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.
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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?
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!