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C’s Leave Nets in Knots: 111 to 87

 

After tonight’s win two things are clear:  1) The Nets are really bad, and 2) Doc Rivers is not going to rest his starters more than usual within the first three quarters, no matter what the situation is.

This game was annoying, and tedious to watch.   Earlier in the year, I previewed a game against Golden State where I asserted that the Warriors were the type of team that could lull a good team into playing just as poorly and disorganized as they do.  New Jersey did that very same thing tonight.

The Celtics came out flat in the third quarter and just wanted to burn the clock.  I don’t blame them.  Even if I loved my job as much as they do, at some point a job is a job and time not at your job is cherished.  Boston won the turnover battle by one (1-14), which is scary to hear for anyone who only caught the first half.  I understand the argument that big leads allow teams to try things they wouldn’t normally try, but that should count for five turnovers maximum.  Bottom line: 14 is too many.

This game annoyed me so much (until the garbage time dunk contest), I’m just going to launch into bullets:

  • Rivers played all of his starters a shade under 30 minutes, which wouldn’t have been so bad if the C’s didn’t have a thirty point lead for most of the second half…and the bench came in and played really well…yet didn’t get in until two minutes left in the third quarter.  I remember thinking that if any starter played the fourth quarter, I’d turn the game off.  Needless to say, anyone getting “Livingston’d” is my biggest fear to date.

Not even Paul Pierce banging knees twice could get Doc to get one of the young wings in early, let alone TA.  It annoys me that Rivers is such a curmudgeon about this sort of thing.  Whenever he plays the starters too many minutes and guys go down with injuries as a result, I can’t help but think of the scene from the new Family Guy Star Wars Parody Something, Something, Something Dark Side where Han Solo keeps blasting the cave floor and saying different variations of “Hold on a second” and “something just isn’t right.”  Yeah, that scene was annoying and frustrating and so is Doc gambling with the health of the starters.

  • Speaking of darkside, there was definitely a darkside and a lightside to Scal’s game tonight.  He earned points in my book for playing hard, diving after loose balls, ripping a few boards, and breaking up a fast break on an unbelievably athletic play (Note: Scal’s standards).  Then there was, of course, the dark side.  Scal was miserable from long range tonight, going 2-7.  This is especially abysmal giving the fact that Scal only shoots when he’s wide open.
  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the two biggest highlights of the night.  And by that I must clarify, the two biggest highlights that didn’t involve Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens, dunking, and the last three minutes of the game.  My only caveats.

What I really want to discuss includes Tony Allen’s unbelievable, “I used to do this all the time” moment and Rondo’s “this is why I’m me and you’re you” moment against Yi.

The best thing about these two plays is that it shows not only the progression these younger guys are making, but also how much confidence now oozes out of them.  Tony DID used to dunk the ball with that much athleticism, pre-knee injury, which really explains why it took so long for people to fall off the TA bandwagon.  Now, after plays like that, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gained back some of the fans he alienated.  He’s playing really well as of late.  He’s not perfect and he’s still making bonehead plays, but he seems to be slowing himself down and speeding himself up at the right times more and more.  Can we really ask for anything else?

Then there was the Rondo play.  Once he got Yi in a switch and half-heartedly cleared everyone else out, you knew he was going to do something.  It was almost as if part of Rondo’s pregame plan had a special “Break in Case of Yi Switch” glass case.  His crossover was dirty, but the fact that he knew he could take Yi no matter what is the main thing to smile about.  The more confidence Rondo has, the better he plays and the C’s will need him to play his best when, inevitably, someone goes down.

  • This game had the feel of a pickup game- especially in the first half.  Brook Lopez could be the nicest kid on the planet.  Every time someone near him hit the deck, he had a hand out there to pick them up, regardless of uniform.  I think he knows this is such a lost season and he’s just trying to bring any positivity.  I’d say those things don’t get lost on GMs and I’m sure he’ll get a few contracts before his time in Vet Minimum-land comes.
  • Speaking of inter Celtic-Net relationships, I really think Glen Davis and Terrence Williams could be best friends.  From everything I’ve heard about Terrence Williams, he’s a gregarious prankster with a really funny and odd personality.  Sound like someone you know?  I’ll give you a hint.  He’s three hundred pounds and he’s Glen Davis.

They also shared a nice little moment after Davis fouled Williams on a drive to the bucket.  I saw it and instantly thought, “awwwww.”

  • I keep harping on the fact that Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens are athletic enough to get minutes and wasn’t tonight proof enough?  They put on a garbage time highlight reel of dunks and moves around the rim.  Garbage time is of course exactly what it is, but I firmly believe that if guys like Jarvis Hayes, DeShawn Stevenson, and Trenton Hassell are in this league and get minutes, than J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker can too.
  • Did anyone else hear that fan whose commentary was audible throughout the entire game.  For the sake of repeating references, he sounded like Mort Goldman dolling out basketball analysis.  I heard everything from “Let him shoot, he can’t shoot form distance” while referring to a kickout to Rondo in the corner, to “Do not elect a Democrat.”  And people were complaining about Celtics fans earlier today.  Mannn… I’ll have to ask Sebastian Pruiti if this guy is a regular.
  • Did anyone see the Nets Dancers’ uniforms?  I’m fairly certain they were designed by this guy.
  • Ohh and one last thing before I leave it up to Brian to pick a storyline for you in his recap.  How about that inbounds play to end the first half.  0.9 and Ray gets a layup with no Net within four feet of him.  I’m almost positive I heard someone shout “Lay up Ray” before the ref even handed the ball to Rondo.  The NBA: Where amazing happens.
  • Jim MacIndoe

    The one thing that is starting to really show is that Eddy House has lost his shot . His new middle name should be Brick. One for nine shooting against the Nets is not good. He has looked bad all season and I wonder if anyone else feels the same.

