The Celtics fell hard on Sunday to the Pistons as they traveled to Detroit for their fourth game in five days. Greg Monroe was a beast as he recorded 20 points and 13 rebounds en route to a 103-83 win over Boston. It was simply one of those nights when almost nothing goes well for a team. Detroit was able to grab the upper hand in almost every category. The Pistons were plus nine in rebounds, had 11 more assists, shot 13% better from three-point land, and finished 54% from the field compared to Boston’s 45%.
If there is one thing that continues to benefit the Celtics it is Rajon Rondo; he finished with 10 dimes, but the entire rest of the team only recorded two. Despite the fact that Rondo has the ball in his hands more than any other player in the league, only two assists for the rest of the team will hardly ever result in a win. Rondo has now recorded his double-digit assists numbers in 34 consecutive games as he continues to chase John Stockton who holds the second longest assist streak at 37 games.
Even though the Celtics are coming off of a loss, they have won four of their last six games and beating quality opponents such as the Bucks and Bulls on the road and the Jazz at home. But their schedule is about to get a lot tougher as they will host the Spurs, Thunder, Nets, and Blazers in their next four home games.
Boston has looked like the team of old at times, and they have also looked like a team that has no chance at another title run. Jared Sullinger is improving quite well during his rookie campaign but is not the consistent post-player the Celtics need to be playing 30 minutes in a game right now. Sunday against the Pistons he recorded a season high 16 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes. Not a bad game, the only problem is that he was the team’s leading scorer. Sullinger is only averaging just over four rebounds this season, and even though his minutes have been inconsistent the Celtics are badly in need of improved rebounding.
Jason Terry was brought to the Celtics to replace Ray Allen. With all his talk over the offseason about wanting to destroy the Heat and Lakers he was a player to keep an eye on. Unfortunately, he has been somewhat disappointing. The 35 year old guard has recently moved into the starting lineup and has seen his minutes increased, but the feeling is that this is coming from Doc Rivers as a move to change things up, and not because he is playing extremely well. Terry is averaging 11 points so far, but has been very up and down. On Saturday he had a season high 20 points connecting on four three-point shots, but just the next day followed up with only five points on one of six shooting. Terry primarily brings this team scoring as he has only managed to grab more than three rebounds and dish out more than three assists in one game so far this year.
It is not time to panic in Boston, but there must be some sort of concern. The rumors about a potential Kenyon Martin signing continue to churn and my only question is why has this not already happened? Of course, Martin is well passed the prime of his career, but if they are not going to employ his rebounding abilities and toughness then who are they going to turn to? They can play small-ball with Jeff Green and hope that Chris Wilcox can bring them some of the intangibles that they lack, but in the long-run this team is in need of something.
Wednesday Night the Celtics will look to get a big win against San Antonio, and Friday they will take on Oklahoma City.