It was all going so well for the Boston Celtics, finally back at .500 for the season, and leading the Cleveland Cavaliers by 14 points at half-time. Then came the Cavaliers’ resurgence, and the Celtics were unable to match their opponent’s intensity down the stretch, ultimately falling to an 89-91 defeat.
The Celtics now sit at 6-7, a record befitting their current struggles at both scoring the ball and protecting their lead. Interestingly, the Cavaliers, a team many consider to admit a rebuild, have won 9 of their 14 games thus far, but possess none of the star power that resides on the Celtics roster.
Dropping games against the league’s better teams is one thing, but we’re early in the season, and the Celtics already have two losses to the Washington Wizards, a mauling at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, and now a collapse against the Cavaliers, that mimics their fall from grace against the Chicago Bulls earlier in November.
Granted, the Cavaliers game was played without Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, and came on the second night of a back-to-back, in which the team went into overtime against the Milwaukee Bucks on the night before. But, Celtics Twitter were unimpressed by the manner of the team’s defeat, a sentiment likely shared by fans across all social media platforms, and the world over.
Celtics Twitter Was Seething
Twitter is an echo chamber, where even the smallest voices can become the loudest critic, and NBA Twitter leads the way in terms of gauging fan opinions in real-time. So, naturally, when your team surrenders a lead, against a team everyone expects you to beat, opinions start flying.
“Seriously?! That was a garbage last play for the Celtics. I hate iso finishes to the game,” Twitter user CM1661 wrote.
“All the celts have been running this season are iso plays, there’s no off ball movement, screen and go’s. Nothing, just iso and missed open shots,” GOAT_iverson03 tweeted.
“Brutal loss for the Celtics,” Adam Kaufmann wrote on Twitter.
Celtics Struggling to Maintain Leads
A collapse against the Cavaliers could be easier to stomach if it was the first time the Celtics had surrendered a lead this season, especially when factoring in their overtime win against the Bucks just 24 hours prior. However, we’ve seen the Celtics surrender leads in most games this season, luckily they’ve still managed to win some of them when going to overtime.
“It’s just us being fed up with it, and that’s the point where we are. We’re still learning each other day today, but these slip-ups, this s*** can’t happen no more, obviously, we fight for something bigger than one game. We’ve gotta put a stop to it,” Robert Williams told the media after the game, as he recalled the Celtics taking their foot off the peddle against the Bucks just one night earlier, too.
Dennis Schroder also spoke about the Celtics’ struggles when holding a lead over their opponents, noting the NBA is a “game of runs.”
“It’s the NBA, everybody makes runs. We made a run, that’s the reason we were up by 19, then they made a run. It’s about runs in the NBA, and how you respond, they did a great job tonight, give them props and keep it moving. We can’t take it back, so end of the day we’re going to watch the film, get better, and try to get the next one on Monday.”
The Celtics will get an immediate opportunity to avenge their loss against Cleveland, as they face-off again on Monday, November 15th. With a day’s rest between the two games, and Al Horford likely being back in the rotation, the Celtics will again be hunting a .500 record.