The 2019 Clover Report: Week 18
Well, thank god for the All-Star Break because the Boston Celtics needed it.
Let’s recap this week. The week started off with the trade deadline passing and the Celtics hosting their arch rivals, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. It was the first time the Celtics would face the Lakers this year and the first time the Celtics faced LeBron since Game 7 of the East Finals.
The game was an absolute classic as the teams went back and forth throughout the entire fourth quarter.
Kyrie, who had a tough night shooting, put the Celtics up by one with 15 seconds to go. But it was the Lakers who won as former Celtic Rajon Rondo hit the game winning shot as time expired.
The Lakers saved their season with the 129-128 win. Overall, this was a bad loss but Kyrie had a bad game and the Lakers hit a franchise high 22 three pointers. So maybe you just chalk that up to good luck. That would have been a good excuse but then Saturday night happened.
The Celtics hosted the new look Los Angeles Clippers and jumped on them early. They held a 28 point lead and led 74–53 at the half.
Kyrie injured himself so he sat the second half.
But still, a 21 point lead at home should be safe right? WRONG! The Clippers outscored the Celtics 70–38 in the second half and won 123–111.
An utter collapse by the Celtics and by far the worst loss of the season. If you’re counting, that’s at least the fifth unforgivable loss of the year. We thought the Celtics were past this but they clearly are not.
Next up, the Celtics had to pick up the pieces and face off against division rival the Philadelphia 76ers.
Irving did not play as that sprained knee continued to bother him. In what was one of the most important games of the year, the Celtics someway somehow upset the new look 76ers and won 112–109. Gordon Hayward had his best game of the year as he shot 6 of 7 from 3 and finished with a game-high 26 points. This win was even more significant for Boston as they clinched the tie-breaker over Philly for playoff standing. It was an overall fantastic effort by the team.
In the last game before the All-Star Break, the Celtics were back home to host the Detroit Pistons. Despite a slow start, the Celtics blew past the Pistons in the third quarter and won 118-110. It was a total team effort as six players finished in double digits. But it was Al Horford who stood out with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists.
So the Celtics have reached the All-Star Break and they find themselves fourth in the Eastern Conference. They could have been higher but considering all of the drama this team has had to deal with, I’ll take it. The week off will help the team regroup, get healthy, and get ready for the stretch run. 37–21.
Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)