The Boston Celtics winning streak came to an end after an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last night. Despite being the better team on the night, the Celtics lost out because of two recurring issues with the makeup of the roster.
Ray Allen's put-back attempt as time expired in overtime was blocked by Pau Gasol at the rim which moved the Celtics record to 14-11 on the season. In reality however, the Celtics should never have even gone to overtime.
Both teams shot the ball around 39 percent but the Celtics were much better from the three point line with 31.6 percent to the Lakers' measly 6.7 percent. The Celtics didn't miss a free throw as the Lakers were at 75 percent for the game.
Percentages don't matter however when one team has 10 more rebounds and 15 extra free throw attempts.
Neither of these rosters are overwhelmingly athletic, but the Lakers had the mismatch advantage with Andrew Bynum inside. Bynum had a dominant game with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Bynum, along with Kobe Bryant and Matt Barnes, drew at least three shooting fouls called on them each.
Considering the Celtics had three shooting fouls on their whole team, that says a huge amount about how the Celtics continue to play the game.
You cannot blame Ray Allen and Paul Pierce for settling for jump-shots with their accuracy from outside, however getting easy field goals and points in the paint is the goal of any offense. With Jermaine O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Michael Pietrus also heavily involved, the Celtics have no players looking to attack the rim.
Of the whole roster only Rajon Rondo can really beat defenders and force layups. However Rondo's inability to shoot from distance makes it more difficult for him to get by defenders as they don't respect the outside shot.
Right now, the Celtics are playing like the Magic of the past few years. Except that they do not have an interior presence to dominate the paint like Dwight Howard. The idea that Kevin Garnett can rotate as a center is flawed.
Garnett may be able to hold down the fort against the weaker teams in the league, but when players like Bynum, Howard, Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler come up in the playoffs, the Celtics will have to work very hard to win basketball games.
Much has been made of Paul Pierce's revival of the Celtics' roster. The reality is the Celtics have reawakened themselves from a slumber that would have landed them a lottery pick, but in reality they are still a team very far away from competing for an NBA championship.Tweeting @Cianaf