The Boston Celtics seemingly had the easiest game in last night’s NBA slate.
They were going to face an undermanned Oklahoma City Thunder squad lacking its best player, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was ruled out shortly before tip-off with a non-COVID illness.
The visitors were favored by 10.5 points before the start of the game, but they left OKC with a humiliating 150-117 loss.
This was one of the biggest surprises of the season, especially considering they allowed five different players to score more than 20 points en route to a franchise-best performance.
The Thunder hanging 150 on the Celtics might be more shocking than Donovan Mitchell's 71.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 4, 2023
However, as surprising as it may have been to some, that wasn’t the case with Malcolm Brogdon.
Brogdon admitted that the Celtics overlooked the Thunder when they heard Shai was out, and they winded up paying that price:
“We took a deep breath and relaxed,” Brogdon said after the game. “Honestly we should know better than to come out and not play with aggression, not play with energy and urgency.”
“Teams are trying to send us a message,” the guard added. “Even the teams that aren’t the best teams in the league. For us it’s a wake-up call. We’ve got to humbly approach every game. I think that’s what we have to do. It’s about coming out and playing hard against anybody.”
It’s the NBA we’re talking about here, guys.
You shouldn’t have to need any sort of extra motivation.
Even the 15th player on a roster could have a career game any given night, and these avoidable losses sometimes come back to haunt them at the end of the season when playoff seeding becomes a factor.