The Celtics have become a stay-in-your-own-yard team. They have been beating up on the sub-.500 opponents, but another painful late-game fade has left them just 2-6 against those from the NBA’s higher rent district.
And it’s clear after last night’s 99-96 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder — coming, as it did, on the heels of Friday’s fold against Toronto — just how badly the C’s would like to break the chain and run with the bigger dogs.
“Words can’t even explain it at this point,” said Marcus Smart, whose rushed 3-pointer to tie at the buzzer caught only iron. “We’ve been in too many situations like this, and it’s got to stop. We played good for three quarters, first half, and then a goose egg in the fourth and we let teams come back and take over the game on us.”
The Celts squandered a 14-point lead against the Raptors and dispensed with a 13-point advantage against the Thunder. Another potential big win dissolved in 1-for-8 shooting down the stretch, as the Thunder won the last minute-plus, 7-2.
Quick Take: Despite their unimpressive start, the Celtics have the 6th best record in the East, but are just one game behind the Hornets, who are the East 3-seed right now. So, a quick leap in the standings is a very realistic goal.