Celtics showed ugly side Monday night

At least the Celtics timed their self-humiliation perfectly.

Robert Kraft took some of the heat off the C’s by meandering through a lengthy, if hollow answer as to how the Patriots might choose to utilize the third pick in the NFL Draft. And there was his review of the Dynasty. Spoiler alert: He liked some parts and didn’t like others.

The Red Sox open their season Thursday night, which means there are countless topics to be hashed and rehashed, many of them speculating on whether they should look for a trade that would give their starting rotation a true ace – not that they have the commodities to wheel any such deal. 

And there is Alex Cora … a Red Sox manager’s mere presence always churns rhetorical fodder as the opener approaches.

Now, for anyone who was sharp enough to ignore the most hideous loss of this Celtics season Monday night, we bring you a summary:
They blew a 30-point lead against a team striving for mediocrity.

They followed their best 18 minutes of the season with a swan dive into the swampland of Pistons and Spurs.

That they lost to the Atlanta Hawks can be dismissed with a shrug.

That they actually led by 30 points in the first half and managed to let that melt away is annoying.

That they managed to hold the lead and fumble it away in the final minute is mind numbing.

Their record is 57-15; that it is not 58-14 means nothing. They will end the season with the best record in the league. They will have home court advantage throughout their playoff run, however long or short that may be.

And all evidence to the contrary aside, it could end up shorter than any of us would care to believe possible.

After Monday night’s debacle, they said all the right things. They took their foot off the gas pedal … they didn’t put the game out of reach when they had that opportunity … These things happen in professional basketball games … 

Now about that last point: They should not happen to championship-caliber teams even if the minimal supply of regular-season urgency is exhausted.

Jayson Tatum scored 37 points but managed to render them useless with poor decision making and moments of sheer indifference.

Jaylen Brown, speaking for himself and his team, admitted “no matter up 30 or down 5, we (have to) have the same approach and same mind-set.”

In other words, they have to keep playing.

Derrick White had the night off with a sprained right hand. White never seems to take his proverbial foot off the proverbial gas pedal.

Maybe he’s actually the leader of this highly talented team.