The Celtics did make a short charge by opening the second half on an 8-2 run, a spurt that came after they started pushing the ball, which Rivers had preached before the game.
But the Knicks snuffed that out. Boston hurt its own cause by slowing down and giving the ball away too often and too easily.
“We’ve got to play more as a team, plain and simple,” Green said.
It can be hard to play as one with so many missing parts.
“We just can’t let that be our excuse,” Green said. “We still have guys who can go out here and play on the floor. We’ve just got to come together as a team and find a way.”
The toll of damage suffered has been building, man by man, game by game, and it wasn’t until Tuesday that the effects showed. The Celtics’ next goal is to hide those effects again — and fast.