The Nets Deron Williams hits a huge three to put the Celtics away as the Nets go up by seven in the waning minutes. This play is of particular interest to Celtics’ fans for how unCeltic-like it was. After playing some pretty solid defense for the first 16 seconds of the shot clock, the NETS call a timeout. With eight seconds to go, coming off a timeout, instead of forcing the customary turnover or tough shot the Celtics back off Williams just enough for him to drain a three. Just prior the Celtics showcased another very unCeltic-like moment when, again out of a timeout, they fail to execute a set play on the offensive end. Instead of getting a good look from on of their stars and cutting a four point Nets lead to two (or even one) Rajon Rondo forces a long two off the dribble that clangs iron.
Speaking of Rondo, he may have had his worst game of the season but the blame can’t all rest on his shoulders– particularly on the aforementioned play where he forced up a long two. Credit New Jersey for playing inspired wing defense not only in the half-court but, more impressively, in transition. Couple the NETS defensive effort on the wing with some tired Celtic legs and you get the Celtics line from the perimeter (2-for-10). To be fair, two of those attempts came at the end of the game when Boston was playing the “chuck up a three and foul game.” Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Celtics long-range ineptitude tonight, especially in its stark contrast with New Jersey’s impressive showing (11-25).
Unfortunately for the Cs, perimeter defense and shooting is about all New Jersey did well tonight…and it was good enough to get the win. Just feast your eyes on these numbers:
The numbers on the whole are pretty painful to look at when you consider the Celtics lost this game. The Celtics shot the ball with greater efficiency, out-rebounded, and out-assisted the NETS and still lost. When you take a closer look, it’s evident that the NETS volume shooting was the difference-maker. 25 three point attempts from New Jersey? Are you kidding me? Not to mention the NETS had 24 free throw attempts to Boston’s eight. I did not have a huge problem with the officiating tonight, except on this sequence of plays:
I don’t really mind either call by itself but the kicker is that these calls happened in near-succession.
That’s it for now, much more later including a deeper analysis of Rondo’s truly awful night, why Glen Davis‘ night might not be as impressive as it looks on paper, and Jeff Green: the one-dimension. Oh and Sasha Vujacic‘s stat line because tonight can’t be all bad.