This one feels good. Because it was the offense, people! The offense finished off the game tonight, and the Celtics won the fourth quarter!
And because we can welcome back Rajon Rondo, league’s best passer, and introduce Rajon Rondo, jump shooter. The shots that weren’t falling for the Celtics over the last four couldn’t miss tonight. Rondo, Davis, and especially Garnett were hammering jumpers to close out the game. Who knew Rondo would be a better shooter than the greatest shooter of all time tonight? He finished at 22, 14, and 5 with, perhaps most impressively, zero turnovers. Who knew Paul Pierce would lead the team in rebounds with 11? This kind of Celtics offense, with the ball movement and the fighting for extra possessions and the quality shots, is what we’ve been missing.
The defense, meanwhile, had a few holes that were hard to notice with the Celtics scoring on every possession. Tony Parker got to the rim as it occurred to him in the early going, until Rondo started staying front of him slightly better in the second half. Big Baby, meanwhile, caused some non-problems for Tim Duncan on defense, so the Spurs went straight at Baby in the fourth, earning Duncan 10 consecutive and virtually uncontested points.
Baby struggling on defense was even more difficult to watch in light of the other bad news of the game: the loss, potentially for the season, of Nenad Krstic. His knee popped out of its socket and it was disgusting. Lucky, then, we had the presence of Jermaine O’Neal to console us. He was a deterrent underneath and made both of his shots. We feel for the Serbian’s injury, but it’s nice to have the littler O’Neal back in its wake.
Ryan will have more for you later, but until then, thank Krstic in your head for his contributions this season and wish him a speedy recovery. Make ‘em say ugh, Nenad Nenad.