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Big Baby’s (Sorta) Big Night, Plus Other Random Thoughts

 

Dwight Howard went off last night. But there was one Celtic he had a small bit of trouble with (via ESPN Stats and Information):

That’s some good work off the bench for Big Baby, whose ability to at least credibly defend Howard allows Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace to foul Howard when necessary without worrying about fouling out or going to the bench.

Davis, earning $3 million this season and again next season, looks like a very sensible signing. And I’m sorry, but all of you who were suggesting Shelden Williams should play over Davis, well, you were wrong all along.

Some other random thoughts that have been going through my head:

• What would have happened had Paul Pierce missed that buzzer-beater in Game 3 against Miami and the C’s had gone on to lose that game? How differently do these playoffs unfold?

• Can you imagine if the C’s had pulled off the Caron Butler/Carlos Boozer double they apparently contemplated, at least according to Sports Illustrated?

• If I’m reading Rajon Rondo’s shot chart at NBA.com right, that 17-foot jumper he made to put the C’s up 93-90 last night was just the second jumper he’s made from that part of the court all playoffs:

Worth noting: Rondo is 28-of-74 (38 percent) in the playoffs on shots outside that area right around the rim, according to this chart. Some of his runners/floaters must have been close enough to sneak into that at-the-rim zone on NBA.com’s hot spot charts, right?

• Given how well this team has played so far in the post-season, it’s reasonable to ask: Had KG not gotten injured last season, would we be talking about Boston inching closer to its third straight NBA Finals appearance?

Such hypotheticals are ultimately a waste of time and brain power, I realize.

But we’ve got three days until Game 3 in Boston, so now’s the time to think about them.

• Finally, Ben Q. Rock at Orlando Pinstriped Post dips into the Synergy Sports data to see how various Boston big men do defending post-ups and on pick-and-rolls. There are many, many interesting nuggets in Rock’s analysis, including this one on Sheed:

Oddly, Howard might be best served posting [Wallace] up. Wallace allows 0.885 points per possession in these situations and yields points 48.3% of the time. But with the post-up comes the risk. Wallace’s quick hands and savvy enable him to poke entry passes or sloppy dribbles away, and he knows how to pull the chair out from under his man to force a travel every now and again. Those skills explain why 19.5% of post-ups against him result in a turnover.

  • josh

    there is no doubt in my mind the celtics would have beat the cavs in the ECF last year if KG had been healthy. a friend of a friend of mine is a big cavs fan and i told him he was lucky that the magic beat the celtics, even without KG. the lakers might have been able to pull out the finals, but the celtics definitely would have gotten there.

    it’s one of those things in sports that makes me a little sad, thinking about what might have been if not for a freak injury or (in football and college basketball) a fluke loss that prematurely knocked out a great team.

  • Jason

    60-103 at the rim. Is it at all possible to split this with Howard in the game vs all other games/minutes without Howard?

  • Jason

    I love your threepeat question and it’s why I think all Cs fans should want the Lakers in the Finals (after going 7 against the Suns, of course). 2009 was a paper championship for them because KG was out. Beating them in 2010 would cement that fact.

  • Ben

    That shot chart is incredible. A point guard that attempts more shots at the rim than the rest of the floor *combined*.

  • Jason

    We’re going to have a lot of time to discuss the upcoming games in Boston, but I for one still think the Magic are dangerous. They can go off from 3 at anytime. What the Cs have limited so far has been great, but any night can be a lights-out game. Will the Magic come up with one in Boston?

    On the other hand, I’m still also waiting for a Howard-in-foul-trouble game. If/when that happens, Rondo will have a field day.

    Of course, the Cs have always have a potential Cavs-Game-5 in them where 4 people go off instead of just 2 and they win by 25.

    So many possibilities. So much desire to go for the kill now. How are we all going to handle 3 days off before the next game?

  • Jay P

    @Jason

    Drink, heavily. Make the next few days a blur.

  • complexity

    If we made the same trade that Dallas did, we probably would have got eliminated like them.

  • NHBluesMan

    While i know that Orlando is a dangerous team, i don’t see them being able to rally from this. Maybe they’ll steal a game in Boston (remember, games 1 and 2 were decided by a total of 7 points). But at the same time, the Garden will be ROARING and everyone smells blood.

    My original prediction was Celtics in 6 or Magic in 7, but the Celtics have kicked it up another notch and are going for the kill. We need to finish the sweep, because if Orlando manages to scrape out a win, they get to come home with some momentum, and then the pressure is on for us to finish them on their floor or in a game 6 in Boston.

