Post-game Reactions

Boston Celtics 93 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Garnett, PF 32 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 13 PTS | +4
Like J.O., KG was out-energied and outrebounded by a certain floppy-haired Cavalier tonight. Bizarrely, he was also outscored. His intensity picked up in the fourth and he got on the block and hit what might have been a game-saving shot. He can still do it. Just not as often.
Paul Pierce, SF 34 MIN | 7-14 FG | 6-9 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 20 PTS | -1
A good game from Pierce who was let down by some breakdowns by players bigger and smaller than him. This is seven games in a row where he’s shifted his game to accommodate the Celtics’ lack of a competent backup PG (E’Twaun is working to change that).
Jermaine O’Neal, C 23 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +4
He put up the kind of rebounding numbers you might see from a point guard while his opposite put up the kind you might have seen from Bill Russell. A rather efficient 12 points though and shared guilt on the boards.
Ray Allen, SG 38 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 12 PTS | +6
Weak shooting, good passing. Go figure.
Avery Bradley, SG 37 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +2
Irving lost Bradley more than a few times and his teammates simply missed shots or Bradley’s line would be worse. One classic botched catch in the first half we’ll revisit in the Highlight Gallery later on. Some encouraging attacks on the basket. But not encouraging enough.
Chris Wilcox, PF 11 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +5
Dead legs perhaps? The Celtics could have used more from him tonight.
Sasha Pavlovic, SF 6 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | 0
Hit both of his shots and then nodded knowingly at an unused Quis on the bench. “That’s how you get six minutes of playing time, dude.” (Sasha may or may not be the kind of guy to call others dude, but let’s just assume he is for the purposes of this paragraph).
Mickael Pietrus, SF 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -2
Save when he’s gunning, he tends to recede into the background on offense. Of course, he jacked up six three-balls in 18 minutes, so you tend to notice that.
Brandon Bass, PF 29 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -4
Everything you think is true of Bass remained true tonight. But he can make something out of nothing even when you’re screaming for him to pass the ball out of a double team. Or triple.
E’Twaun Moore, G 11 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +1
Empty but for the points.

Four Things We Saw

  1. The C’s lost Sunday, they won today. But both games had much in common in terms of a lack of overall defensive intensity and a late game collapse. Only difference is tonight those didn’t prove fatal, in part because of 50.7% Boston shooting and Cleveland’s inconsistent defense. Late January basketball at its best.
  2. Anderson Varejao put up a 20-20 line, partly as a result of penetration shifting Boston’s defense (just like LeBron James used to do) and partly because Boston’s bigs were either unwilling to body him up or incapable. Jermaine O’Neal was a particular offender but he was hardly the only guilty party (JO played only 23 minutes to AV’s 41).
  3. Marquis Daniels and Greg Stiemsma spent the game on the bench as Doc has again shortened his rotation. Who knows for how long?
  4. Six assists for Pierce and eight for Allen. That indicates good ball movement from the C’s, which leads to good shots, which leads to wins. Even when they’re ugly.
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Ryan DeGama

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  • someguyinsac

    Ugly, ugly win, but I'll take it. Can't wait for Rondo to get back.

  • cezsays

    Watching these games is getting pretty masochistic at this point. Every young team in the league knows it by now. They are slooooooow down the stretch.

  • I_Love_Green

    Atleast we got the W.

  • ripsonics

    Yeah seriously. A wins a win. Whatever. RONDO. PLEASE RETURN.

    • janos

      hi rips is Janos
      Who your favorites player? Shan Kamp? Gary Paytons? Rondos my favorite player. I hope nobody posterizes him Friday. Brayden teach me that ones.

  • -jp

    Is it bad at this point in the year, this is an encouraging win since they DIDN’T collapse?

  • skeeds

    All of the big 3 playing more than 30 minutes to hold off the Cavs… I know we're missing Rondo still, and JO can't play more than 25, but come on! We're being cautious with JO's minutes (as we should), but let Ray play 38? Oh and KG is averaging exactly as many minutes as he has been for the last 4 years.

    These last couple of games without Rondo and Dooling might not be a good sample, because with the 2 of them out, someone's gotta run the plays, and that's usually Pierce, or Allen (!). Still Doc does have a tendency to overplay his starters, so let's hope this gets fixed soon…

  • SteveB

    Two observations. The team needs Rondo back. They may feed off the energy of Bradley and Moore but they need Rondo to run the offense. I know they have had offensive struggles late in games with Rondo but he is still the one that gets the team into their offense.
    The Cavaliers, like a lot of younger and lower echelon teams, play better when they realize they have nothing to lose. Down by 20 points no one is concerned if they miss, what's it matter right. That fourth quarter they opened up partly because what was the alternative. Might as well let it fly. I think it's misleading when you see comebacks like this because the reality is they started shooting quickly and their shots were going in. Granted they were more aggressive and driving but it seemed they never missed a jump shot that whole fourth quarter. If you're a Cav's fan wouldn't you wonder: why can't they do that the whole game then?

  • CG12

    JO shoots 5-7 and gets a C-. Bradley goes 4-7 and gets C-. You guys are tough. I hope Doc is nicer to AB than you guys are. You are going to hurt his feelings. His hands stink, but I do like how they are figuring out how to use him moving off the ball. I wish he could be more confident and aggressive with his ball handling. And successful. It seems like a guy with his speed and hops should be able to get into the paint to score and set up his teammates more regularly.

    the Cs played noticeably tight down the stretch last night. You can actually see them tense up when that happens. The ball stops moving. Guys force dumb passes because that is what they are supposed to do to initiate a set. If I see one more easy give away on a hit-you-over-the-head obvious "I'm now trying to get the ball to Paul Pierce" pass, I'm going to throw my shoe (slipper) at the TV.

    • aaron

      Doc might be AB's last chance. He does have the speed and arms to play great D, remember TA. But on offense, AB just needs to learn a whole lot more as the point guard. He is getting good at cutting to the back door now, but he's playing point guard. 4-7 on shots for him is really, really good. After over a year of practices w/ the team(what's left of it), he ought to be able to know to push the offense and how to set it up.
      AB is getting there, I was just hoping for more w/ Rondo out. If you can't have Rondo in the 4th, I'd rather have Moore for the shotmaking aspect. Last night w/ a 16-2 run by Cleveland, a point with no consistant shot and not good at creating offense is a big liability.
      But its a win.

  • CG12

    And Greg Dickerson mysteriously reappeared last night. He was back for one game earlier in the season, then he vanished again. Something about the way they were talking made me think he may be back for good this time. They did the "get well soon, buddy" thing for a few games, and then stopped mentioning him. He doesn't look ill (at least no worse than usual). I don't care for Dickerson at all as an announcer, but I'm glad he is apparently doing okay.

    • CelticsBIG3

      I like Dickerson and I have been wondering where he went. Kyle Draper is 10x lousier on the sideline. He seems nervous all the time.

  • IBleedGreen

    KG should get a B consider he seals the game with the turnaround J.

  • CG12

    Why the heck didn't they make more of an effort to get Bass the ball with Jamison guarding him? Bass could have torched Jamison at will.