Post-game Reactions

On last week’s episode of CelticsHub:

Hayes surfed his way over to Paul Pierce’s official website and determined it was:

Actually worth reading, which distinguishes paulpierce.net from every athlete homepage ever. His bio is totally engaging and mercifully short on inspirational nonsense, and there’s a whole page on the always-repeatable story of how Pierce earned his nickname. Elsewhere, there’s an entire section dedicated to the 2008 championship run, with a short essay about each round with quotes.

Brian dug into the improvements in Rajon Rondo’s mid-range shooting and found that:

Only half of Rondo’s scoring attempts are coming at the rim this year and he’s finishing at a very respectable 60 percent clip, which is actually a step down from his number last year. However, the good news for C’s fans is his number from the dreaded mid-range where Rondo is shooting a career high 45 percent through 16 games. The even better news in that department? That’s while taking more shots than almost any other year from that distance at 2.6/game from the 16-23 feet area.

Mike took this week’s look at Glen Davis, perhaps the most closely-examined Celtic of the season so far….

Personally, I think Baby has always had a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove that he is more than a role player in the NBA. That he’s got game and isn’t just some scrappy guy who comes off the bench so he can bang around inside against other backups. Keep in mind, in the past he has talked about making an All-Star team at some point in his career.

And while I’m not going to try to pretend to understand the KG-Big Baby dynamic, I also think it’s quite possible that Davis sees how effective of a player Garnett has become as a mid-range shooter, and he wants to emulate that.

I zeroed in on the graceful aging of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen:

Pierce’s .602 TS% is second only to last year’s .613 as his career high and should he maintain his current eFG% of .541, it would be a career-best. We could pick at his three-point percentage, which is down this year at .356 (from last year’s career high of .414) but should Pierce’s figures normalize to the ~.390 he’s put up in the big three era, Celtics fans should have little to complain about. Pierce is a superior shooter to when he won MVP of The Finals.

Allen is tied for a career high in TS% (at .610). His eFG% of .567 is within sniffing distance of a career high. And Allen, at age 35, is shooting his best ever percentage (.435) from the three-point-line. Like Pierce, he is a more effective shooter now than ever before.

The Celtics also racked up three more wins, to bring their winning streak to 12 games.

The first victim was the Charlotte Bobcats:

…the Celtics toyed with their overmatched foes from North Carolina in a game reminiscent of the many blowouts during the 2007-08 championship season. The Celtics quietly built a 42-32 halftime lead by holding the Bobcats to 0 points on the fast break and 0 points from behind the arc. Then Boston choked off the lifeless Charlotte offense (34.5 efg%) in the third quarter and this thing devolved into a rout…

Then the Celtics took down the Knicks in perhaps their most exciting game of the season:

…this was a superbly entertaining game in no small part because of the unrelenting offensive pressure the Celtics and Knicks applied to the other’s defense. What basketball fan wouldn’t enjoy this game? Both teams moved the ball, made cuts for layups, hit their jumpers, pushed the ball in transition, snagged offensive rebounds, hit crazy shots off the dribble – basically everything you could possibly want…

That the bruised and battered Celtics could win a game of this nature (free wheeling, wide open, high scoring) says a lot about the makeup of the team. Great teams can play all styles. The 2010-11 Celtics are proving to be a great team.

Brendan pulled together a photo essay on the Knicks game and got to the bottom of all this rivalry talk on ESPN’s Daily Dime:

For the first time in four years, the Celtics are no longer the big brother picking on the helpless younger brother. Instead, they are the elder statesmen fending off the younger, more precocious, but impressive upstart. Paul Pierce said of the Knicks after the game, “They have arrived.” Stoudemire echoed that sentiment as well in his postgame news conference, “Boston respects us.”

Then the Celtics finished off their perfect week by taking down the Hawks for the second time this season:

For the second night in a row, this team proved that it doesn’t need everything to go right, or even most things, as long as there are at least three Hall of Famers out there. When there are gaps in the roster, the remaining players step up to fill them in, even playing out of position like Pierce did at the point tonight. When certain aspects of the system aren’t working well (Pierce attacking the rim), the players compensate by leaning extra hard on the parts that are (Ray Allen, Glen Davis).

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Ryan DeGama

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