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C’s-Knicks Recap: Visions of Sugarplums

 

ESPN Box ScoreKnickerbloggerPosting and Toasting

Offensive Efficiency: 108.3 points/100 possessions (good)
Defensive Efficiency: 110.4 points/100 possessions (not good)
Pace: 96 possessions (average)

Couldn’t help but feel a little giddy after today’s game, and not just because basketball is back and I got a stand mixer for Christmas. There was just a huge amount to like about today’s game. It was exciting throughout, the score was all over the place, and it said a lot of positive things about this Celtic team.

“But they looooost.

Shut up! Yes, Kevin Garnett was somehow capably defended by Amar’e Stoudemire. And Jermaine O’Neal could only stay on the floor for 17 minutes even though he was contributing a lot of value on defense. And Sasha Pavlovic…woof. But even without Paul Pierce, who is of unquantifiably huge value to the Celtics’ system, this collection of players managed to stage a 20-2 run and take a good team down to the last possession. The veterans on the floor appeared to have held up over the lockout, and the younger rotation players were excellent tonight. If this is rust we’re seeing, then it’s a manageable rust. So even though the Grinch took all our presents, there’s no reason not to be happy little Whos.

RAJON RONDO

Everybody forgot that Rondo was the league’s best point guard and an MVP candidate for the first ten-odd games of the season, and they forgot for very good reasons. But Rondo looked pretty much exactly like he did at the beginning of last season tonight. Most encouraging, of course, were his recklessly attacking the rim and even more recklessly knocking down free throws and jumpers. I can’t remember the last game I saw from Rondo that felt so…complete. Check the Highlight Gallery (a new regular recap feature!!) below for some old-fashioned impossible Rondo nonsense.

BRANDON BASS

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Brandon Bass.”
-The Bible

What a joy it is to watch a power forward come off the bench and:

  • hit jumpers
  • grab rebounds everywhere
  • score inside without getting blocked once or falling down
  • defend the position adequately

The Bassmaster is nothing less than a major, major factor off the Celtics’ bench. I’ll even go so far as to say this insane thing: if they’d had him last year, they would have gotten past the Heat. After one game, I’m actually saying that. That’s how stupid I am.

SASHA PAVLOVIC

“Warm body” feels very generous. Zero shots and one accidental rebound in 15 minutes, completely incapable of stopping Carmelo Anthony throughout. If those 15 minutes went to virtually any other player at his position, the Celtics win their first game. That virtually any other player arrives Tuesday in the form of Mickael Pietrus, who can offer the defense and the three points that Sasha couldn’t string together today. Sasha has for all intents and purposes been escorted behind the barn.

STAT’S INCREDIBLE!

5 three-point attempts. That ties the Celtics’ low for last season with a game when they held the Bucks to 56 points so they chose not to shoot threes out of sportsmanship. I’ve been a little concerned about the decline in the team’s three-point attempts over the last couple of years: 18% of their FGAs were threes last year, down from almost 23% the season before and putting them at 27th in the league. I understand that Pierce’s absence accounts for almost all of this stat, but it would be nice if Pietrus added another legitimate outside threat, because as it stands the Celtics really only have two.

HIGHLIGHT GALLERY

3. Rondo Going Behind the Back Twice
Once to Bass for a dunk, once to KG for a long jumper. Also KG was nice from his distance tonight (5 for 9).

Slow-motion on that last one:

2. O’Neal Block to Daniels Crosscourt Pass to Rondo Layup
I accidentally kicked my parent’s dog across the room when this happened. It tied the game in the third quarter. Look how instantly Marquis rotates and hucks the ball 70 feet.

1. Rondo Steal and 30-Foot Lefty Slingshot Bounce Pass
Nobody does it better.

0. Chris Wilcox Passes to Carmelo Anthony.

The announcers were like, “They used to play together! That’s understandable!” It’s not, but it is funny to watch.

TOMMY’S COMPLAINT CORNER

The technical foul Joey Crawford called on Sasha Pavlovic.

“TECHNICAL FOUL? ARE YOU KIDDIN’ ME? The guy is throwin’ his elbows every which way like a whirling dervish…Sasha’s fighting for his LIFE out there…that’s a disgrace. Talk about a power trip….this guy is on a power trip AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS! That’s a disgrace.”

  • Zee

    Loved everything but the final score on this game. The C's are going to be just fine this season (while injury free). Everyone can count us out if they want to. So glad we have Rondo.

  • LACelticsFan

    Not sure how Pavlo got the tech, I saw him with his arms up not making contact and Melo twice throwing the bows into Pavlo……..wow Crawford, that is a new low for you. Pavlo gets hit twice near the head area with an elbow and you call a tech on him????

