A little more than four minutes remained last night when Doc Rivers turned to the scorer's table with a wide-eyed, "will you get a load of this?" look.

Those who had been watching the Detroit Pistons stumble out to a 1-9 start this season — and, judging from the attendance here, there haven't been many paying close attention — had to be even more shocked that the home team put a 103-83 hurting on the Celtics.

But Rivers didn't seem so surprised afterward. It took the Celtics coach just a few seconds to take his team off the hook, citing the fact that it was playing its fourth game in five days and seventh in 10.

"Dead man walking," diagnosed Doc. "That's what it felt like. Give Detroit credit. I thought they played extremely hard. But I could see it early. I even told our coaches, 'I'm going to start subbing guys in and out.' We just had no legs."

Though it appeared there was certainly a measure of rushing things and getting out of rhythm, the Celts slumped badly as the game went on. After making 10-of-16 shots in the first quarter, they hit just 12-of-38 (31.6 percent) in the next two before Jared Sullinger arose in garbage time to make 6-of-6 and help extend Rajon Rondo [stats]'s double-figure assist streak to 34 games.

"I mean, we would take all the shots we had," Rivers said. "None were going in. In the third quarter, I said, 'Guys, are you getting wide-open shots?' And they said, 'Yes.' I said, 'Are any going in?' And they said, 'No.'?"