The Celtics have opened the 2004-05 season with two close losses at home. Last night, they dropped a 100-94 decision to the Indiana Pacers, which went much like the 98-95 loss to Philadelphia Wednesday night.
Against the 76ers, the Celtics scored only 12 points in the final quarter. Last night, the Celtics
entered the fourth quarter tied with the Pacers at 68, but Indiana made
the big plays at the end. Either the Green are making too many mistakes
or they aren't playing a full 48 minutes. Take your pick.
"It's going to take some time for the team to come together, but hopefully we won't take too much time," said Celtics
forward Walter McCarty, who had a difficult evening, shooting 1 of 5
for 2 points in 15 minutes off the bench. "We've played two really good
teams, and the reason we lost is that we've beaten ourselves. Losing
when you beat yourself against two of the best in the league is not a
bad thing. We just need to get ready for [tonight] against the Knicks
[in New York]. We need to stay focused for four quarters."
Celtics point guard Gary Payton played well, with 14 points and 10 assists in 38 minutes, but the Celtics were outscored, 32-26, in the final quarter.
been playing great the first three quarters, then slowing up for the
fourth quarter," Payton said. "We've stopped playing in the fourth two
times in a row. We've got to stop arguing with the [officials] for calls
and play. Look at Indiana, they played and played and played.
only real negative so far is that we're losing on our home court. We
should never do that. The best thing we can do now is come out and win
in New York. If we play four quarters instead of three, we'll be fine.
We have a lot of young guys on this team who have to understand that we
can't play 40 or 44 minutes. We have to play 48. We've got to understand
"It's going to take
some time to get this young team together, but I don't want to lose too
many games doing it. And, we can't keep losing home games. We have to
put a whole game together."
forward Ron Artest got the job done for the Pacers, who are 2-0 on the
season. He has been nursing a sore knee, but that didn't stop him from
scoring 28 points and earning the praise of his coach.
was a load out there," said Rick Carlisle. "He's really tough to deal
with. He did a good job of picking his spots. He always plays Paul
Pierce tough. He's one of the really terrific one-on-one players in the
league, and he keeps getting better and better without the ball, too.
One of the keys to beating Boston is you've got to be able to outrebound
them" - and the Pacers did, by a wide margin (52-31) - "and I thought
we did a good job on the boards.
never surprised at the good things that can happen when you're a team
that sticks together, plays hard, and plays unselfish, and commits at
the defensive end. That's what the first two games [including a
double-overtime win over Cleveland Wednesday] have been about for us."