Somewhere in the first chapter of the NBA manual on player/coach cliches, you'll find some reference to what happens on the floor being "a game of adjustments."
Well the Celtics can attest to that following Tuesday's 97-90 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Denver was still smarting after last week's 118-114 triple overtime loss in Boston, a game that Nuggets head coach George Karl makes no secret about feeling as though his team should have won it.
"I think our guys know we should have won that game in Boston," Karl said prior to the game.
As much as emotions such as revenge and redemption might come into play, the bigger contributor to the Celtics loss was some of the subtle and not-so-subtle adjustments made by Denver in comparison to last week's game.
Nobody experienced this more than Paul Pierce who had just 10 points on 2-for-14 shooting from the field. He also had six rebounds and six assists after fouling out after picking up - yup, you know it - his sixth personal foul.
Following the loss, Pierce acknowledged the Nuggets were doing some things differently in trying to limit his impact.
"In the pick-and-rolls, they trapped a little bit more," Pierce said. "They switched out, loaded up on defense a little more. Driving lanes definitely weren't there. But I have to make the extra pass and find guys. There's other ways I can beat teams other than my scoring. I have to do a better job at that."
Those adjustments put a greater amount of pressure on those around them to step up; specifically Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley who had 15 and 17 points, respectively, against Denver.
Nuggets adjustments too much for Celtics
CSN New England | Feb 20