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Just What the Celts Needed: Celtics 122, Pacers 103

 

ESPN Recap  • Indy CornrowsEight Points Nine Seconds

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:

THE STARTERS

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.

THE BENCH

Nate Robinson

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.

Michael Finley

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.

Glen Davis

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.

  • ranen645

    yay

  • I love Green

    Yeahh victory dance

  • http://mommatheregoesthatman.com Dave E. Gold

    Eddie House’s passion will be missed but as long as Nate is dropping 3bombs, we’re good. I do also love is ability to penetrate the paint and run the point (better than House). And Michael Fin is a shot in the arm for our team….but the booing from the Memphis is hopefully enough to kick us in 5th gear.

  • DRJ1

    Excellent game all around. Defense was terrific while they needed it, Paul and KG looked great, Nate and Fin are wonderful, and the whole team was good… except Perkins.

    There are some big problems with Perk, and they’re insurmountable. He has to go.

    The worst is the fact that almost EVERY ONE OF HIS PICKS IS ILLEGAL. And he sets picks every time down. So if the refs are inclined to whistle moving picks — which they were not in this game, luckily — the Cs would drown in a storm of offensive fouls. If you want to get scared, watch the tape of this game and focus on Perk’s picks. That’s scary.

    And then, he brought his arms down to dribble TWO passes caught within 2 feet of the Pacers basket — FOR NO REASON — and lost the ball both times (Q1 6:40, Q3 7:15). (KG was totally disgusted after the 2nd time — which was when they got to within 16 and Doc called timeout.)

    And he got his dunk blocked once (Q2 2:30) because he hesitated in going up, and he let Rondo get a TO because he refused to catch an easy pass that he THOUGHT had been touched by a Pacer (Q2 0:23).

    If, after FIVE YEARS of education, Perkins cannot understand that he cannot move when he sets picks, and he must not dribble unnecessarily when he catches the ball deep — then he never will. He’s just too dim-witted to play the game correctly. He will never be a complete player, never be a good player. He might be an ADEQUATE player, if the Cs are careful not to let him touch the ball too often on offense, and if they get lucky with the refs not calling his many offensive fouls.

    But the Cs can, and must, do better. A lot better. Perkins must go. They’ve got to trade him this summer. Find a solution. Perkins is hopeless, and they need to face that reality.

  • DRJ1

    The booing in Memphis and it’s effect on this team is a great story. They really took it to heart. We communicated with them, and they listened… and changed. Beautiful.

    Imagine how even greater this story will be if they end up winning it all. We could then say that “It started with the players getting booed on their own court… and ended in championship #18.” What a great and glorious story THAT would be.

  • Ksero

    Booing was what the Celtics needed. Now they now, that they are in poor situation and they have almost no chance to win the title. They realized it, talked like a team and, finally played like a team. They know that they must win most of last 18 games to have a chance for Eastern Conference finals, i will be really happy when they go through the first and second round of play offs and when they show big piece of Celtics basketball. It will be a huge success to be an Eastern Conference finals.

    Nate showed some Eddie skills tonight, he was really hot, i hope that attacking the rim and drives to the basket will come soon, than he will be an excellent bench player. Another good game for Finley, he was 4 of 5 and the team was +11 when he was on the floor. Pierce finally scores 20 points, what’s more in 22 minutes, Rondo another double-double. I love watch the Celtics like there was last night!

    If there was some grammatical mistakes, please forgive me, i am from Poland and i am only 17;)

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  • kj

    needed a win like that and i love that we play the cavs after an uplifting game. we beat the cavs tomorrow and all hope will be restored

  • rondoislove

    Now we just need our boys to whoop some Cavalier ass tomorrow afternoon in Cleveland to make up for that embarrassing blow out in Boston.

    WHAT I WANT TO SEE (but likely won’t happen):
    - Ray Allen posterizing Varejao (let’s kick this dream up a notch… all five Celtic starters + Nate posterizing Varejao)
    - Pierce vs LeBron, where the less atheletic, struggling Pierce comes out on top
    - Rondo making more threes than Mo

    We can dream, can’t we? :)

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Ksero, I imagine football is the big sport there in Poland. Is basketball gaining in popularity? How did you come to like the Celtics? Are there other extremely smart people like you in Poland who are fans of the Celtics? Don’t worry about your English. It is good, & it is much better than our Polish.

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