By: Danny Kramer — School Sports Editor
The Boston Celtics remain defeated at home as Bulls forward Demar DeRozan’s 37 points helped the Bulls overcome a 19 point deficit in the second half and improve their record to 6-1. The Celtics fall to 2-5 in a truly awful 128-114 as turmoil starts to brew in the locker room.
The Celtics had run up the score to 96-77 with a little over two minutes left in the third quarter, as guard Jaylen Brown’s 11 third-quarter points seemed to have put the game away—a solid win for a struggling Boston team. However, a 23-8 run by Chicago that ended early in the fourth quarter would trim the Celtics lead to two, and would shortly leave Boston with a one-point deficit that left Celtics fans scrambling for answers.
It looked as if the Celtics had shown the adversity that fans have been impatiently waiting to see, as the Bulls started the game off hitting five straight threes and had fans thinking “Here we go again”.
The Celtics won the first three quarters, giving Boston a 14 point lead heading into the fourth quarter where the Celtics would lose the quarter 39-11. A 28 point fourth-quarter collapse that left shaking your head seemed like the only thing you could do as a Celtics fan.
Celtics forwards Jayson Tatum and Al Horford both had 20 points, Brown ended with 28, and guard Marcus Smart finished with a respectable 16 points. Looking at the box score, the starters once again did their job, so where did it all go wrong?
With Smart back in the starting lineup, guard Dennis Schröder moved back to the bench where he still put up 13 points, but without his 13, the Celtics bench would have only contributed 11 of Boston’s 114 points. The Celtics’ lack of bench scoring is a problem that is not getting enough attention as the fans would rather blame one of, or both young superstars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum now that Brad Stevens is no longer on the sideline.
Last season, former Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was always the scapegoat for these collapses, but with him out as the head coach, Celtics fans somewhat humorously seem to be debating about who their next scapegoat should be.
Smart spoke to the media and made critical comments about the lack of ball movement in late-game situations. “When we’re running plays for our best players, every team knows that, they do a good job of shutting that down,” said Smart.
The Celtics faithful who are looking to put the blame on Brown or Tatum decided to decipher this as Smart saying that Tatum and Brown are too ball-dominant and it is their fault for the loss. It is more likely Smart is complaining about the sets that Udoka has set up to get the ball to Brown or Tatum as well as the failure for the stars to pass up the shot when it is not there.
Brown and Tatum were slated to speak to the media, but after Smart’s comments, they declined to answer questions.
The Celtics’ locker room is in a dangerous state right now but winning has been known to solve everything, and the Celtics have a good opportunity to start winning against the 2-6 Orlando Magic on Wednesday.