Not much is going right for the Celtics in the first week of the season, but they get to head home where they will play nine of their next 11 games.
Here are some Ups and Downs from Wednesday night’s loss.
Greg Stiemsma: The rookie played great in his NBA debut, blocking six shots in 20 minutes on the floor. The Celtics did not play great interior defense, but Stiemsma was the lone bright spot on defense.
Out of Gas: The Celtics looked tired in their third game in four nights. After taking a 9-2 lead early, the Hornets went on a 22-9 run to take control. Boston couldn’t pull close as they had the previous two games, and had just 10 fast break points. The Celtics better get used to a heavy workload, because they have another three-in-four coming up, and 15 on the season.
Not Much From Bench: With a back-to-back, Doc Rivers turned to his bench but did not get much in return. Brandon Bass was just 4-for-13 from the field (10 points) with Marquis Daniels adding just six points in 25 minutes.
Nothing Down Low: The Hornets had a field day in the paint, outscoring Boston 46-24. The Celtics starting front court of Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal had just 10 points while NO’s Emeka Okafor, Carl Landry and Chris Kaman combined for 45. Garnett had just eight points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes, going 4-for-10 from the field. There was also little by way of rebounding from any of the C’s big men, with New Orleans hauling in 48 boards (13 offensive) to Boston’s 37.
Settling On Offense: Boston did not attack the basket, settling for long jumpers. Early foul trouble didn’t help matters, as both Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo spent time on the bench in the first half. The Celtics didn’t shoot their first free throws until 4:04 left in the second quarter, and only hit the charity stripe 18 times. Boston shot just 33-percent in the first half and 37-percent for the game.
The good news is the Celtics return home and will likely get Paul Pierce and Chris Wilcox back on Friday against Detroit.