If only for one game, the Memphis loss was a wake up call for this Celtics team. Every single thing writers and fans have been clamoring for since Christmas culminated in a beautiful exhibition at the Garden on Friday night. The game started much like any other Celtics game from the past eight to ten weeks. The C’s played hard, shots seemed to be falling, but no matter how many plays Celtics made in the early going, the Pacers matched bucket for bucket. This game had all the makings of another young team poised to run the Celtics out of the gym.
The Celtics refused to oblige. They ramped up their defense at the same time their bench came in and heated up Boston’s ice cold offense. The most encouraging thing about this game was the fact that the C’s didn’t rest on their laurels (or their 20 point lead) and get themselves caught looking toward Sunday. True, the Celtics let a 27 point lead dwindle get dented down to 14 before settling back comfortably in the 20s- this game never had the same possession for possession angst the past 15 some-odd games has had.
For the sake of time, and the celebration I know you’re having right now, let’s discuss just how everything came up Green tonight:
Leading up to this game, writers and fans talked about how the Celtics looked old, needed a change, and didn’t have enough energy (or talent) to even hang with mediocre teams. Nothing typified this more than the offensive outpouring we all enjoyed watching tonight. Pierce had 20 points on 7-12 shooting. Pierce only missed one shot from within the arc. Allen was a very efficient 5-7 and did a great job coming off screens and getting his shots off. Rondo returned to his old tricks, dealing out double digit dimes and chipping in 16 points. Kevin Garnett was ACTIVE tonight, knocking balls away and definitely assisted Perk on a couple of Perk’s 7 boards. Speaking of Perk, he finally scored in double digits tonight. Unfortunately, he still and will always put the ball on the floor for one dribble when he should be powering it up to the hoop.
Welcome to Beantown Nate. I don’t know about you but I was chugging the Natorade all night. 5 for 5 from three is half of why Nate was br0ught to Boston. The “to the basket” moves will come. Until it does it’s nice to see the Eddie House’s production is still here.
This guy just doesn’t miss open shots. When you watch every single game with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, you get used to seeing great players miss shots. I don’t think Finley will play enough for us to get used to him missing shots- especially open shots.
This kid is getting confident. While the game was out of reach long before Baby was bombing shots from the free throw line, he introduced an effective spin-move-baby- hook that actually had arc on it (something that Perk has yet to figure out).
I apologize for the brevity but I have some friends warming up a car for me.
More to come tomorrow. Enjoy C’s fans.