By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — There’s not much to say about the Boston Celtics anymore. They are, regrettably, a massive disappointment.READ MORE: It's Time To 'Move On' From Outdoor Mask Mandates, Infectious Disease Doctor Says
It’s to the point where even if the Celtics had been able to win handily against the sub-.500 Hawks, it wouldn’t have been a moment worth celebrating. It would simply have been the Celtics doing what they’re supposed to do.
Yet they couldn’t even do that.
And not only did the Celtics lose, they set some ugly history in the process of their ugly 127-112 defeat.
The Celtics allowed the Hawks to hit 23 of their 42 3-pointers. Those 23 makes were the most for a Celtics opponent … ever.
Considering the Celtics franchise has been playing basketball for several years, that’s not great news for the 2021 version of the team.
Most 3's Vs. Boston – NBA history
23 – ATLANTA – Feb. 24, 2021
22 – LA Lakers – Feb. 7, 2019
21 – Houston – Mar. 3, 2019
21 – Brooklyn – Nov. 27, 2019
20 – Golden State – Apr. 1, 2016
(Quirky fact…Rondo played in both of the top two games)
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) February 25, 2021
In this one, Danilo Gallinari did the bulk of the damage, draining a ridiculous 10 of his 12 shots from behind the arc. Trae Young hit five of his 11 attempts, Tony Snell was 4-for-6, and John Collins was 2-for-5.
Danilo Gallinari currently has 9 3-pointers in a game vs the Celtics tonight, the most through the first 3 quarters of a game by a bench player in NBA history.READ MORE: Boston Police Arrest Uber Driver Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Woman
Also, his 9 three-pointers tonight are tied for the Hawks single-game record for three-point makes. pic.twitter.com/Zh9se4cWlr
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 25, 2021
“We didn’t come with it today, and that’s disappointing on all of us, because we don’t have time to relax,” Jayson Tatum said after the loss. “I think we have to take some accountability. I have to take some accountability, as one of the leaders and being that guy. I have to be better, be more vocal out there, kind of be the example, especially knowing that we just lost two tough games, playing a back-to-back.”
Outside of the threes allowed … this also happened.
— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) February 25, 2021
It was grisly.
The loss was Boston’s third straight, dropping the Celtics to 15-17 on the season, mired in a three-way tie for eighth place in the East. Head coach Brad Stevens may not have all the answers, but he indicated that the road back to winning starts with some simple and straightforward measures.
“I have had my moments, let’s put it that way. That being said, I think this team looks like right now it’s balancing playing unconfidently and unsure with the fact that we’ve had a couple that slipped away,” Stevens said. “And so the only way I know to get that back is to dive on the floor, is to take charges, is to sprint to help your teammates up, is to fight for every single possession. And that’s our charge. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that, but it’ll be said in whatever way it needs to be said, and we just need to make sure that we’re doing our job.”
Stevens continued: “Listen, none of us are happy with the job that we have done, and I should be first and foremost on that list with where we are. That said, I also realize that we’re in a situation where we have a lot of guys going through it for the first time, and there is a confidence to winning that you gain from earning winning. And we have a lot of guys that haven’t done that, and we have some that have. And, you know, we’ll make sure that we do everything we can to earn that confidence with our work.”
The Celtics have four games remaining before the All-Star break, all of which will be played in Boston. The Celtics have redefined their rock bottom several times just in the past few weeks. First, it was back-to-back losses to Detroit and Washington. Then it was a loss to the Hawks. On Sunday, it was the blown 24-point lead in the overtime loss to the Pelicans. They followed that up by getting Luka’d at the buzzer in Dallas, which led right into the historically poor defensive performance in Atlanta.MORE NEWS: GoFundMe Pages For Pembroke Crash Victims Raise Over $200,000
It’s been bad. Real bad. And in the larger picture of the Celtics being a contender in the East this year, it’s probably beyond repair. But in the short term, Stevens and the Celtics have to at least hope that allowing 23 threes from a team that’s averaged roughly half that number this season does indeed represent the last and final version of rock bottom. It’s all simply tough to watch.