Rapid Recap: Celtics’ mid-game mistakes cost them close game vs. Pacers

NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers

After one of the best Celtics season openers I can remember and one of the most disappointing Christmas games, I was hoping for middle ground. A sign of consistency—a clearer indication of who this 2020-21 squad really is. At the end of this contest vs. the Indiana Pacers, I don’t have that, which is fine, but also the Celtics lost 108-107, which sucked.

Despite a machine-gun offense to start the game, predictably strong performances from Jayson Tatum (25-11-5 plus a block) and Jaylen Brown (18-2-4-2-1 on 62% shooting) and a solid rally at the end, overall execution wasn’t there in the second and third quarters. Turnovers galore (7 of them in Q1 alone en route to 18 for the game), inconsistent defense, over-elaborate lineup experiments and Boston’s shallowness at guard are all things bound to kill you against a well-rounded Indiana squad. Read on for highlights, jokes and, as always, real-time fan and media reactions:

Opening minutes were all Jaylen, all the time.


Tristan Thompson flexed his muscle against the questionable interior defense of the Pacers:

It wasn’t all gravy: The Cs’ had their 12-2 run followed up not longer after by a 10-2 run against them and turnovers were a big reason why:

Agony vs. ecstasy:

Second quarter was no cakewalk (like the waning minutes of Q1):

But not without its pleasures:

We’ll talk about this in more detail in the next installment of RATIONAL THOUGHTS tomorrow, but Pritch being a HABITUAL LINE-STEPPER was not great:

Q2 kinda turned into a low-key battle between Pritch and the Pacers’ Doug McDermott (in terms of both wanting it to be White-Boy Day for them and them alone):

(Your reminder to watch/rewatch True Romance next time you get a chance. Script holds up even if the fashion don’t!)

I’ll back both Mikes on this. In fact, it’s why the Pacers were able to sneak in and steal a lead at the top of Q3:

When you face Indiana you expect to get smacked around by Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren. Doug McDermott and Justin Holiday being in on the humiliation is…less fun.

On the other hand, Timelord had his best game of the season thus far, and GRANT had moments:

And if things couldn’t get worse, apparently this is at least partially John’s fault.



C got back to themselves in Q4, but too much too late:


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