN’T WIN GAME IF YOU DON’T REBOUND AND ALLOW THE OTHER TEAM TO GET 18 FREAKING OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS!!! BRAD, I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’RE READING THIS, BUT TELL YOUR GUYS TO REBOUND THE DAMN BALL.  I ALMOST PULLED OUT MY HAIR WATCHING ROBIN LOPEZ GETTING TIP-IN AFTER TIP-IN AND THE BULLS CONTINUOUSLY GETTING SECOND CHANCE POINTS.  WE CAN’T EVER ALLOW THAT.

REBOUND REBOUND REBOUND.  YOU CAN’T WIN GAMES IF YOU DON’T REBOUND AND ALLOW THE OTHER TEAM TO GET 18 FREAKING OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS!!! BRAD, I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’RE READING THIS, BUT TELL YOUR GUYS TO REBOUND THE DAMN BALL.  I ALMOST PULLED OUT MY HAIR WATCHING ROBIN LOPEZ GETTING TIP-IN AFTER TIP-IN AND THE BULLS CONTINUOUSLY GETTING SECOND CHANCE POINTS.  WE CAN’T EVER ALLOW THAT.

Dwyane Wade shot 4-6 from three.  Dwyane Wade made seven threes in total all of last season.  Yes, you read that right.  Wade just decided to mess around and have a career night from the three point line.  Awesome.

Rondo only hit one three, and it was strictly because he was playing the Celtics.  He seems to like hitting threes against us since we traded him.

Throughout the game, it seemed the refs were blowing the whistle in favor of the Bulls. Until the fourth quarter, the Bulls dominated the Celtics at the free throw line.  The Bulls ended the game only shooting six more free throws, but a lot of questionable calls were being made throughout the game.  It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Dwyane Wade started whining that calls weren’t going his way anymore.  It also doesn’t help that the Bulls shot more than ten percent better from the line (73.3% to 62.5%).  Between Wade hitting threes, Isaiah missing free throws, and the Celtics getting murdered on the boards, there was a lot to be upset about.

But at the end of all of it, the team looked better out there together than the night before.  They looked more comfortable playing with each other.  After being overwhelmed with the Bulls’ offense to start the game, they worked their way back into the game together.  There’s a lot of improvement to be made, but you got to start somewhere.

There was a whole lot to complain about, but a lot of things to shine upon as well.  It’s only the second game of the season; the early season problems will work themselves out in time.  But for the love of God, PLEASE REBOUND THE DAMN BALL. That is what lost us the game plain and simple!! We can’t allow so many offensive rebounds and second-chance points.  I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t stress this enough. Learn to rebound the ball and we’ll be okay.  And God, I pray Marcus and Kelly come back soon.  Like, real soon. Please answer my prayers, God.

Also, two games into the season and still no sign of James Young.  I bet if RJ Hunter was on the team we’d be 2-0.  Just saying.  I miss you RJ.

Two games down, 80 to go.  On to Charlotte.  #1-1.  #AllAbout18

 

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