Lately the TD Garden has become home-not-so-sweet-home for the Beantown Boys. The C’s have blown double-digit leads in a number of their recent home games. In fact, they have been out-scored on average by nine points in the second half of their last seven games. Against the Hawks on New Year’s Eve, it proved to be another Boston letdown.
Again, Boston ran out to a big lead, 18 points to be exact, and had the Hawks on their heels before loosing their grip on yet another home game. Atlanta rode the jersey-tail of off-season free agent acquisition, Paul Millsap, to the tune of 34 points and 15 rebounds.
Return to the “Clinic”
Rookie Kelly Olynyk put on a clinic by blasting off the bench to stuff his stat sheet with 21 points; he managed to wipe the glass 4x (rebounds); served up 5 dishes (assists); put his hand in the cookie jar 1x (steal); swatted (blocks) 2 shots. That’s not a bad night’s work for a bad night. Kris Humphries showed his Celtic pride by putting up a cool double-double while all of the C’s starters scored less than ten points.
When it was all said and done, the C’s still had a chance to win but JC’s last second jumper hit the opposite side of the rim and bounced off.
The Celtics have shown the fire-power early in games to distance themselves from their opponents but not the fortitude during those tough stretches to close them out. As the New Year rolls in and the season wears on, perhaps some of these players (veterans besides JC) will look back at all these games that they let slip away and realized that they could have stepped up and really made this past year something to celebrate.