Celtics Lead The League In Collapses: "We Get Rattled A Lot"

No team in the NBA has blown a 19+ point lead more than twice this season. Unless, of course, you're the Boston Celtics. They've done it FOUR (4) TIMES. 

Thursday night in New York, the Celtics choked away a 25-point lead, watching the Knicks send the Madison Square Garden faithful into a tizzy with a 108-105 decision. But hey, when you're 26th in offensive efficiency and 25th in defensive efficiency in fourth quarters and are 29th in net rating, as pointed out by Celtics reporter Dan Greenberg, these collapses are gonna happen. With regularity. But why? 

"We get rattled a lot," admitted center Robert Williams. "Especially when we're facing adversity. We just have to find it in ourselves, the grit and the fight, to just come together when something's not going our way."

Head coach Ime Udoka agreed with Williams. "It's guys getting rattled when it's not the end of the world. You still have a 12-point, comfortable lead, and you gotta end that run."

"I think it's a lack of mental toughness to fight through those adverse times."

Perhaps they need a different mindset according to the circumstances in a game, added the coach. "We have to understand time and score, and we need a solid shot and not just get caught up in the game. You have to play the game different in the first quarter than the fourth quarter. 

"It's not open gym. You can't just play the same way the whole game. So we have to have better understanding of that."

As long as these 4th quarter collapses continue to get the better of them, the Celtics—currently 11th in the Eastern Conference—are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in 8 years. 

Photo Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports