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Celtics Lose A Squeaker: Celtics 85, Mavericks 90

 
Dallas Mavericks 90 Final

Recap | Box Score

85 Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett, PF 37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 8-8 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +15
KG may have had the double-double tonight but he missed a wide open 13 footer and a point blank layup with under two minutes to play. He also looked completely over-matched by Dirk Nowitzki at times. Lots of players do but not everyone has the defensive reputation that KG does.
Paul Pierce, SF 30 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | -7
Mickael Pietrus ended up eating up a lot of Pierce’s minutes in the third and fourth quarters. Was Pierce’s heel acting up? Did Doc just want to give Pietrus some extra run because he was playing well? We’ll find out soon enough. Weirdly enough, Pierce only attempted five shots all game.
Jermaine O’Neal, C 22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -5
The effort was there as JO looked pretty good on two blocks but he could only stay on the court for 22 minutes. Not what you want or need from your starting center.
Ray Allen, SG 33 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -7
Ray Allen was there when the Celtics needed a three but wasn’t really heard from when they didn’t.
Rajon Rondo, PG 38 MIN | 8-16 FG | 8-12 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 24 PTS | -6
The Celtics needed Rondo to step up in the worst way tonight. Even though he definitely did that but because the rest of the starters didn’t have it offensively, Rondo still had to force the action more than anyone should be comfortable with.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +2
A three, a steal, and a transition dunk. Not to mention really tough perimeter D and holding his own on Lamar Odom in the post. This is the Mickael Pietrus the Celtics were banking on.
Brandon Bass, PF 31 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -6
Played 33 big minutes tonight and made his customary open shots.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Lineups. The Celtics had some interesting lineups tonight. At one point they trotted out Rajon Rondo, Keyon Dooling, Mickael Pietrus, Brandon Bass, Chris Wilcox. At another time they had JO, Pierce, Dooling, Rondo, and Bass sharing the court. It’s still early but it’s going to reach a point where Doc Rivers should really be settling in on a rotation and only utilizing some guys in injury situations.
  2. Fans. The 16th man was in full force tonight. Whenever the Celtics tied it up the TDGarden crowd got incredibly loud. There was even a point in the fourth quarter where the Celtics may have induced a shot clock violation but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear the buzzer. Luckily the C’s got the rebound, so no harm no foul.
  3. Foul! I tweeted during the first half that no one on either team was in foul trouble thus a player fouling out would be highly unlikely. The officiating in the second half was so wildly inconsistent that Ian Mahinmi fouled out and Mickael Pietrus had four.
  4. The Shot Clock is Real. The Celtics pressured the wings tonight so well that it forced the Mavs to violate the shot clock a handful of times. Seriously, I lost count at five. It may have been a byproduct of a lack of ball movement from the Mavericks but it was impressive nonetheless.
  5. Dirk is Dirk. I was just thinking right after the Pierce three to tie the game that the Celtics have kept Dirk Nowitzki really quiet tonight (4-10, 13 points till that point). Then the last play happened and well, you know, you don’t really get to be the Finals MVP by being lucky or just okay.
  • ripsonics

    yeah the 5th point is really the key factor here.. that and the celtics looked REAL sharp on D, and not so sharp on O. That pass to Ray Allen at the end was terrible. Granted Ray should have caught it, but by the time he would have caught it, Terry would have caught up and ray woulda had to force it. Bad pass/play by Rondo.

    I think this team slowly but surely is gunna get it. I think Pietrus – after one game – is going to be perfect for this team. I really just think they need to calm down and get back to boston bball..

    Couple things i saw:

    Rondo – great attacking the basket. The one thing that bothers me more than anything about Rondo, is his passing. At times its great – but at the end of the day when he is trying to make that crazy extra pass in the lane, or that crazy cross court, alley oop, whatever – I HATE the home run play when its not necessary, and its my impression of rondo that he tries the home run pass too often. K.I.S.S.!

    Secondly – Ray And Paul – there worst night this season by far. Ray looked un-entertained, and paul hasnt really found a rhythm. Bad night for them when boston needed their offense. Ray goes for a typical 18, and paul hits 21 – game over. And that is something this offense should expect from those two. Its not like im asking KG to average 20-10 here.

    Lastly… The last play of the game.. WHY O WHY was KG so up in dirks face… and WHY O WHY would he allow him to go RIGHT! has anyone ever seen Dirk go left….!? Dumb D by KG, he got burned. Shoulda backed off him, doubled dirk, forcing Dirk to make a play for anyone on the court but the Jet.

    Frustrating loss – but I thought a better game tonight by the men in green.

    Go C's

    • I_Love_Green

      God I wish I had your optimism. Are you watching the same aging like milk KG that I am?

      • CelticsBIG3

        KG looks old. Earning big money this year to pass off the ball when he has Ian Mahanmi in the post. School this kid man…

        • Jamie

          The worst was KG got an offensive board right under the basket before halftime. He then dribbled out 10 feet and threw up a jumper. Even Van Gundy said basically why do that. We all love KG but the decline is dramatic. He's a 7' guy playing 20 feet from the basket way too much

      • ripsonics

        yeah.. i feel ya. Im just not trying to jump to too many conclusions too quickly. KG did not look great, but keep in mind – the only starter with a positive +/- at +15, and had 15pts and 10rebs – so not a bad game by Kevin. Bad BAD D at the end of the game tho

        • smalltownID

          Ripsonic, actually you don't know Dirk well, he prefers to go to his left. This was brought out last year when he hurt his left pinky.

