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Rapid Reaction: Celtics 96 Raptors 73

 
Toronto Raptors 73 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett, PF 25 MIN | 5-7 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +4
Before it became clear the Raptors would offer no opposition tonight, the C’s put KG in a couple of early ISOs to get him going. He responded with an efficient 15 points and 7 rebounds in 25 short minutes, then spent the fourth quarter cheering on the reserves and dancing to Gino.
Paul Pierce, SF 23 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 8 PTS | +19
With Rondo doing the scoring, Pierce ended up facilitating, which is a good thing because he had another bad shooting night, including three missed layups. Legs still aren’t there despite positive signs the last week. That said, to get a layup to miss, you have to be assertive in the first place. It’s coming, folks.
Jermaine O’Neal, C 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +12
Active early on both sides of the court. The C’s are using him as the roll man more and more, with good results.
Ray Allen, SG 28 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +24
He’s been struggling lately and one reason is that it takes a village to get him open for shots. He can rarely do it himself, especially because an opposing village is usually trying to stop him. Had an up and down night on defense as the Raps had a mind to go at him.
Rajon Rondo, PG 28 MIN | 7-8 FG | 7-11 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 21 PTS | +24
Did whatever he wanted against the Raptors defense. They couldn’t stop him in transition and with three steps of a running start in the halfcourt, he could zip by whoever was on him as well. It’s not a surprise his injury occurred when he was attacking the basket. He did it all night long.
Marquis Daniels, SG 12 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS | -2
Has almost no impact on the game offensively, but plays competent defense. That sounds a bit like Avery Bradley, his garbage-time running mate. Yikes.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +6
The more you watch him, the more you notice his personality comes through in his on-court game. He plays boldly on the defensive end, knows how to get himself open for long balls on the offensive end and loves to take them. He hit four tonight. Not only that, he fits into all manner of lineups with his defensive flexibility, giving Doc Rivers some room to negotiate, so to speak.
Brandon Bass, PF 31 MIN | 4-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +16
Another nice game for Bass, who manages to be a black hole within the context of the team offense, which is quite the trick. Still not there on defense (and maybe never will be) but 13 and 9 is a good night’s work.
Greg Stiemsma, C 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +12
He really needs to shoot more. Dare I suggest the C’s should run some stuff to get him face-up looks?
JaJuan Johnson, F 6 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +2
Giving him a passing grade for his season high in minutes, even if it came after all competitiveness had seeped out of the game.
E’Twaun Moore, G 17 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS | -7
You see flashes with Moore, but you also see rawness. That’s an empty line for 17 minutes. He does seem to be picking up the offense even if he can’t make a major impact on it yet.
Avery Bradley, SG 12 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +5
He had his usual grisly moments on offense but also a couple of good ones, including a steal and breakaway dunk and a weak-side baseline cut for a stuff. Baby steps.

Three Things We Saw

  1. A hopeless Raptors team. Without Andrea Bargnani to create offense, the Raptors spent the first quarter burying themselves by missing long jumpers and watching Rondo race around them for layups. Any rumors of Toronto playing tougher or more physical or with more defensive energy proved unfounded (tonight at least). After a third quarter push by the Celtics, Toronto effectively gave up.
  2. A dirty throwdown by Linas Kleiza on Rajon Rondo. Rondo (sore right wrist, day-to-day) was lucky to escape serious injury when Kleiza hammered him in mid-air and then gave him an added push to make sure he went hard to the floor. I suppose it’s one way for Toronto to stop the C’s, because they had no interest in using defense to do it.
  3. A morale-boosting win. It portends little given the quality of the opponent but Boston can head into Friday’s game against Phoenix with a few less questions hanging over their heads.
  • jack

    go c's!

  • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

    SEATS FOR SOLDIERS NIGHT

    Q1 it was Rondo, five shots, none missed,
    Very aggressive, 13 points, not one assist.
    JO took a charge and shot the ball, 
    KG scored–at last, answering Doc's call.

    29 points–best Q1 all season, 
    Aggressive play and more rhythm part of the reason.
    There were minutes for E'Twaun Moore to start Q2,
    Pietrus for three, love what he can do.

