I took the train to South Station yesterday because I had tickets to the home opener (As you all should know if you follow our SnapChat story BostonBenchMob). Coming off the loss to Cleveland on Tuesday night you bet your ass I was excited to get into the city and welcome the boys home after what had to have been the shittiest post-loss flight back to Boston since the 2010 NBA Finals.
The Celtics began the night with the usual opening night festivities. T-Shirts on every single seat, fire being shot out of metal fixtures during the lineup announcements, and one hell of a live crowd. It was electric.
Following the starting lineups, where the Celtics did give an introduction to Gordon Hayward prompting the crowd to explode, Marcus Smart came to center court to say a few words. I expected him to say the usual filler stuff, but then the coolest moment of the night happened.
Gordon Hayward addressing the fans and his teammates from his hospital bed. Outside of the shitty video quality seen above, this was awesome. The crowd went INSANE when he came onto the screen, and then eerily silent during the entire time he spoke. It was seriously more quiet in the crowd during that clip than the anthem itself. This was a great moment.
Then the game… The damn game, holy shit was this frustrating. One of the more frustrating games I’ve seen a Brad Stevens’ coached team play. Mainly because it’s a game that they had in their hands and pissed it away by being sloppy.
Players were literally running into each other on offense. At one point, Marcus Smart and Semi Ojeleye were on the same side of the court running the same exact cut. Jesus Christ. On top of that, Kyrie was forcing shots and was an abysmal 7-25 from the field. He had two defenders in his shorts all night long. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics in scoring again and put another solid effort in but fouled out late in the 4th.
The Celtics lost last night because they just couldn’t stretch the lead whenever they had it late in the game. The ball stuck in Marcus Smart’s hands on a few possessions causing him to throw a missile into the backboard as the shot clock expired and the offense just looked stagnant despite shooting a lot better from the floor. That was happening when he wasn’t almost murdering Bucks guard Matthew Dellevedova.
What killed them last night though? Two things… Free throws and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Celtics shot 11-21 from the free throw line… that is ATROCIOUS and unlike them. That showing from the line is Patriots’ defense frustrating. Shooting like that from the line will decide a game, and the Celtics lost by 8.
Then it was the Giannis show. This guy is a stud and I was excited to see him play live. He didn’t disappoint and if you are just a fan of the game of basketball it is impossible to not marvel at this kid. 37 points 13 rebounds 3 assists and 3 steals oh my goodness gracious.
This is the point in this post I remind you that no matter how much good Danny Ainge does, he still drafted Kelly Olynyk over Giannis Antetokounmpo
Pair those two things together, and add a side of jetlag on the second night of a back-to-back and you have the 0-2 Celtics. But again I tell you EVERYTHING IS FINE and the Celtics will get their shit together. With Hayward out, people have to understand that the Celtics have to scrap A LOT of their pre-season sets that were designed around Gordon being in the lineup. It’s going to take a bit, so stop worrying. Brad Stevens is a young Greg Popovich and he will figure this out. Kyrie is rarely going to shoot that poorly and the talent on this team will come together.
EVERYONE CONTINUE TO KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE
*Rocks back and forth in chair praying*