When two teams combine to shoot 37.6% from the field, there’s a good chance the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic provided one of the worst game of the season, which is expected from both teams considering their aspirations and quality of players this season. The Celtics still won, barely, 91-89, making it two in a row.
With the game tied at 75 and just over 7 minutes left in the game, the Celtics managed to just slightly pull away and keep ahead for the rest of the game. It came down to some clutch free throws from Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley to keep the Celtics in the lead and improve to 2-3.
Brad Stevens continues to give Vitor Faverani the starting spot, this time playing 17 minutes, hoping he gives his first unit an edge on defense. Kelly Olynyk came off the bench once again, scoring 8 points and adding 6 rebounds. It didn’t work for Gerald Wallace, who might turn into a frustrated man once more after scoring only 2 points with the Celtics playing their worst basketball while he was on the floor.
One thing that rang true about the Celtics’ win was Brad Stevens said after the game, which sorta makes it seem like no one is getting too optimistic about their last couple of victories.
We talked before about making winning plays in winning time, and we did. That was neat. Overall, I’m very pleased with the result but we still have a lot to work on. We’re not that much different than if we wouldn’t have won the game.
And that’s probably the right way to think about it. The Celtics shot 35.8% from the field, and they didn’t really force 20 turnovers on the Orlando Magic, who simply played terribly, without much help from a C’s defense that isn’t that special at this point, and probably won’t be with this group of players.
Rebuilding seasons are about searching through the vastness of mediocrity and pick out those you want to go to battle with in the years to come. The Boston Celtics keep changing lineup and rotations because this team is still a huge unknown, with very few players the front office is quite sure of when it comes to next season. Avery Bradley is probably in, and so are Kelly Olynyk and Jeff Green. The rest? Some are like Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace, who the Celtics will get rid of the moment they can, and others are just question marks, and probably filling a bigger role than they should be if it was a team with bigger goals on their mind.
About the basketball being bad? That’s going to be the case for most of this season, especially from Boston. Orlando have the capability to put on strong offensive shows against the right kind of team and when things click for them. The Celtics? Until Rajon Rondo gets back, things will continue to look pretty jumbled on the floor for them, and any win, no matter against what rival, will look like a huge surprise.