Post-game Reactions

Last night’s game is barely 12 hours old and I already feel like it’s old news.  I’ll make these quick:

  • Paul Pierce scored his 20,000th point as an NBA player and a Celtic.  The image of Pierce with hands up, pointing both of his index and middle fingers toward the rafters, acknowledging the adoration of the Boston fans will be an iconic image in this city for years to come.  Unfortunately, my DVR had not planned for overtime.  After fast-forwarding through free throws and commercials, I had finally arrived at overtime long after Midnight.  As the seconds ticked by and the points kept coming for Pierce– two consecutive layups on brilliant backdoor cuts–I knew the moment Pierce was waiting for was soon on it’s way.  Finally, Corey Maggette fouls Pierce, sending him to the line and giving him a chance to make another entry in the record books.  The camera pans to Pierce who looks noticeably tired.  The kind of tired only a player in the last years of his career, in a grind-it-out, physical, overtime game feels.  That tired face became etched in my mind….but mostly in my TeeVee screen as my DVR delivered a crushing blow by flashing that fatal message, “You have reached the end of your recording…”.  That’s right folks.  I missed Paul Pierce reaching 20,000 points.  Soul crushing.
  • The night belonged to Paul Pierce but he couldn’t have gotten there without Rajon Rondo.  As I’m sure you all know, Rondo continued his unbelievable season by dishing out 15 assists and scoring 17 points.  He was a key cog on the offensive end as Kevin Garnett really struggled from the field, going 1-for-8 from from his sweet 16-to-23 feet zone (HoopData.com).
  • Despite Garnett’s poor outside shooting it may be fair to say he has returned to form.  Not necessarily 2007-2008 form, but the form you would expect he’d be in had he not suffered a severe-enough knee/leg injury.  The fourth quarter And-1, hang-and-hit he converted against Ersan Ilyasova was indicative of this return to form; as was the subsequent self-inflicted assault on his chest.
  • Obscured in the much-deserved Rondo fanfare has been the play of Glen Davis.  Davis has also stepped his game up this season and last night was not any different.  Most of his flashy contributions show up in the box score (re: scoring, field goal percentage, minutes played).  However, Davis’ most important contribution is on the defensive end.  He appears to have gotten himself into better shape– at least in the cardiovascular realm of fitness– while still maintaining his impressive size/strength.  Given this, Davis has been asked to guard both mobile power forwards and solidly stout centers and has had success in both cases.  He has also made a name for himself by being able to successfully and consistently take charges.
  • Jermaine O’Neal had three blocks… he just may be finding his way a little bit.
  • Sorry to mention Rondo again, but he’s just that impressive.  Anyone see the block he had on John Salmons?  Who am I kidding?  Of course you did.  We knew the kid could leap and rebound with the best of them but maybe he can actually add “shot-blocker” to his resume.  There is no question his anticipation his off-the-charts.

That’s it for now, I apologize for the brevity.  Thanks for the kind words toward my ol’ lady.  Rest assured if I have anything to say about it, she’s not going anywhere.  Although we are.  Most likely to the Chop House in Worcester.  I better start saving now.

* * *

Brendan had a prior engagement tonight and is now watching the game on DVR. In his attempt to keep himself from seeing the outcome of the game, he has left me with the daunting task of trying to figure out how to post the box score. Let’s just say he owes me a steak dinner…


Brendan’s girlfriend

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  • MP!

    I am highly entertained

  • Conall Mac

    Great game to watch, a few issues to work on, Great to see PP get 20000 points, and what a great girlfriend Brendan's must be to put up with him.

    • Just told a friend that it would be a good problem to have. Brendan, you're a lucky man. Don't screw it up.

  • Balagan

    Any girl who can post a Celtics box score is fine by my book.

    • J. Atlas

      i seconded that…brendan you most definitely owe your girl dinner plus a movie

    • koolaid

      brendan's girlfriend for prez

  • Jamie

    Aside from Big Baby the bench really gave us nothing tonight on the back end of a back to back. That will take it's toll in the spring if the bench cannot contribute more. Nate's 2 shots looked terrible.

    • TruthPierce

      Just remember that we don't have Delonte yet who is a huge part off the bench and also once we get Perk back we can have both Shaq and JO coming off the bench… so don't count out to bench yet

      • Jamie

        True but Daniels played almost 20 minutes and got a whopping 3 points and he's going to play all season/

        • Adrian

          I agree the bench has let the starters down a little aside from Davis, and Daniels hasn't really impressed me. Call me crazy but i would try Harangody at SF definitely a better shooter and rebounder although his defense is a little suspect. Cant wait to get West back to run the secondary.

        • TedL

          Daniels had a bad game. But this was clearly his worst performance of the year. Other nights he's been solid.

          Nate's a little more troubling. He's still trying to figure out his role if it isn't just to shoot the ball every time he touches it. Hopefully he figures that out.

