On one side, the Boston Celtics – a team bound towards the playoffs, with an excellent defense since the return of Avery Bradley, and a hall of famer in Kevin Garnett, still playing, most of the time at a very high level. On the other end, the worst team in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats.
And the Bobcats, losing their last 10 games, and winning only six of their last 51, come up with the win. Not just a win, but a humiliating, ego-bruising, 100-74 destruction of the Celtics, who have this tendency to fluctuate between a team that looks good enough to beat anyone, including the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder (which they have) when everything goes their way. But there’s not that much talent there – it’s mostly a matter of focus and effort, and when you rely on that, eventually you’re going to have bad nights. It was Charlotte’s biggest margin of victory since beating the Miami Heat 104-65 on Jan. 20, 2010.
Boston joins Minnesota, Orlando and Washington as the only teams to drop multiple games to the Bobcats this season. Of their 14 wins in the 2012-2013 season, only four others have come against playoff teams – beating the Pacers, Bucks, Bulls and now the Celtics, again.
They were so much more competitive than us the entire night and I thought it felt like we had a Band-Aid on a dam the first half and then it came off and blew us open.
When it comes down to it, that’s where the Celtics strength resides this season – playing harder than the other team, because if you do this by basketball talent, they might not be one of the top 16 teams in the league. With Paul Pierce taking a night off, it’s still surprising to see them look this bad.
What I was thinking was that I wish I would have given Kevin a night off too, in the middle of the game. That would have been terrific. Then we would have had two guys that had gotten some rest.
This is the NBA after all. An 82-game season, a league where you lose some games almost on purpose, heading into them knowing you’re taking a loss because you need to give some stars, especially the aging ones, some rest.
I don’t know if there’s something special being built in Charlotte. By the way their front office is behaving it’s impossible to tell of a certain direction or thought process. It didn’t matter, not for one night at least, when 15,000 fans got to see a rare home win; the Bobcats are 8-24 this season at home. Gerald Henderson went off for a wild 35 point night, making 11-19 from the field, usually averaging 13.8 points per game and shooting just over 43% from the field.
I was just trying to be aggressive from the start and just attack. We got into a groove in the first quarter and just kept it going.
It was a career high for Henderson, supported by 17 points from Ben Gordon off the bench. Henderson is going to be a free agent in a couple of months, but it’s not looking like a contract year when you see it in light of previous seasons. It’s hard to judge anything objectively when it comes to the Bobcats, a very young team (never seems to change), and ranked last or near that in most categories. That is what makes their big win so unique, so special, but also something they probably can’t really build upon.