ESPN Instant Classic? Come on Sklar Brothers, I know you’re reading this right now and I know you can make this happen. This game had every thing an NBA fan could want. It was a dog fight. It was a gun fight. Both teams played extremely hard on both ends of the floor and both teams deserved to win this game.
The narrative even played right into the hands of Celtics lore only to come up short of being memorable for the right reasons. Ray Allen had not made a three all game and was given two opportunities to be a hero, to get off the schnide, to exhibit that shooter/killer instinct, to believe and back up the mantra “next one’s going in.” He missed. Twice.
Regardless of the unfavorable outcome for Celtics fans, there were so many things to love about this game from a basketball fan prospective. That is not to say there weren’t quite a few positive things to take away from this game if you bleed Green.
This game was unbelievable for so many different reasons:
- Rajon Rondo had a double-double with 16 points and 11 assists
- Kevin Garnett scored 18 points and grabbed 9 boards all while showing flashes of the alley-oop offense returning.
- Paul Pierce played 37 minutes and showed no ill-effects from the shoulder stingers while playing great defense the entire game.
- The Celtics had 9 steals in this game by playing the passing lanes tough and anticipating Thunder passes
- Russell Westbrook could not be contained, scoring most of his 21 points right at the bucket. Just take a look at his shot chart: See that collection of orange dots in the lane? Each one of those represents a little shred of pride one takes in man to man defense that Russell Westbrook stole and put in his back pocket.
- Kevin Durant scored 37 points and was 15 for 15 from the free throw line. How do you guard Kevin Durant? The answer is simple: you don’t. It was amazing to watch Durant miss fairly easy shots in the All Star Horse competition, and then watch him come out and absolutely shred players in real games.
- Rasheed Wallace had his best game of the season. I know his 27 point performance earlier in the season was really impressive and fun to witness, but this one was hope-inspiring. Sheed played to his strengths, dominating the Thunder’s post players, hitting big threes within the offense, and got one VERY BIG offensive rebound. Despite the loss, this game could have revved Sheed’s engine enough for overdrive. Better late than never huh?
- Kendrick Perkins had three big blocks- one in particular on some great help defense on Russell Westbrook
- The Celtics shot 60% from the floor…and LOST! That is almost unheard of.
The Celtics, of course, lost. Thus, this game was not without any objections:
- The Celtics got very little from Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels. Daniels played some pretty solid defense, but he should be getting at least eight points. He is at least eight points good. At least.
- Despite my post earlier today describing Glen Davis’ ineptitude from outside of ten feet, he failed to prove me wrong. (In your best John Stewart feel-good voice) two words: Shooooooooooottttttt Charrrrrtttt:
Weak Baby, weak.
There is so much more I can write about this game but I want to hear from you. Cheer up ILG, this was a great game.
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