Celtics Notes: C’s ‘One Pass Short’ In Loss; Tayshaun Prince Makes Debut


January 19, 2015

It’s a pattern we’ve seen far too often this season.

The Boston Celtics get off to a terrible start, stage a valiant comeback, then ultimately fall just short.

That sentence could describe no fewer than five of the Celtics’ games during the second campaign of the Brad Stevens era, including Monday’s contest, in which Boston nearly erased a 23-point deficit before falling to the Los Angeles Clippers 102-93 at Staples Center.

?Obviously, you can?t be down by that much,” Stevens told reporters after the game. “We?ve been in that situation and come back on quite a few occasions this year but haven?t gotten over the hump. We had the chance to cut it I believe to two with an open three, but by then, everything has to go your way to get what you want.?

Everything did not go Boston’s way, as the C’s got next to nothing from three of their starters and — much like they did last month in a failed comeback bid in Washington — gave the bulk of the second-half minutes to the bench. Brandon Bass led the team with 17 points, and Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart and Marcus Smart joined him in double figures.

— The Celtics shot just 29.2 percent from the floor in the first half — a slow start that Stevens blamed on poor ball movement.

?We were one pass short most of the game,” he said. “We didn?t move the ball. Almost all of our baskets in the first half were assisted, and we were shooting 29 percent, which (means) we?ve got to keep getting assisted baskets. We?ve got to keep moving that thing. We?ve got to make sure that we?re finding the best shots.”

— Stevens’ squad introduced yet another new face to the fray Monday, as Tayshaun Prince made his Celtics debut. Prince is the 18th different player to suit up for the Celtics this season, and that constant revolving door has made evaluating the team as a whole difficult for its coach.

?It?s so hard to gauge the progress because of the change right now,” Stevens said. “I think we can gauge it individually, but we?re a totally different team than we were on Nov. 1 — totally different team than we were on Jan. 1. So, I think we?ll be able to gauge the collective progress probably after a month or so.”

— Austin Rivers scored the first basket of his Clippers career during the second quarter, beating Jared Sullinger with a nifty floater in the lane. Those were Rivers’ only points in the game, as he went 1-for-3 from the floor with three assists, one rebound and one steal.

Rivers joining the team his father, Doc Rivers, coaches was the story of the NBA over the weekend, but teammate Jamal Crawford says it hasn’t been a big deal in the Clippers’ locker room.

“It’s fine for us,” Crawford told CSNNE’s Abby Chin after the game. “Austin’s just another guy who’s here to help us win. If you take out the last name, he’s a player that’s good. We think he’ll help us a lot in the long run.”

— The Celtics’ road gets no easier as their six-game Western Conference road trip rolls on. They’ll enjoy two days off before visiting the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, the Denver Nuggets on Friday, the Golden State Warriors on Sunday and the Utah Jazz on Monday. That’s one tiring week.

Thumbnail photo via Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports Images

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