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Suns Get Burnt Out: Celtics 115, Suns 103

 

Finally!  Finally finally finally, the Celtics don’t play a game where it’s close up until the very end.  If you watched this game, then you know it had its fair share of unforeseen issues.  Still, despite certain setbacks (some of which we will discuss momentarily) just take a second to appreciate the fact that this game was a laugher for a good long while.

Okay, now back to reality.  Let’s talk set backs.  First and foremost, Glen “Big Baby” Davis hurt his patella tendon in garbage time.  Apparently Davis has been nursing this injury all season so a little inflammation was bound to happen sooner or later.  This allows the fact that it occurred when the game was well in hand to be forgivable.  Also, count the Cs lucky that they have a new power forward on their hands (Troy Murphy) that is going to have to get acclimated to his new digs if he’s going to make any difference on this team.  Couple Murphy’s need for playing time with the potential return of the other ailing big men (Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal) and you’re left feeling a little “meh” about this latest Davis news.  This, of course, could change the moment Davis’ MRI results come back and if the news is less than favorable (something that could very well happen before I am even done writing this up).

Aside from the Davis injury, the Celtics gave us a great example of the giant monkey that’s been riding them this season.  I am, of course, talking about the play of their bench.  Last night’s example came predominantly in the third quarter after the Celtics’ starters took their time building a sound lead all while removing the Suns’ hearts, seasoning them, and then devouring them.  Then the Celtics’ bench came in, fashioned new hearts for the Suns (miracles of science, really) and let the Suns make a game of it.  Before we really get into that, let’s take a look at how the Celtics built their lead.  In order to do that, we’ll look at this roughly two minute section of the third quarter:

Ball movement, stifling defense, passion, effort.  All of these things culminated into beautiful Celtic basketball and allowed the Greenies to build a very comfortable lead.  A lead so insurmountable, not even Avery Bradley bricking jump shots could allow the Suns to crawl back into this…whoa, wait, what the hell is this?:

That is a lot of time spent stuck at 91 points.  Something really magical happens to the Celtics late in games.  Their efficient offense just disappears.  No one on the Celtics bench has the ability to create for others and now that Nate Robinson is gone, there isn’t a player that can create for himself.  This might change once Jeff Green gets acclimated to his role off the bench but as it stands right now the Celtics are going to continue to see see the same late game offensive futility.

Most of the bench offense comes from Davis doing jab step pull ups or dribble spin moves in the post.  I like these moves but until Davis becomes an efficient passer out of the post they cannot be “go to” sets.

* * *

In other news, Jeff Green spent nearly a whole possession clutching what I can only imagine is like a Mario Power Up for him.  Seriously, check this out:

Okay, so Channing Frye may have been caught off guard in their first meeting but it looks like Jeff Green got the worst of the two blows. Did karma take care of this? Is KG off the hook? Are the Cs and Celtics now friends?

  • One last thing I want to discuss: so if you turned the game off early, you missed Jared Dudley fouling Rajon Rondo on the last shot of the game. This situation involved two people and neither of them were at fault. I can hear Suns and Celtics fans complaining about this at this same time:
  • Celtics’ Fan Argument: The game’s over, what was he trying to prove?

    Suns’ Fan Rebuttal: The game’s over, what was he trying to prove?

    It’s pretty obvious that both of these players are competitors and if Rondo wants to go hard and try to score another bucket at the end of the game to pour salt in the wounds of an opponent, that opponent has every right to make him earn those points at the line.  Dudley is a solid dude and so is Rondo.  Play on!

    • Dan

      It seemed to me the reason that Rondo took that shot at the end was because the previous two possessions went like this:

      1) Paul Pierce held the ball at the top of the key and let the shot clock expire without trying to score.

      2) Michael Pietrus (I believe) desperately charges up the floor trying to score last minute garbage points.

      I think Rondo was pissed that the Suns tried to score on that last meaningless possession when the Celtics had just let the shot clock expire.

      • Chris O

        Very true, Suns should have held up the white flag, instead, after the time was so that they could not catch up and the lead was to big they scored after Pierce had let a shot clock violation and then the Suns bench (and Coach) kept talking. C's inbound to Jeff Green who almost gets taken out midair on a 3/4 pass, he gives it to Rondo and pulls a Belichick F.U. 3, so Dudley fouls him. That is not a play on

      • CG12

        various press sources said that there was plenty of talk coming from the Suns bench, including Alvin Gentry, and that resulted in KG's tech and is probably why Rondo launched the FU 3.

