How many licks of defense does it take …

Paul Pierce was on the money when he explained why the Celtics lost game one of the Eastern
Conference Finals
to the Nets.

“We didn’t even play a lick of defense all night,” he said.

It would also help if Pierce could keep himself out of foul trouble. The fourth foul that took him out of the game during a game-deciding stretch in the third quarter was a charging call. Pierce needs to be more careful, especially with a guy like Kidd, who knows how to take a charge.

This is what the Celtics were like last year, when they were a lottery team. Pierce and Walker scored 27 but the Celtics never, looked lost on defense, and got killed on the boards and in the paint. The Celtics are capable of performing better than this. Let’s see if they do.