The Celtics, with Kevin Garnett, gave it away in the end, in what could be a pretty meaningful loss when it comes down to playoff seedings at the end of the season.
After Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets, Doc Rivers told reporters, “We deserved to lose the game. We went from being a solid, just a good-looking basketball team, to showtime. I believe in the basketball gods. When you mess with the game, the game messes you up."
But that’s in the past now, and if the Celtics are going to have any hope against the two teams they play this weekend, they’ll need to forget about it.
Boston makes another trip back to Texas where the Mavericks await Friday night. Dallas is having a down year after their hopes for Deron Williams were dashed once he chose to move to Brooklyn with the Nets over the Mavs.
Dirk Nowitzki also missed the start of the season, putting Dallas in a hole that it could never could climb out of.
But that doesn’t mean the Mavs aren’t dangerous. The C’s narrowly escaped them in OT without Nowitzki earlier this season, and while their playoff hopes are hovering around slim to none, there’s still a lot of pride on that squad.
Nowitzki will play in his 39th game of the season tonight, averaging 16.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Guard O.J. Mayo has led the team offensively most of the year, averaging 16.8 points.
But the trip gets even harder the next night. Boston will finish off its three-game trip in Memphis, where the Grizzlies have won 16 of their last 19 games, including a thrilling OT win over the Thunder Wednesday night.
Many thought the Griz took a step back when they unloaded Rudy Gay to the Raptors, but Memphis has weathered the storm and has gone 17-6 since the trade. They were the No. 3 team in the West as of Thursday.
For Boston to hang with Memphis, they’ll have to be very physical. Memphis is an in-you-face team, from power forward Zach Randolph to former Celtic Tony Allen.
Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass will have their hands full in this one, as it’s yet another tough test for the C’s.
Boston will have no choice but to play a full 60 minutes this time.