        • job

          good analysis, I think that is also why Paul did his star down on Frye who was jumping on the bandwagon of KG complainers and trying to claim he isn't whining or tattling because "I'm not the first to complain about [KG.] At first I thought Rondo was angry at chip shots on Paul and others. I love that it's being called the FU 3 by you guys! LOL

          • Chris O

            lol, the FU 3 is the ultimate

      • CsFanInArkansas

        Rondo strikes me as the type of person that would be sure to have the last word in an argument…it's pretty well documented that he's the stubborn, iron-willed competitor. So, to me, that was just Rondo trying to have the last word.

        • Chris O

          Definitely an FU 3 for the Suns because of their talk. Even Doc was PISSED after the game. A suit shouldn't talk

    • Chris O

      Also I heard BBD out 5 days? Is this correct, that's what I heard Doc said bia a radio report. A strained Patella tendon takes more than 5 days to heal fully. I will heal about 80-90% by then. So you will gamble on BBD's knee….hmmm

      • Mike
        • Chris O

          Tendonitis, or tenonosis (commonly confused even by people in the medical profession becauase of the limited knowledge of human tendons) does not heal in 3-5 days. It will def b 80% healed but no way 100% or compeltely a strong tendon (which as Davis said in an interview joking around WILL AFFECT his ability to jump).

    • Conall

      Not really related to game analysis..but I cannot get over Tommy's reaction to Pierce getting T'd up after the dunk. It is just pure comedic gold. There's a couple of videos on youtube highlighting a few of Tommy's choice rants, and I believe this nugget could be right up there with them. Tommy point for Tommy.

      • Tom W

        It was like water for a drowning man, for me hearing Tommy. My League Pass played the Phoenix announcers, who are almost as bad as Tommy. They thought the technical was a great call. I was seething.

        • Conall

          Ya I found a crystal clean stream but it was the Phoenix guys announcing so I muted the sound on them, and found a mediocre stream with Mike and Tommy. Luckily enough they were perfectly synced. I'd rather watch a dodgy stream with our guys than a great stream with another team's guys.

    • Dan

      Does anyone else hear Tommy say "What a mindfuck" after Pierce hits his FT.

      • Tom W

        I didn't hear that, but his "I don't LIKE that" was pretty wonderful…

    • Tom W

      Is it too early for me, one of Perk's biggest supporters and someone who hated the trade hard at the time, to say I think we might very well be a better team? Krstic looks great. Jeff Green is fitting in, and that one full court drive and layup was AMAZING in the first half last night. My hopes, which were about as low as they could be after the trade, are steadily rising again…

      • zebulon

        Krstic is a huge, huge upgrade offensively. Very low turnovers and an excellent midrange jumper – the spacing has just been excellent with the new starting crew.

        Green, on the other hand, looks only ok. He is just a bad shooter from all over the floor, and a bad defender, and his pluses (good passer, team player, can handle the ball) definitely don't outweigh his negatives. Maybe Ray can teach him how to shoot? If green could hit threes, he would be a GREAT addition to the team.

        Still, I like the playoff top nine of Rondo/Ray/Pierce/KG/Krstic/Shaq/Baby/Green/Delonte. Good size, and EVERY one of those players is at least competent on offense. Like Tom said, this looks like a better TEAM than what we had before the trade, even if it isn't quite as talented a crew of players.

        • Tom W

          Agreed. Wasn't Jeff Green a pretty good shooter last year? I wonder if it's just a confidence thing, coming into a new system and stuff.

    • CsFanInArkansas

      Oh Brendan, I thought you learned on one of your recent Perkins posts not to upset the very literal readers by bringing "karma" into the equation! : )

      How was there all this alleged trash talking from the Suns bench/coaching staff to our players without any officials stepping in and telling everyone to shut up? I don't really get that. It seems to reason that if our players are hearing something – if Doc is hearing it, too – then the officials ought to be catching wind of it….no?

      We looked sharp last night (most of the night) – I think if we can continue to play sharp versus these teams that aren't in the same category as us, we could have a very good March. I don't worry about us getting up for the contenders/quazi-contenders…it's the sub .500s that worry me with our group.

      • Chris O

        And that is why Rondo shot the F.U. 3, and why Doc wasn't upset by it. I could hear Gentry talking during some of the stoppages and I WASN'T on the court.

    • Chris O

      In other good news I just acquired a ticket to the C's vs Clips next Weds….I wanna see some Blakeage and some awesome C's play

    • jim

      I loved the F.U.3! The suns earned it!

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