    The Raptors  pulled together and started to score, 
    The Cs ran into trouble running the floor.
    KG, Rondo were strong, Pierce right in the mix, 
    Third time a lead at the half, Cs up six.

    One thing guaranteed to light up our place?
    KG clapping in a Raptor's face!
    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, guarding Derozan is tough,
    Pietrus another three, showing us good stuff.

    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE, he's had a tough night,
    Rondo was fouled hard (flagrant one)–what a fright.
    Rondo took his free throws so he could stay in the game, 
    Then he went into the locker room just the same.

    We saw KG's "shake and bake" to start Q4, 
    Bradley, Moore and Stiemsma came to the floor.
    With a sore wrist in the locker room Rondo stayed,
    Interestingly it was Bass with the most minutes played.

    Again, Pietrus for three, then Pietrus  for three, 
    The bench kept the lead, loved Bradley's D.
    Cs 23 point win feels like a little bit o' heaven, 
    The end of the longest losing streak since April '07!

    One thing about which I have no sense of humor.
    Trading our Captain? The Truth? Oh, please, just a rumor.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Bravo to the C's, imposed their will like they were supposed to tonight. Beyond happy with tonight, dont care if it was a high school team. I think we're gonna get it folks… Lets shock the world one more time

  • CelticsBIG3

    The celtics will get it don't have a doubt
    we came in tonight and fought a good bout

    Pierce missed some lay ins thats alright
    At least we got a friggin win tonight

    Down goes Rondo bummin his wrist
    Surely that will make Celtics pissed

    Friday comes Nash and his elderly team
    Lets get another win and lead it with Stiem!

    • CelticsBIG3

      Sorry my celts, win tonight put me in that poetry mood

  • Jivansky

    I like the way C's played the game tonight and that is called teamwork.
    This is the beginning of their winning streak.

    Let's go C's!

  • skeeds

    Too easy a game to be extatic about it. That said, this is how a game like this should be won. With their star center out, our bigs had some comfortable, easy and full minutes, OUR superstar did everything he wanted to do, and Gino played all through the 4th quarter while our rooks made some dunks. That's how it's supposed to be.

    On a sidenote, two things. First, having a wingman who can do everything well has been taken for granted for too long around here. Pierce had an "off" night offensively, so he turned to facilitating while Rondo took over the scoring. PP had 6 assists in the half. So for future trade talks, YES, Pierce is off the table.

    Secondly, Ray will have more off nights like this while guarding bad matchups, like that highflyer, one on one devil DeRosan. I'm cool with this, firstly because help defense was on spot tonight, and secondly, because Pietrus is awesome. He will have no problem at all playing heavy minutes against dangerous 2 guards. All while not diminishing the threat of the open 3. Love it.

  • CG12

    Nobody loves Gino more than KG.

    It will be interesting to see how the bench minutes at the 1/2/3 sort out as the season goes on. Dooling will presumably play some 1, but they seem to like him more at the 2, in which case it isn't clear who would play the 1. Moore seems to have the upper hand on Bradley right now, and he definitely is much further along in running an offense and setting up teammates. But Bradley still brings that dimension of super-athletic D that the Cs can't get anywhere else. The book on him in the draft was that he was a very good spot-up shooter, and he scored well at Portland in the D-League, so I continue (perhaps foolishly) to hold out hope that he will improve a lot as his comfort level grows. Pietrus is clearly now the primary bench guy at the 2/3 spots. I think that we will see some of him at the 2 and Quisy at the 3. Daniels has been getting his type of shots, those little off-beat leaners in the lane, they just aren't going. That is the kind of shot he has shown he can get almost whenever he wants, and he used to hit it a lot. I hope he can get that back. Pavlovic is buried, and that is fine with me.

    More Stiemsma, please.

  • MontrossDad

    Do the right thing Danny >>

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

    Seriously, that's your roster? Old and tired and one hand and inexperienced and pitiful on the other…. then there in Rondo, the lone player. Beantown in play for a lottery pick.

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