Well, that takes care of that second-quarter bugaboo.
After a run by the Nets to end the first quarter with a two-point differential, the Celtics, led by an unlikely bench lineup of Wafer, Bradley, Daniels, Baby, and Shaq, unceremoniously held the Nets to 12 points in the 2nd to open up a 20-point lead. Their bloodlust for humiliation not satisfied, the C’s allowed only 16 more in the 3rd, and only 75 for the game, the lowest Jersey total of the year.
This was a substantial blowout in which A) the best player did not play, and B) the bulk of the shot attempts (not just in garbage time, throughout the game) went to Nate and Glen. Nate had 12, Glen had 13, and nobody else had more than 8. And they converted 60% of them. That’s the depth, people. We’re 20,000 leagues under the sea here.
Even without Rondo, the C’s got the ball in excellent position under the basket on a consistent basis and finished extremely well. I’m beginning to think Johan Petro isn’t a great post defender. They also made productive use of the offensive strategy “Who Is Standing Closest to Anthony Morrow, Get Him the Ball Immediately.”
None of the old guys played more than 26 minutes, and at the end of the game we got a long, almost boringly long look at a lineup of Wafer, Bradley, Daniels, Harangody, and Erden. That’s a very unhealthy number of victory cigars. When I come back in a little while we’ll talk about what we saw from the scrubs, Shaq’s sore calf, and the second-half performance on both ends, including that crazy lineup mentioned above. For now, enjoy this win that you stopped watching an hour and a half ago.