    • Morpheus

      Disgusting really.

    • Jamie

      The fact that Joey Crawford has been a ref in the NBA since the Donaghy scandal at all is a disgrace to the league. he's an embarassment on the court every time he calls a game. He thinks people are there to watch him ref. NBA would be so better off without him.

  • pam

    the refs def blew the call that let melo get the lead on the fts at the end. strip looked clean. admittedly melo was incredible today but the refs absolutely didnt allow quis or sasha to attempt defending him. too many quick whistles against them

    • http://twitter.com/xtomchaptersx Tom W

      I concur, too many quick whistles in general. They weren't letting the teams play at all, which admittedly might have been smart considering the way tempers were flaring.

    • dslack

      Totally agree. I think Quis's strip was clean, and the more egregious error was the call on Pavlovic, who apparently fouled Carmelo's elbow with his chin.

    • Zee

      Contrast that with the steal Deng got on Kobe yesterday, which had MUCH more whistle potential. That one got no whistle (and it shouldn't have), yet Quis got a whistle.

    • Jamie

      Every highlight show yesterday I could not find one announcer or NBA "expert" that agreed with that foul call.

  • Batman

    We need to call Bass "SeaBass" when he has bad games and "BassMaster" when he has good ones

  • JesusShuttlesworth

    after this game I'm calling him Brandon Beast instead of Bass

  • IBleedGreen

    I was never a Rondo believer. But I am glad he played well this game – not just distributing the ball, but scoring as well. Let's see if he can keep it up.

  • IBleedGreen

    Bradley is AWFUL. He' definitely not NBA material.

    • Jman

      I've been saying that since last year…lol
      C's look good glad they only lost by 2. Shows that they're going to be fine

      • Jim

        I agree Bradley is awful. He is playing way over his head. He needs to go to the "D" league to see if he can develop his shot. The guy can only do one thing and that is play defense. That does not make up for his lack of other skills. I think he is gone before the end of the season.

        • Morpheus

          For some reason i got a thumbs down for saying that, it was only 1 thumbs down so he/she may be a Avery Bradley closet fan in hiding.

          • LStrike

            Even if it was an intelligent post, you can't say anything bad about the Celtics here. You must remain a homer and not look at the game from an objective standpoint, otherwise you're condemned…

          • sightline75

            He's beng kept for a possible trade.

    • Mark

      I said during that draft the C's should have drafted James Anderson. He is a good offensive player that showed signs that he could develop into a good defender. Maybe not the level that Bradley is at now but capable. Bad pick by Ainge. Said it then still say it now.

      • Jamie

        Agreed. Had a co worker and he and I both were hoping Anderson would fall to us and when he did I couldn't believe Danny passed on him.

    • CG12

      The press and guys around the team keep saying Avery can shoot. That was part of the book on him coming into the draft – that he was an excellent spot up shooter. He put up pretty good scoring numbers with Maine in the DLeague. He is still very young and looks like he just hasn't gotten comfortable shooting it. His D will continue to get him minutes. His D is nasty.

  • lakershater13

    Wilcox owes Sasha a big thank you. With Sasha sucking so bad all over the court I completely forgot Wilcox litterally tossed Melo the ball for an easy two points.

  • ripsonics

    I tell ya… I loved Brandons game yesterday.. He did everything baby could never do. When he had that break away dunk, all I could remember was when baby was breaking away and he didn't get the ball over the rim………….. Yikes.

    And I completely agree on all the positives (except you forgot to mention ray ray..) because they really did look great. We might be ok without PP if pietrus comes tomorrow, and rondo has more complete games like that one. He doesn't need to have 31 and 13, but he needs to 9-12 from the line and hitting jumpers.

    Go C's

  • Chris from Danvers

    Despite the loss, many positives from yesterday's game:

    Rondo – wow….regaining that early MVP form from early last year
    Brandon Bass – much better than adverised. Definitely did not miss Big Baby
    Ray – not surprised to see him in great game shape
    Marquis – This guy was right…..he came back with something to prove
    Jermaine – although not a big fan, he did good with the defense and – can I believe my eyes – did he really have an alley oop

    Not bad for what should be third preseason game. All we need now is to work on the refs. Not sure what JC is doing there….and I don't mean the big guy who celebrated the birthday yesterday.

  • LStrike

    Hayes, absolutely loved the review, made me laugh several times.

    Nice new format, good work. :)

  • Morpheus

    And the highlights are awesome.

  • Anthony

    There was a highlight missing… Rondo to KG behind the back to I forgot who for easy score.

    Brandon shall now be referred to as C-Bass!

    Go Celts!

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