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Some Love for The Bigs

 

The Celtics starting backcourt has been garnering a lot of attention today. Something about a triple-double and setting an NBA Finals record for three pointers made will do that I guess. There is no doubt that the C’s would have gone nowhere last night without these two leading the ship.

Rajon Rondo was a maestro, the way he controlled game 2 throughout. Ray Allen would have spotted the Green a double digit 1st half lead if it weren’t for Boston giving the ball away 11 times in 24 minutes.

Quick sidebar: It’s actually comical now, after the fact to think about, but did anyone notice Ray’s face during that halftime interview with Doris Burke. That just shocked look, indicating, “Wait I just had the best shooting half of my career and we are only up 6? Really?”

In any case, Rondo and Ray were the keys to the win. You don’t need me to tell you that. There is a part of this roster though that deserves some credit, after their effort last night and those are the Celtic big men.

Now before you start screaming at your computer, please just hear me out. Andrew Bynum and Paul Gasol have had two terrific games, eating the C’s up at seemingly every turn. Some (ok, a lot) falls on our bigs.

However, last night when it mattered, the big guys collectively stood up in more ways than one, helping the C’s to get over the hump and put away the Lakers for good. With that in mind, let’s take a look at just how they got the job done.

Defense

The shooting numbers for the Lakers big men in the fourth quarter:

Gasol: 0/1 FG, 1 point.
Bynum: 1/1 FG, 2 points
Odom: 1/2 FG, 3 points

Four field goal attempts collectively from the 4 and 5 spots, easily the Lakers best sources of offense this series. Now, you can blame the LA offense for not getting the ball to those guys when it mattered down the stretch, but let’s be fair here.

The C’s frontcourt defense had a lot to do with that reality. Fronting those guys, denying the ball, and smart positioning by the C’s bigs were a factor in this equation. Then again, so was Ron Artest’s absurd shot selection. No matter how you slice it though, the C’s front line did their job on the defensive end when it counted.

In fact, I’m feeling so positive, let’s run through everyone in the frontcourt to give them their props.

Kendrick Perkins

He may take 3 seconds too long to get most of his shots up, but he still made the most of them in game 2. 12 points from Perk is nothing to sneeze at, it was his highest number of these playoffs since game 2 of the Miami series. The C’s record when Perk scores 10 or more points these playoffs? 5-0.  

4 of 7 from the field, a even more impressive 4 of 6 from the free throw line, perhaps, most importantly 0 technicals during the evening. Thanks Ken Mauer for not calling a double T in the 2nd quarter when Perk got mixed with someone on an inbounds play. That was easily the best call you made during a very tough night for the whistleblowers.

Rasheed Wallace

The man is gutting it out right now. You have to admire that. 7 points and 7 rebounds in 18 very efficient minutes, to go along with a +15 to lead the team in plus/minus. He’s using his length and smarts, something this team desperately needs against the immense size the Lakers have up front. Here’s hoping the plane ride home today didn’t make the back act up too much.

Glen Davis

Aggressive. Relentless. So many words can be used to describe this man’s effort. There’s one sequence though that sums up this man’s fight in game 2. With about 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter, he rebounded a Tony Allen missed layup and was blocked. He gathered himself, and got 2 more offensive rebounds right away. Both were swatted away. Celtics came up empty.

On the very NEXT possession, the C’s go down low to Davis on the block, and he hits a 3 foot hook shot over Lamar Odom. A lot of guys would be discouraged about being stuffed into oblivion a possession earlier. Not Big Baby. Despite an all around off shooting night, (4 of 13 from field) you have to give it up to a guy who keeps at it like that.

Shelden Williams

Who are we kidding here, I have nothing positive to say about Shelden’s performance last night, except for the fact it increases the odds of Brian Scalabrine dressing for game 3. Let’s move on…..

Kevin Garnett

Game 1, it was an off night. Most of game 2 it was foul trouble. He had no rhythm last night, and whispers of him being “washed up” are getting louder and louder. No, he’s not the same player he was 2 years ago. He still helps his team win though when it matters. Again, I point to the fourth quarter.

12 minutes, 1 of 2 FG, 3 assists, 4 points, and one monster pick that freed up Rajon Rondo for a wide open layup to give the C’s a 95-90 lead. KG wasn’t on last night offensively, only taking 6 baskets, but make no mistake he helped The Green in many other ways.

On defense, distributing the ball, (6 assists on night), setting the picks. It may not have been pretty, and watching him rebound the ball this series has been painful. The Big Ticket continues to fight though and last night he helped his team win.

Now, Boston is heading home for three games, where the Celtic big men play best. Scoring for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum won’t be as easy at the Garden, they will be out of their comfort zones. Which side steps up in game 3 will have a huge say in determining who grabs a stranglehold on this series.

  • zeus

    where can i get KGs numbers for ORL, Cav and Miami serieses?

  • Tom

    Can we please get Scal in over Shelden Williams. I almost needed a new TV after seeing how he almost single handedly blew the game with two minutes left in the second. While he only played 3-4 minutes, but I remember every painful minute of it.

    How big is Sheed in the last three series? I know a lot of people were on him during the season, but I truly did think he was going to help us because he has the length and size that no one else has on the team. (Perk is really 6’10 and don’t have much lift, KG is built like a noodle, Big Baby is like 6’6 with no lift). With the exception of Ray Allen on the team, who else shoots the bank shot better than him?

