Boston Celtics

By Ty Anderson,

The Boston Celtics bordered on historically bad in a 93-90, wire-to-wire loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday night.

Which, if you watched the game itself, is not something you should have been able to say about their performance.

The Celtics actually got some of their best looks of the short season in the losing effort, especially from deep, with dozens of wide-open looks. But the Celtics were maddeningly incapable of dropping more than nine of their 40 three-point attempts, including back-to-back misses from Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on what would an overtime-forcing make as time expired.

Finishing the night with a 22.5 percent success rate from behind the arc, this game finished as just the seventh game in franchise history in which the Green attempted at least 30 three-point shots but failed to make at least 23 percent of them. Shockingly enough, the Celtics managed victories in the last two games that featured such an obvious anomaly, and both of those games came last season (against the Warriors and T’Wolves, no less).

And perhaps there’s something to be said for coming up just short when shooting this poorly. But the Magic were not much better — they shot 28.6 percent from deep behind a 10-for-35 night — which only made the missed opportunities sting even worse.

“It shouldn’t have come down to us being down by three to [the Magic],” Irving said after the loss. “They played a solid game tonight, but we should have won that game based upon the amount of open looks we got and the amount of runs we could have had if we could’ve slowed the game down with the ball going in the net rather than us playing defense practically the whole game.”

But I suppose this is simply more of the same for the Celtics out of the gate.

Through four games this season, the Celtics have converted just 43 of their 138 attempts from deep. That 31.2 percent success rate ranks as the sixth-worst in the entire league, and is a far cry from the 37.7 percent the Celtics posted last year, which finished as the second-best in the league, trailing just the world-eating franchise known as the Golden State Warriors.

Jaylen Brown has gone two-for-nine from the field in back-to-back games, and is shooting just 33 percent from three this season. Jayson Tatum, while undoubtedly the Celtics’ most potent offensive threat out of the gate this year, tasted his first 0-for from deep this year, finishing Monday’s loss with an 0-for-5 mark from three-point land.

The biggest culprit out of the gate has to be Irving, though, as he has connected on just four of his 22 three-point attempts out of the gate. The 26-year-old Irving’s deep game did not improve on Monday, either, as he went two-for-eight from deep, with no bigger miss than the aforementioned game-tying attempt late.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Hayward, who connected for a season-best three three-point shots in the losing effort, admitted. “That’s for sure. Through, how many preseason games did we play, three? We didn’t play well in those either, so we have a lot of work to do. I have no doubt we’ll figure it out, but we definitely have a lot of work to do.”

The Celtics will look to get back in the win column Thursday night when they travel to Oklahoma City.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 98.5 The Sports Hub. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter@_TyAnderson.