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Celtics struggle on back-to-backs

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  February 7, 2011 08:45 PM

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Seven of the Celtics losses have come on the road on the tail end of back-to-backs and the consensus is that it's a focus issue.


The Celtics were just halfway through their 94-89 loss to the Bobcats, and coach Doc Rivers was sufficiently disappointed with the way his team was sleepwalking.

"I thought our guys came in with their cool game today, and thought they were going to win the game because of maybe our jersey," he said.

He knew better. He had checked the numbers. The Celtics fell to 38-13 and seven of those losses have come on the road on the tail end of back-to-back games. After dominating Orlando yesterday, they thought the Celtics played as if they could breeze by the Bobcats after beating them five straight times coming in.

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"The way we’re approaching the back to backs, it’s going to be tough for us to win," Rivers said. "We have to change our approach to these games. This morning in shootaround you could see it. The focus the day before was amazing. Today, you could see everybody was relaxed."

Instead, the Celtics let the Bobcats linger around and build momentum. In the fourth quarter, Charlotte shot 52.6 percent with Gerald Wallace, Shaun Livingston and Gerald Henderson doing most of the damage and the Celtics, who missed 11 of their 17 shots, had no answers.

"I think every year we have some kind of the dilemma, whether it's winning on the road what have you," Garnett said. "This year it seems like it’s back to backs so we have to figure out something especially with the second half coming up."

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