  • Sam

    I here you about the minutes tonight. It was annoying. Let’s face it the C’s starters could have sat the whole second half and we still would’ve won.

  • cmoney

    Glen Davis the only Celtic with a negative +/-

  • Jason

    @Jim: Definitely. He’s missing left, right, back and front. It’s ugly. I just can’t believe someone that skilled could just lose it so quickly. I’m still hopeful it’ll click back.

  • RBD

    Weird comment about Lopez. He’ll get a few contracts for a whole bunch of other reasons besides the fact he’s a nice guy.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    @jim, @jason: house is ice cold. i’m guessing the Cs will shuffle a couple contracts for a bench player who can shoot the 3. since neither scal or eddie have proved consistent….yet

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  • Cptn Bubbles

    Tedious to watch? I guess I’m just a glutton for this sort of thing. I love to see rhythm & flow & a dominate “C” show. Yes, I feasted last night, & I, unabashedly, love me some mo. Thank you Cs. Thank you one & all.

    Doc is the Ebenezer Scrooge of bench minutes. There will be no Christmas goose for you bench people so sit down Tiny Tim. We hear Doc saying all the time, ‘trust your teammates.’ Are the bench people teammates?

    When I see JR & Bill come into the game, they look skittish to me at first as if they have finally been let out of the bench dungeon & are terrified of making even the smallest mistake & being thrown back into bench prison. As they realize that they will be allowed more than 60 seconds of play time, they start to thaw, to loosen up, & actually play showing us all flashes of what they are capable of. I love the Doctor, but if you are not totally happy with your team (and what coach ever is) then it is not a mortal sin to experiment –ESPECIALLY in blowouts. Practice is one thing, but actual game time is reality. Some guys rise to the occasion. We’ve all seen it before, but how can their be any rising when you won’t even put the bread in the oven?

    I would have never ever ever never ever never thought Scal would be a Josh stopper & yet…. Here was a forced experiment which paid big. So, when I see Joe Johnson (who wants revenge on the Cs for letting him go) schooling people I naturally wonder if we could TRY someone else on him. Since he is scoring every time it could not get worse. You have already hit rock bottom. I believe that younger guys are better at ball denial because of their quickness & energy. Why not try JR or Bill on Joe & mix in some TA? Why not tell JR, TA, Bill to watch every game of Joe Johnson 100 times because you are going to give them a chance to make his life a living hell on that court? They may not stop him, but because they have so much energy to give they can make him work 3 times harder to even touch the ball. As Joe’s energy gets zapped from just trying to get a touch those legs are gonna get mighty heavy. Let’s see how frisky & accurate he is then with all that sweat stinging his eyes. Also, shouldn’t the rules for Joe be: Thou shalt not leave Joe to help others. Thou shalt no let Joe shoot 3s. Thou shat not let Joe drive. Thou shalt only give up deep 2s to Joe & block him out. Thou shalt deny the ball to Joe on any & every occasion.

    It’s hard to believe, but some strange match ups work. On paper, you would say no way, but somehow they work. I’m just saying to try something new when some guy is torching your guy over & over & over. And how will you know? Experiment now. It’s the playoffs that really matter.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I’m right with you on Scal. They threw up a stat of the Cs only losing 4 games when Scal starts… That’s one thing I like about life. Some things are mysterious & hard to explain. Was that really Scal staying in front of Josh the other night? I had to hit pause a couple of times, wipe my eyes, & recheck the jersey number.

    Now, I’ve seen Scal’s play be lackluster & sometimes ugly, but these past TWO games he has been bringing it on the D (offensively too w/Atlanta). For those of you who dvr it, check out Scal with about 2 minutes left in the 1st half when he dove for the ball (some people will scoff, but ball diving DOES have a psychological impact on fellow conscientious teammates …it’s like a shot of energy & I’ve seen body language of other players on the team do a complete 180 into intense mode when such effort is made. A big reason to fondly remember Posey).

    Right after Scal dives for the ball (but misses it) look what he does after the Net drives the lane with our dear, dependable Perk rotating to snuff the threat. Look at the anticipation & what he does to Lopez. There is no stat for that, but what he did was so perspicacious, I mean slick. That play set up the run to the offensive end. It was just Scal using his body–FACING the guy– on a much bigger man, but it was exactly what the Cs need on rebounding. Also, Scal, when he is playing his best, does what we were taught in 2nd grade, ‘Now boys, you gotta stay in front of yo man or this game is not going to be very much fun for ya.’ It sounds so simple, but Scal’s anticipation on Josh & others these past 2 games has been great to watch. I also loved Scal about mid court realizing Yi was looking to freak the Oop on the alley & turning on the Scal afterburners to just get there in time to tip the ball away….with Rondo, of course, scarfing up the ball to head the other way.

    Sometimes Scal can play some solid, not flashy, D & do all these other little things (intangibles) which the Cs really need. Yes, his shooting has been off. Maybe, after missing a couple 3s, he should drive & see if he can draw 2 defenders & pass to the open man, learn to hit a mid range pull up jumper, or maybe he should join Ray Ray in shooting a few thousand more 3s each day. Special thanks to Scal for his hard work on D.

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