    Man, why wouldn’t PJ Brown come back? Can we go back to the hot tub time machine?

  • Coolin

    This was spot on. If KG can play just a little better and we can count on BBD and Sheed to produce similar numbers as game two, I could see the Celtics wrapping up #18 at home. Also, Paul Pierce needs to score more than 10 points and at home that shouldn’t be a problem.

    Boston needs to come out possessed in all three games. The thing about the Lakers is that they can be broken mentally by getting physical with them. Continue to be physical and the series is ours.

    I am sick of Gasol and his greeezzzyyyy hair and goofy looking face. Whenever I see him I am always hoping someone pops him good in the nose.

  • dslack

    I hate to say it, but I actually really like Pau Gasol. He comes off as an intelligent, thoughtful guy in interviews. He plays cleanly on the court (except for that hard foul on Perkins at the end, which should have been a flagrant for head-contact, regardless how minor), and he’s nowhere near as soft as many posters here claim.

    I understand that KG’s knee hurts. What I don’t understand is why that prevents him from using 2 hands on rebounds. Maybe it’s just that he doesn’t have enough lift to get more than 1 hand on the ball, and to reach with 2 hands would mean to not touch it at all. But, really? He’s much taller than Glen and has much longer arms, and Glen seems to get both hands on the ball plenty often…

  • Banner 18?

    Shelden actually played decent defense last night. Yea he sucks at offense and made a dumb pass that Kobe picked for a 3, but his job isn’t to score. No way Scal dresses over him, sorry BRobb.

  • sacbobv

    I propose a motion to Doc that Scal gets dressed ahead of Shelden.

    Anyone care to second the motion?

  • Korey

    A little love for the Celtics Bigs.

    A LOT of Love for Ron Artest taking bad shots and turning the ball over so that the bigs couldnt get the ball.

    No Laker Love for Big Babys Charge-Taking act. I wish the NBA would get rid of the rule where you can slide underneath a jumping player. Its totally against the “spirit of the game”. But we got Fisher, so eff it that topic for now.

    Currently, Laker fans want more KG less Sheed. Go figure.

  • Jay P

    But Korey… I’m so confused, weren’t you telling me how much you loved Ron Artest and he would be the key to this series, and the major difference why the outcome would be different than 2008?

    Wait what… did I dream that?

    Or maybe you’re finally waking up and realizing his production in Game 6/Game 1 were flukes, and the marginal amount he can “shut down” Pierce is nowhere near the bonehead “wtf” moments you’ll have to tolerate on offense?

    But even with Ron Ron being, well… himself, the Celtics still gotta come down and score, so lets give some credit for taking care of business (and a hat tip to Artest for the assist, thanks dude.)

    Far as Babys charge-taking wonderful play, hate the game, not the player. It’s in the rules, so why wouldn’t he do it, it’s just smart basketball.

    What will blow your mind even more, is I’ve talked to a lot of Celtics fans who want more Sheed, less KG. Go figure… now excuse my while I go throw up, I just had flash backs of the regular season Sheed.

  • Jay P

    @sacbobv

    You say that like Scal is completely immune to bonehead plays.

    Please, at least Williams can play D.

  • mitch

    @ tom

    big baby is 6 foot 9, not 6 foot 6

  • Tom

    When I stood courtside during warmup, Big Baby was around the same height as Paul Pierce. He is not 6’9, it’s like Tom Cruise listing himself at 6′.

    Scal doesn’t throw passes to Kobe twice with 3 seconds left, Scal doesn’t try to upfake two 7 footer. What defense did he actually play? Shelden Williams was useless, undress him for game 3

  • Ersatz

    I like how in the eyes of the media and Laker fans it was Artest that lost the game for them. When it’s not the refs, of course. Nothing about Kobe going into solo mode or the team forgetting all about that Gasol guy (who, by the way, is the Lakers’ most valuable player). It’s either the fault of the crazy guy on their team or the crazy guys in striped shirts.

  • Ersatz

    I don’t understand the Shelden hate. Jeez, for someone who hasn’t played meaningful minutes since college, the guy played decently except for two stupid plays. Even those I wouldn’t blame totally on him, as he was just trying to make happen what the coaching staff wanted to happen: running opportunities.

  • dslack

    Ersatz, he also had the dumb foul on Artest on the perimeter with 1:40 to go in the half. He played really stupidly.

  • still enjoying #17

    Scal plays decent defense. Play him at home, let him bust a 3, and watch how the Garden erupts. You want a momentum shift? Insert Scal.

  • Tom

    @Ersatz

    Your version of defense is not boxing out, allowing people to score? If so, Shelden can do it all.

    On offense, you can also see him throw passes away or miss layups or drop balls.

    As I said, I was more frustrated in those 2 minutes with him on the floor than the entire game. I never truly recover from the stupid plays he made in the 3rd or even the 4th quarter. It’s one thing to play with no skills, it’s another to play dumb and stupid. Is he really an upgrade over Leon?

  • Jay P

    Scal is at best a below average defender, and god awful rebounder.

    You seriously want him on the court instead of Shelden? Like we haven’t had enough problems rebounding?

    Oh and @still enjoying #17

    That would require him to get a shot, which he’ll most likely miss anyway.

    Obviously I’d rather the bigs don’t get in foul trouble again, and we don’t have to see either one. But if there’s no other choice, Williams over Scal anyday, it’s not even a tough questions.

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