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Celts Take a Boring One: 96, Sixers 86

 

ESPN Recap  Philadunkia

It was an interesting night for the NBA, one which can best be described as “Twilight Zone-esque.” Detroit dominated Cleveland for a half.  Charlotte dominated the Lakers for a whole.  And New Jersey hung around with Orlando enough for Celtics’ fans to take a little solace home (lies!).

Luckily, the Celtics did not see the same type of unlikely result.  They also did not see any perimeter defense.  In fact, neither team played anything resembling perimeter defense.  Ray Allen spent the majority of the first half enjoying a healthy mix of three balls and wide open midrange jumpers. Unfortunately, he handed his hot-hand to Lou Williams in the second half, who proceeded to shred the Celtics for whatever they gave him- which was a lot.

The Celtics played extremely lackadaisical when it came it closing out on the Philadelphia shooters.  Shooters may be a bit of a misnomer.  The Celtics were extremely slow at contesting Philadelphia’s chuckers- probably for good reason  Philadelphia really doesn’t have very good shooters.  That being said, this is the NBA and players are going to knock down wide open jumpers regardless of what is written on the scouting report.  The Celtics did not allow themselves to take advantage of a poor shooting team.  For a poor shooting team like the Sixers, easy shots are made hard by a simple run out and tough shots are made damn-near impossible with a good contest.  Despite the poor perimeter D, the Celtics came out with the a nice, convincing win (“convincing” is said, of course, a bit in jest as this game was pretty close throughout).

The second half may have been all Williams for the Sixer’s offensive, but the first half offensive burden belonged to Elton Brand.  Brand has not played up to his reputation, nor talent level, since coming to Philadelphia, but any educated basketball fan knows that this guy is a stud and can go off at any time.  He did just that in the first half- which is a but disconcerting given the height advantage Kevin Garnett possesses.  It wasn’t until Big Baby subbed in for Garnett that Brand began to slow down. In this way, the Celtics became the beneficiaries of a physical, but loosely called game. In fact, I’d say a good 1/4th of the 36 fouls were intentional in one way or the other.  Given this, Baby was able to chest Brand up and make him absorb a hit before shooting- clearly hampering his game.

This game stayed fairly close until Rondo seemed to unleash himself in the second half.  It must be hard seeing a one dimensional player (Williams) have so much success going one-on-five when Rondo is working on getting his teammates involved, playing passing lanes, and hustling for offensive rebounds.  Rondo made the most of his opportunity being the main offensive threat by taking it hard to the bucket and getting to line numerous times in the second half.

In my opinion, there is really only one highlight from this game worth mentioning (and feel free to tell me how wrong I am.  It’ll only cause me to go back, rewatch, and enjoy- win, win!).  In the third quarter, Big Baby crashed the boards off a missed Robinson three and corralled the offensive board.  He quickly passed the ball out of the post (something that in and of itself is a highlight given how many times he’s given an offensive rebound right back by trying to power past seven footers) to Rondo who rewarded him moments later on a pick and roll.  Baby made an excellent cut as Rondo whipped a bounce pass right by Williams giving Baby an easy glass tapping layup.  I had to watch it again to make sure Rondo didn’t throw the ball through Wiliams’ legs.  He didn’t.

Dagnabbit! SportsCenter Top Plays! He’ll get you if it’s the last thing he does…..

It is still early so I am going to end this prematurely and go out (hooray for social lives).  If you are not out, you should be.  It’s Friday and we all know we have had long work weeks.

Oh, and everyone keep Rodney Stuckey in your thoughts tonight.  He’s a baller who plays the right way.

  • Sam

    I wish I could’ve gone out tonight, but sadly I had to work till 11 tonight and even missed the game.

    Yeah my thoughts are with Stuckey, hoping he’s alright, because like you said he definitely plays the right way.

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  • Cptn Bubbles

    I’ve never really seen a boring Cs game. Some are more entertaining than others, but if it got like baseball (excluding playoff baseball & the world series) I would just do something else.

    I enjoyed Rondo taking charge & exploiting the lack of D in the paint. He had several different drives which made Philly look like they were incapable of matching his speed. Rondo realized he was the pig, & he just devoured them in that stretch. I only wish he had just a smidgen more lift so we could enjoy his dunkability. I still think back on the dunk he had vs the Wiz on tnt early in the season. Instead of whining to the refs over 2 blown foul calls which Gilbert got away with, he just took the would be frustration & anger & made a beautiful baseline dunk. The Wiz crowd had to just sit down & shut up in dejected horror. It was one of my favorite moments of the season.

    I also loved how baby trusted Rajon & got a sweet bounce pass right back for a wide open lay up.

    It was good to see Perk inviting Philly to his block party. It seems like it’s a rare event, like as common as chancing upon a unicorn, but a charge being taken is always impressive. Paul seems more willing than anyone else to take the abuse. Sadly, I think of how Leon used to readily give up his body to protect the paint.

    Seems like the Cs can score, but wouldn’t it be great to see them play more of that D which just frustrates the other team into a confused mess leading to multiple shot clock violations? I think there should be some extra pay for forcing opposing teams into shot clock violations.

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