Best Christmas Present: Celtics 86, Magic 77
Posted by Brendan Jackson on Dec 25, 2009
Okay so I watched today’s game on mute and that definitely took some wind out of its sails. I also concurrently exchanged gifts with my family which made me miss some key/ most entertaining plays. Although the ones I did catch allowed me to share some silent cheering with my mother (especially some of Ray’s big threes. Oh and she also has a crush on Rondo). Still, this was a great Christmas present!
Here some quick bullets for you before Zach and Brian flesh it out a little more:
- First, let me just start off by saying, “way to raise yo game Tony Allen.” With Pierce down for a few weeks, TA showed that he is not afraid of anything. I believe he’s too aloof to be afraid and that might be the biggest counter argument to his lack of Basketball IQ.
- Secondly, let me address a more serious matter. Since I didn’t have the sound on, I have no idea what the speculation of KG’s injury was. It looked like he just landed square on his back with nothing to break his fall. It looked to me like a combination of getting the wind knocked out of him and a bruise on his back. I think he’ll be fine, but rest assured that we’ll be monitoring this situation closely. The Celtics played hard today, but I’d rather have them lose today then lose KG for the season.
- For the last couple of weeks, Celtics Hub has been getting a plethora of inquiries as to when Big Baby will be back and the consensus was that he’d return after the Holidays. Well, put that to bed because he is back. First impressions? People are right, he does look lighter and more nimble. He still thinks he can go in can draw contact and not get blocked. But most importantly, he looked like a beast on the boards. I feel like he knows that Shelden Williams is breathing down his neck for playing time, which makes me believe that even if Shelden doesn’t play another minute, he might be the best thing for Baby and this team.
- Now to give X-mas props to best player on the floor tonight: tonight’s game ball goes to Rajon Rondo. Sure his shot wasn’t there tonight and he had eight turnovers, but he played an essential role for the C’s and was two assists away from a triple-double. He also picked up the scoring burden left with Pierce being down.
- Shooting was the story of the game. For two teams that usually shoot a very high percentage, they really struggled from the field. I honestly don’t know what to attribute that to. I know the refs kept it tight in the first half and loosened it up in the second, which can destroy a team’s rhythm, but that doesn’t excuse the amount of missed wide open shots. I’m looking at you Scal. In the third, Scal could have blown this game wide open but he couldn’t knock down a couple of wide open threes.
- TA played extremely well today, which caused me to quip in the Daily Dime chat that it was a “Christmas Miracle.” With the amount of time spent watching an injured TA hobble around the court for a few years making bad decisions, I completely forgot how much energy a healthy TA can bring to the game. It’s been said before, but it looked like TA and Rondo were two little water bugs on the court just gobbling up loose balls. Aside from Perk (who’s tops in the league) TA had the best field goal percentage of all the starters- on either team.
- ‘Sheed looked like he had bottled up all that unused energy from all the games he spent jacking threes and just spewed it out all over the Magic. ‘Sheed had two emphatic dunks on the heels of two really athletic moves. If these are signs of things to come when the playoffs roll around, you might as well tell the other teams not to show up.
- I’d say the most glaring stat of the night is the C’s out-rebounding the Magic- even with Howard getting 20 boards. This just shows how important rebounds are to winning against the Magic. It seems like all you have to do to beat this team is get more boards and shoot a higher percentage from three- oh and score more points at the end of 48+ minutes.
- The biggest difference in this game is the fact that the Magic got nearly nothing from their oft-mentioned, deep bench and their key role players. The players that I thought would have good games (Anderson, Gortat, Barnes) were awful. If this was the chemistry this Magic team will have for the playoffs, I’ll take them in any round. I was really surprised about the lack of Brandon Bass tonight, especially with the Magic getting out-rebounded. It seems like the Magic are wetted to the strategy of using their athleticism and perimeter shooting from their forwards to beat this Celtics team and are not willing to get in the trenches and battle it out.
Okay, that’s enough for now and since it’s time for Christmas dinner, I’m going to post this sans editing. Be sure to check out more from Brian and Zach later.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!