          Otherwise, yes. Having Delonte, Perk, and Shaq back obviously gives us a longer rotation and eases the pressure on the starters.

          • NHBluesMan

            i think Nate will be fine once Delonte is back. Nate is forced to be the ball handler right now, but once Delonte is on the court he can handle the ball and Nate can go back to being instant offense.

            Just as long as the team is healthy come play-offs

  • I_Love_Green

    Lady luck on the Buck's side tonight. So many of the Celtics shots going in and out. Ray's free throw, a few of his threes, KG's jumper, Paul's jumper, and a lot more. It was crazy!

    But a great game anyways, kind of hope Rondo passed the ball off at the end of regulation for a better shot, but a win is a win.

    • NHBluesMan

      i agree. There were so many shots that went half-way down and then shot back out again. If those had fallen this game wouldn't have been nearly as close.

      I'm just happy overall, because this is exactly the kind of close game last year that the Celtics were losing at home. Coming out with a win is very satisfying, and seeing The Truth hit the 20,000 mark was very special

      • koolaid

        amen. so many shots in and out tonight. and the refs didn't do them any favors either (leading to lost possessions and foul trouble).

        either way. great win and exciting game.

        P.S. brandon jennings was totally invisible tonight. rondo rocks the d.

        • TedL

          Well said all. Thought it was very weird how many times we missed good looks.

  • thetruthhurts

    congrats paul! obviously an emotional moment for him… havent seen him get choked up like that since 08 ring ceremony. glad it could be at the garden for him and the fans to share. wouldve been unreal to be there.

    and that girl's a keeper brendan. nicely done!

  • zebulon

    I think the Celts just let it go to OT because Rondo needed another assist to get the record, and Pierce needed 3 points to get to 20,000. (Note: no way this is actually true, but it was a great side effect of the extra time).

    Also as a basketball fan I loved watching this game. Close throughout, good passing, good defense, scrappy play all around, and a ton of heart. In the end it came down to Pierce as a closer, and he reminded us of the early 2000's, when he was unstoppable.

  • shut_it_up


    so who have you been playing lately?
    let's see, come from behind win at home, Blazers.
    Two days rest. Phoenix, who beat Utah's ass the night before, gave you a close game with Who?
    Then garbage.
    Memphis, Golden State and now Sacramento, who, last I checked, was giving you an okay game.
    How many back to backs you got? 15.
    Rest of league, 20+.
    Must be nice.

    • VanillaDark

      Blame the refs, blame the schedule, blame injuries, etc. Heard it all the last few seasons, pal. Sounds like whining to me. Buck up. Your team is great. My team is a tad better. Move on.

      • I don’t really want to get into this, but if your (and I use “your” loosely) team is “a tad better” than how do you get to “total domination”. Don’t say something intentionally inflammatory and then pretend like you’re rational and restrained.

  • GranTur

    I give you an A, Brendan’s girlfriend.

  • JP-

    Glad PP got 20k at home, glad the C's got the win. Pretty bad officiating in the game, a lot of tic tak fouls on JO and Baby. The bench didn't do much, and I don't love the high minutes for the starters on the second night of a back-to-back. Still, good win, rest up Celts.

  • Celtics3417

    The game was a great watch and great to see Rondo set another NBA record and Paul accomplishing something great, however the Celtics played the worst half of the season in the first half. Three out of the first four possessions of the game turnovers. We had a chance to seal the victory and Paul gets the ball stolen from him. Yes it was a great game but the they didn't play well last night. Thrilled that with all that said the celts still came out with a victory. (By the way the refs were trying to give away this game.)

  • schtevie

    46%, 44%, 48%, 43%. This has been the success rate of KG from 16-23 feet over the last four years. He is surely above-average at taking this shot, but do not be deceived. This shot is absolutely the worst shot on the floor. There is nothing sweet about this zone. It is sour, bitter, horrible tasting. Its only value comes as an option when the shot clock is running out, when there is nothing better available. If KG is taking these shots at any time besides this, it is not helping; it is hurting the Cs chances of victory. Please do not glamorize or praise this shot. It is the worst feature of KG's game. Is my point clear?

    • Your point is clear, it's just misguided. The "long two" is the worst shot in basketball not because it's hard to make but because the risk outweighs the reward. In other words, why take a 22 footer when you can take a step back 23 footer? The reward for a 23 footer is three points whereas the reward for a 22 footer is 2 points. The problem with KG is that the "long two" is within his range whereas the three is not. KGs shooting percentages from midrange and the "long two" area are comparable to that of Rip Hamilton, one of the premier midrange jumper shooters in the NBA.

      You admit KG has success hitting these jumpers yet only see the value you in this when the shot clock is running down. You take away KGs sweet spot and you take away a big part of his pick-and-roll and dribble-drive offense.