          I agree with I Love Green. Mortality is setting in. That game was tough to watch on so many levels.

          Can someone come up with a name to capture that feeling you get when you look at Paul in those knee pads coming down after a rebound or shot attempt? Grandpa Catfish perhaps?

    • Batman

      its KG's pride
      he has that reputation
      dirk made him pay

    • http://twitter.com/seanthoughtwhat @seanthoughtwhat

      Regarding that botched 3 attempt by Ray at the end… I think part of it was good inbounding defense, forcing Rondo to alter the pass. But also, Rondo's pass was going to be perfect for the corner. Only problem is Ray Ray was about 5 feet from the corner. So it stayed too low. I think it was just lack of timing on both of their parts. Rondo thought ray was going corner, Ray was curling towards Rondo.

    • In KG's defense

      More than anything KG didn't want Dirk to shoot, so he forced him away from the middle and was banking on the help defense. He probably could've done better, but it was also a great move by the Finals MVP.

      • CG12

        And the help from Bass was late and weak when it did arrive.

  • ripsonics

    and how come dooling didnt get a grade?

    9 pts off the bench on 4 of 5 shooting with a 3 in only 13 minutes off the bench…? uhhh….. I give him a B+ — cause he had 4 TO's

    • smalltownID

      Tonight was also depressing to watch the stark contrast between Dooling and Delonte. Granted Delonte was trying to force it too much imo to prove a point but Delonte is the total package, most importantly, a creator and distibutor. The last thing on Dooling's mind seems to be creating for his teamates which is what the second team needs more than anything. I have lost my celtics swag. Reality is setting in.

  • afrustratedfan

    We were atrocious on rebounds. They scored off 2nd chances the first three quarters which killed us.

  • janos

    HI Brayden, is Janos
    Very upst game finish bad, sad see my good team this, i wish we had better player.

    I want make complaint. I reading game previous post and it tell me go site thatwomangame see Dallsa NBA site. They not even have game score up! Is joke site?

    Celtics web manager #1, I proud be celtics fan even when lose shit.

  • Phil

    I wish I got graded like this in school. B for KG and Cs for the other starters not named Rondo? KG's stat line looks solid, but he was getting killed on the boards all game, and while its dangerous to overreact to one play, it seemed to me like he was getting beat on D a lot too. I remember one play where he unnecessarily helped very far away from Dirk which led to an easy bucket. I'll be interested to see KG's numbers on defense once the sample size picks up, it might be the high standard he's set, but it seems to me like he's struggling on both ends this year.

    For Pierce and Ray, 16 points combined just isn't enough. Was there a bench player who had a bad game today? Aside from Wilcox and maybe Stiemsma (neither of whom played much, though Wilcox is making the money they're paying Rasheed this year look good,) I thought it was a great day for the bench. Rondo was killing himself out there to keep the starters numbers respectable, but the others didn't wake up until it was too late, sadly, maybe they just can't anymore.

  • Jivansky

    I think C's are getting too old now. They are playing inconsistently. And KG…You can definitely see and feel that he's declining.

    So sad to see the C's getting beat up by strong teams in the league.

  • sightline75

    22 years between championships. Years of watching average teams get nowhere. KG and RA give us a title and 4 years of good times. People, you have unrealistic expectations. They are getting old but thats life, thank them for what they gave us. Remember, only one team can win the championship, 29 teams are disappointed every year.
    Rebuild next year and maybe we can load up again in 2012.

    • sightline75

      And that was a lucky shot from Dirk. No way that normally goes in. Bass was a little late as well. We have missed some close games.

  • Los

    there are going to be plenty more losses before this team gets any better. Patience people patience. they'll get there. It always looks bad before it gets better

    • Los

      at least the heat lost too

  • CG12

    We are seeing the continuation of KG's steady decline. He still brings a lot to the table, but if he has lost 5% of his explosiveness each of the last 5 years, that makes him 25% less explosive. And that sounds about right to me. He is still very tall, very smart, and very skilled, but he doesn't have that extra little bit that made him so special for so long. I'm not at all worried about KG, because we know what he is at this point. But any turnaround in the team's mojo will need to come from somewhere else, for that exact reason.

    This team is definitely prone to playing flat and slow, probably from a combination of age and lack of chemistry from the short pre-season and many new faces on the roster. Pietrus's energy and enthusiasm will be great for this team. I agreed with Tommy in Q2 when he was getting all excited about AB and Dooling's defensive pressure changing the tone of the game. I can't help but notice the huge difference between Avery's doggedness and Rondo's often half-assed defense. Delonte was shredding Rondo in the pick-and-roll. For all the love Rondo gets for his D, he still focuses on going for steals way more than simply doing whatever is necessary to prevent the other team from scoring, which is, after all, the point of playing defense. I continue to be optimistic that more minutes will give Avery a higher comfort level on O and that he will then shoot much more comfortably and effectively. Once again – remember that Avery is younger than both J. Johnson and Moore. He should be given some time and benefit of the doubt to figure things out.

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