Boston Celtics: Takeaways from Loss to Mavericks

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Quick Start…Sluggish Finish

Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics came out and established a pace that the Mavericks could not keep up with. Boston outscored Dallas 31-16 in the first quarter. The Mavericks struggled with their rotations and looked dazed on defense as the Celtics blew past them. Boston eventually stretched their lead to 18, but saw it cut in half by halftime.

For the remainder of the game the Celtics looked out of sync and their pace slowed down. Dallas did a better job in the second half of harassing Boston’s players as soon as they brought the ball past half court, which made it difficult for the Celtics to get the shots they wanted.

Boston’s change of pace easily could have stemmed from other sources. Whether it was because this was Boston’s third game in four nights or rather because of the plethora fouls that the officials called, the game slowed down and put the Celtics at a disadvantage.

Another problem was that Boston’s defense slipped. Players were slow to rotate over on defense and this gave the Mavs open looks in the corner, which they took advantage of too often.

The Celtics also struggled with their scoring in the fourth quarter. The Mavs outscored the Celtics 18-8 before Crowder’s quick five points kept Boston’s hopes alive.

Next: Takeaway #2