      Please do not make generalizations without considering the individual involved. For KG, the long two is a good shot.

      • Matthew

        I'm with schtevie on this one. While I agree KG is good in 'long twos', I'd still much rather see him post up. Yes, his ability to shoot long-range jumpers are a plus to his already exceptional talent, but then again, I always cringe whenever he puts up a 20-foot shot. On the other hand, the comparable shooting percentages in which Brendan compared KG to Rip Hamilton is prettty hard to dispute.

        But I agree with schtevie. Just like you both said the "long two" is the worst shot in basketball, it definitely is the worst feature of KG's game – unless you throw in his "cancerous" trash-talking. Hehehe. Go Celts!

      • schtevie

        Brendan, the "long two" is the worst shot in basketball because it is hard to make. Between it being farther from the basket and opponents being in your face, the ball doesn't tend to go in the hole very much, only about 40% of the time. That KG improves upon that by a few points is nice, but it is a below average shot (from the standpoint of the scoring ability of the team as a whole) that should only be taken when the threshold is really low: at the end of the shot clock. If this "sweet spot" is taken away, what is culled is the worst part of his pick-and-roll and dribble-drive offense. And that would be a very good thing.

        Whenever* he takes that shot with more time on the shot clock, he is causing the team to forgo what is likely a better scoring opportunity. Three times in the last game, for example, the shot was taken with what I would estimate was around 15 seconds left in the shot clock. (And he missed all of these, by coincidence.)

        Is your point that the Cs cannot do better than low 40s with that much time on the clock? If so, I am pretty sure you are wrong. Don't be bedazzled by his overall strength as a player and assume that everything he does is as good as it can be. It isn't.

        * A correct criticism of my position is that the averages I cite are possibly misleading. That when he is taking the mid-range shot earlier in the shot clock, chances are he is relatively open and he is hitting them at a higher rate than mid 40s. Maybe these clock in at mid 50s, and I am wrong. (But then, in turn, the end of clock mid-range shots would be well below average quality, and perhaps these become suboptimal given the alternatives available within the offense). But that is not my sense of things. It is an interesting empirical question though.

  • TedL – Sophomore

    Great points overall, Brendan, but I just can't agree with your comment that BBD's defense is a big plus for the Cs right now. He was regularly abused last night in two situations – he's very, very slow to recover from hedging or showing on the pick and roll, and he often forgets to body big ger men he's guarding away from the basket. You could see Bogut's eyes light up when BBD was on him – he knew Baby wasn't going to bother his shot.

    There was one play where BBD did a nice job – he bodied Bogut to prevent him getting position then maintained contact when Bogut made his move. That bothered Bogut enough to cause a miss. He has to do that consistently. The other thing he has to do consistently is box out. He was responsible for allowing several offensive rebounds.

    Net, Baby's still a positive because they desperately need his offense. But he could be a lot better on D and/or the boards.

  • TedL – Sophomore

    Almost forgot – taking charges is great. But even if he does a great job, that'll be 1-2 per game. So it has to be put in perspective of his total defensive effort. Also, don't forget that he drew at least one blocking foul trying to get a charge. It's a plus, but because the play's so dramatic it can seem like a bigger plus than it really is.

    • J-Bone

      Don't forget that every time Baby (or any other Celtics player) draws a charge, that's going to be in the back of the opponent's mind every time they are going to the rim. Drawing a charge has a larger effect than the Celtics gaining possession; it changes the way other teams attack the rim, not to mention it can get opposing players in foul trouble, possibly making them more cautious on the defensive end.

      But I agree, the blocking fouls can be horrible, especially since it gives the opposing player a pretty easy and-one opportunity.

  • KellyGreen

    I agree with I_Love_Green, would have liked to see someone else take that last shot of regulation. I know Rondo has been hitting that shot a little bit more, but with the other players on the floor, he should have dished. Great win though and awesome to see PP hit 20k at home.

    Keep that girl Brendan, I can hardly get my girlfriend to watch basketball let alone post box scores.

  • zebulon

    Dude I just read the comment about the DVR missing the end of the game – I am SO sorry. That's the absolute worst feeling, and coupled with Pierce's milestone… I'm sorry my man.

  • SteveB

    @Brendan, Hopefully my DVR recorded everything which could then be recorded to DVD. Let me know if you'd like that.

  • What More Can I Say?

    It was an open hand forearm shiver to an area that was pretty damn close to his face. Chest area.

    By the way….that was a SIIICCCCCKKK dunk. I jumped off the couch on that one.

  • John (in Lakersland)

    wow, 20,000 points. congratulations to the best supporting actress for becoming the 36th player to reach such an incredible feat. whoopifarkingdo.

    raising two fingers was just so gay, so was the "holding back the tears"

    let me know when Pauline accomplishes something worth celebrating