    LETS GO CELTICS!!!

  • sacbobv

    What I’m most curious about is how the NBA is going to handle the Howard flagrant.

    Guesses or opinions, anyone?

  • Ross in Maine

    Z, I actually clapped when I read your line on Sheldon Williams (Hey, it’s playoff time, after all)

    Baby’s been a real factor off the bench, look for him to be a starter in 2012 or 13. I love his energy, and it’s amazing to see a guy that stout to be as fast and freakishly air-born as he gets.

    As much as I would Love, hope and pray for a Celtics sweep, I also will stick to my predictions: C’s in 6.

  • Jason

    Finally somebody sees what really happened. Dwight had a whole bunch of ugly shots and bounces to fall. Good luck repeating that. And, oh yeah, you still lost anyway.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Behind-the-Box-Score-where-Doc-is-getting-throu?urn=nba,242100

    Perk and everyone else, you defended Howard just fine. Keep it up. He’s not scoring 20 again, never mind 30.

  • http://everyspring.wordpress.com/ Jordan

    I’m wondering how Howard managed 3 points on KG without drawing a foul or attempting a FG. J/k j/k.

    I must say that out of all the Celtics, even though I hate a few of them like KG (Spurs fan), I love watching Perkins play. I love seeing him foil an opposing center’s post up. It’s awesome.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Just read on espn that they are not going to do anything to Dwight. Surprise!!!! I thought the Dwight foul on Paul was a flagrant 2. Dwight had follow through and it was a shot TO THE HEAD and it drew BLOOD. If that had been Kobe getting clobbered in the head, David Stern himself would have vaulted to the floor & led Dwight away in handcuffs. I thought those types of head shots went out in the 80s/90s but apparently not if you’re Dwight Howard. Big props to Paul for keeping his head & continuing to be aggressive. If Perk had a head shot like that I would expect a flagrant 2 & ejection on Perk, right? Jeff Van Gundy commented twice about how he did not see a foul on 2 calls which went against Perk for setting moving screens. The last bad call fouled Perk out of the game. Dwight is just about “foul invincible” out there when he gets up to 4 or 5 fouls. Would Dwight EVER BE CALLED FOR HIS 6TH FOUL ON AN ILLEGAL SCREEN???? Are you kidding? Dwight is moving on some of his screens, but we are not going to see that called. JVG went on to say that Perk gets some screen calls against him because of a bad rep. Rajon FINALLY got to the foul line where he was 5-6. I remember a lot of people all over Rajon earlier in the season over free throws, but he has really worked hard on it. Congratulations Rajon. I guess the nba was really embarrassed by Crawford’s no call when Rajon was clearly fouled across the arms in game 1 (they showed a replay of it with even the announcers declaring it to be a bad, missed call).

    I’m in the uneasy category about our home games. We lost to Orlando both times we played them at home. I’d rather see us play on the road. I don’t know why we play better on the road, but we do. Thank God it is not a friday night home game. Orlando has not been blown out in either game so far. They’ve been dangerously close. The Cs have a tendency to be over confident & somewhat lazy / lackadaisical at home.

  • http://www.hotmail.com Kevin Garnett

    2008: Champions
    2009: (With a healthy KG) Champions
    2010: Champions

  • Jeff

    I’m uneasy too, but “The Cs have a tendency to be over confident & somewhat lazy / lackadaisical at home” is not why. Any prediction or expectation based on the regular season might just as well be thrown out the window.
    If we drop a home game it will be because Orlando is good enough to win one, not because the C’s let it slip away — I hope (I also hope to finish the season without an ulcer or a coronary — it might have been easier to take when I thought they were bound to lose any round).

  • PierceTurth

    just a reminder for all those who are going to the celtics game… remember to tune in to @CelticsChants on twitter every so often to see what cahnts to yell as dwight howard bricks free throws left and right

  • Chris O.

    I am going to the game and can’t WAIT

  • David B.

    It sure makes you wonder how it would have all turned out it the C’s rolled with Boozer and the Jazz with big Perkins. Because the Jazz really needed a good tough big man (they played the comically bad duo Fesenko and Koufos) and the Celtics would have been a menace offensively with a 20/10 power forward who can shoot jump shots. Though then they’d end up being terrorizing by Howard in the frontcourt due to a lack of size, but I digress…

  • http://community.mybb.com/member.php?action=profile&uid=45627 360 xbox spel

    This is a good way of just what, for some, might be a questionable topic. Very well though out there publish. Computers make it simpler to do lots of things, but many of the things that they make it easier to carry out dont need to be carried out. Caused by Andrew Rooney

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