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No Bueno: Celtics Embarrass Kings in Mexico City, 114-97

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Where should we begin?

This was your prototypical Kings blowout loss. The kind we’ve all seen literally dozens of times over the past several seasons, and every one of these losses is inherently more disappointing than the one prior, because you want so badly to believe that this kind of ‘no-show’ performance is out of their system. It’s not. I don’t know when it will be.

The Boston Celtics destroyed the Sacramento Kings in Mexico City tonight, 114-97. It was way worse than that score suggests, trust me.

I would describe the effort as poor, the defense as nonexistent, and the offense as bland. I could also rattle off a million different statistics that all support just how poorly the Kings played tonight, but I’ll spare you that pain. We don’t need it, because again, we’ve been here before.

If there is anything worth taking away from tonight, it’s that this loss felt like a ‘something is going to come from this’ kind of loss. Maybe it’s something relatively minor, like a locker room tirade, or a salty media session. Maybe it’s something a little more dramatic, like a team meeting or a front office induced defensive scheme change. Or maybe I’m completely off base, but this performance was so uninspired, so alarming from an effort standpoint that I’d feel even worse about the Kings if they don’t do something about it. The players should be upset. The coaches should be upset. The front office should be upset. This cannot continue.

Alright, it’s late. I’ll stop being so dramatic. Lets get to some quick observations.

  • George Karl started Rajon Rondo, Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, and Willie Cauley-Stein tonight, or in other words, the right starting lineup. Like everyone else, they didn’t play well, but one rotation move of note was Karl electing to start Caron Butler over Cauley-Stein to start the second half. It didn’t work.
  • Omri Casspi missed tonight’s game with gastroenteritis, so, you know. The Kings missed him.
  • Rajon Rondo was ejected in the third quarter after picking up back-to-back technical fouls for arguing with Bill Kennedy after Kennedy called a soft foul on Cousins. The officiating was poor all night, and Rondo’s second technical foul looked a little suspicious, although it’s possible he said something when he turned away. If you wanted to pinpoint a moment when the wheels really fell off, this was it.
  • DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t look healthy. He’s just not playing with athleticism right now. I don’t know if he’s still dealing with complications from his Achilles or back injury, but he’s not moving well.
  • I’m only going to mention the altitude here so that we don’t have to talk about the altitude. I don’t want to hear it, the Celtics looked just fine.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein hurt his hand after he hit it against the backboard late in the fourth quarter. He looked really uncomfortable, and went to the bench immediately. His reaction was scary. It goes without saying, but I hope it’s nothing serious.
  • Isaiah Thomas scored 21 points on 14 shots with 9 assists. 6 rebounds, and 4 steals with a game high +26. Ugh.