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Not Enough: Nuggets 98, Celtics 91

ESPN Box Score – Roundball Mining Company – Denver Stiffs

Nobody said this road trip would be easy. With the altitude, the second half of a back-to-back and a rested and energized Nuggets team awaiting them, the C’s dug themselves an early hole in the first half last night, and were unable to dig themselves out of it completely.

The main culprit of the damage was rookie rebounding phenom Kenneth Faried. His 16 boards (8 offensive) combined with a perfect shooting night from the line and the field (18 points overall) set the tone from the onset. A 46-27 overall rebounding advantage for the Nuggets, combined with a 31-17 edge in free throw attempts tell most of the story here, as the C’s trailed by as many as 17.

Incredibly, the C’s still had a strong pulse in the fourth quarter of this one, with a 10-0 run to cut the Denver lead to two, giving them multiple chances to take the lead down the stretch. Perhaps the biggest surprise of this run was the fact that Marquis Daniels was on the floor during it (and the entire fourth quarter push) as Quisy played his most minutes (20) since late January and looked good doing it. For a team short on bodies, it was a nice change to see the veteran step up.

Unfortunately, late-game heroics were not on the horizon, with Paul Pierce (22 points) fouling out with just under four minutes remaining. With Brandon Bass and Ray Allen having cold shooting nights, the offense dried up (beyond some KG free throw attempts) in the last couple minutes, leaving Boston unable to get over the hump to drop to 2-3 on this trip.

Now there’s good news and bad news here. The C’s obviously can’t be thrilled with a 2-3 trip out west, but given the bodies they have, they can’t be too disappointed about it either. They left one out in LA, but now the worst part of the trip is over and the important games against Eastern Conference opponents are set to begin.

Atlanta is just two games in front of Boston for the six seed,  Milwaukee a mere three games back, charging with authority now with a five-game winning streak, and Philly continues to struggle as well, leaving Boston just 1 1/2 back of the division leaders even after their recent slide.

My point is, if there was a time for Boston to struggle on this road trip, it was out west where the games don’t mean as much. Now these contests matter twice as much in the Eastern Conference standing, where Boston could conceivably finish anywhere from fourth to out of the playoffs at this juncture. Things are just starting to heat up and the sooner Danny gets any potential buyout reinforcements in the door, the better.

 

  • Tos

    The thing that bothers me is I that it still seems like not everybody is taking games seriously from start to finish. The team is playing like we’ve already clinched a playoff berth… That kind of mentality is going to lead them down to same path the Sox went last season.

  • ElRoz

    "The worst part of the trip is over" …really?
    Games in Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia are still to come man!
    You have confidence the C's would win anything more than possibly 1 game there?
    I don't….not with the rebounding they have shown..not with Bass being a non-factor more often than not.

    I say we are looking at a potential 5 game losing streak in the works.

    • someguyinsac

      On the positive side, they're going to be getting back to the Eastern time zone which they're more acclimated to.

  • strips

    who else are we thinking of aside from kaman when we say "potential buyout reinforcements"?

  • Tos

    Anyone else interested in Terrence Williams? Sure, he’s another head case but seeing his athleticism running the floor with Rondo would be pretty awesome, Houston just bought him out. He could certainly back up Ray and Pierce.

    • Morpheus

      Yeah, now that Quis is being waived, TWill would be a good pickup imo.

  • Tos

    And what does NO have to gain by buying Kaman out? Nothing, I’m willing to bet they turned down a few trades in order to keep him, they barely have healthy players, why would they buy out one if the few healthy ones. Makes no sense, his contract comes off tge books after the season anyway.

    If you ask me, no reason for NO buy him out, so I wouldn’t hold my breathe.

    • OKCeltic

      The only reason to buy him out is to save some money. You have to remember, the league owns NO. They're not in the business of losing money, especially if the team has no chance of making the playoffs.

  • Morpheus

    Looks like Turiaf could be in a Cs uniform soon.

    • mmTOS

      What is it about the Celtics that keeps drawing them to the guys with heart conditions???

  • Andrew

    Ho to rebuild: sign and trade rondo to Indy for hibbert and a 1st rounder. Sign Eric Gordon to an offer sheet. Sign deron Williams to a max contract. The hopefully kg is willing to come back on a vet min for a year or 2. That team could compete for the next year or 2 and hopefully u land a stud in this draft. Thoughts.

    • Lantrell Walker

      Rondo is our future. Point, Blank, Period.

    • mmTOS

      You don't sign and trade a player that is under contract for a few more years.