C’s Leave Nets in Knots: 111 to 87
Posted by Brendan Jackson on Jan 13, 2010
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.