It was a great season for the Boston Celtics and the future looks really bright.
The team had many great moments this season as they earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but there were also some down times as well.
Both the list of top five moments and this one were very hard to put together, but for different reasons. The top moments list was difficult because there was so much material to choose from while here you have to really dig deep and look for the bad times.
Loss to Boogie-less Kings
One of the best moments of the Celtics season – as seen in the top moments piece – was when the fans got to say goodbye to Paul Pierce while the team on the floor dominated a good Clippers team to extend their win streak to a season high seven games. That would end the next time out when they took on a Sacramento Kings team playing without DeMarcus Cousins, who was serving a one game suspension in this one. Boston hit first and was leading by nine points after one quarter, but the lead quickly vanished as the Kings coasted to a 16 point victory. Isaiah Thomas was 3-for-5 from the floor in that first quarter but he went just 3-for-11 the rest of the way as most of his teammates around him struggles as well. Amir Johnson might have been the lone bright spot for the Celtics in this one, scoring 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting to go along with six rebounds, three steals and an assist.
Raptors beat Celtics coming out of break
The Toronto Raptors made some waves at the deadline by acquiring Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, leaving many Celtics fans who wanted to see their team make moves to feel a little bit jealous. This jealousy shifted to a brief period of anger when Ibaka scored 15 points and Tucker added nine off the bench to help will the Raptors to victory behind DeMar DeRozan’s stellar 43 point effort. Isaiah Thomas only scored 20 points on 6-for-17 shooting as he looked shook after taking a hard foul from Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll late in the second quarter with Boston leading by 11. Thomas would charge Carroll and put a finger in his face, leading to both players getting fined. He went on to have a really bad second half as the Celtics blew their lead. Luckily, Ainge wound up looking like the smartest guy in the room once again when the Celtics wound up with the top seed in the Eastern Conference and made a deeper playoff run then the Raptors.
Hawks get under Celtics skin
Boston dropped two of three coming out of the All-Star break and the heat really started to pick up for not making any moves at the deadline, while Thomas once again completely folded after taking a hard foul. Just days removed vanishing after getting hip checked by Carroll in transition, Hawks center Dwight Howard grabbed a driving Thomas by the neck in the second quarter of a tie game and by Thomas wound up scoring under 20 points that night for the first time since November 18th (this game was played on February 27th for the record). He did put on a “tough guy act” and try to say something to Howard on the floor after it happened, but it was just hard to watch the team’s star player disappear twice after putting on this act twice in the same week.
The funeral game
This was a flat out embarrassment and it came at the worst possible time too. Boston rolled into this one having lost two games in a row, one of them at home against the lackluster New York Knicks and the other one coming against the Portland Trail Blazers. Beating a good team on the road was just what the Celtics needed in order to get their season back on track and with the Wizards deciding to dress up in all black for “the Celtics funeral” it was going to make this win even sweeter. The problem is, it didn’t go that way. Boston lost 123-108 and found themselves trailing from the very beginning of action. Bradley Beal scored 31 points, John Wall 27 and Markieff Morris added 19 as the Celtics never really had a chance in this one. Adding this on top of the team’s current losing streak easily made this game the low point of the regular season.
The second funeral game
So the Wizards showed up the Celtics by dressing up in all black for a regular season game and backed it up with a dominating win. The Celtics tried to get cute and do the same thing before game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but they weren’t able to back up their talk as John Wall sunk a go-ahead three pointer in the final seconds to put Washington ahead for good. That original funeral game would have been completely forgotten about if Boston was able to eliminate the Wizards on their home floor while playing dress up like that, but now it just looks stupid that you weren’t able to back up your actions by losing. The saddest thing about this entire affair was probably the fact that Isaiah Thomas went to the podium and flat out denied that this is what the Celtics were even doing, trying to tell the press that it was a coincidence that all 15 players on the roster showed up wearing all black.