Employee #8 Not the Most Accurate from the Stripe


The Celtics lost to the Hornets, 102-98, last night at the FleetCenter. Forget that score. The issue is this: The Celtics are seeking advice from any person who ever has started a job and completed it. That's it.

Here's a warning: Do not be deceived by the final 19.3 seconds. David Wesley was not the reason the Celtics lost for the 11th time in 12 games. "I would never give myself that much credit," he said. "If I had made the last shot, I wouldn't say I won the game for us, either."

Rick Fox was not the reason the Celtics lost. Neither was Antoine Walker, who missed five free throws in the fourth quarter, free throws that would have given the Celtics a tie if they had been made at the 8:17 mark (87-85) and the lead if they had been made at 2:41 (92-91).

At times, the Celtics rookie makes the taxing parts of this game look routine. But the free side of the NBA has been so difficult that Walker is now leasing property in the statistical Land of Shaq.

Walker: 47 free throws made, 87 attempted, 54 percent.

O'Neal: 133 free throws made, 267 attempted, 50 percent.

"The thing that hurts me most is that I've had some big misses in the fourth quarter," Walker said. "I'm hurting the team and I'm hurting myself."

"What do we have, 58 games left? By the end of the season, I think I can be up to 78, 80 percent," Walker said.

"I work on them all the time," Walker said of his freebies. "I struggled with them a little bit in college, but never like this." He was 2 of 8 from the line last night, a stat that will make his 14 points and nine rebounds irrelevant.

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