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.
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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…