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Belinelli’d!? Celtics 100, Bulls 99

Chicago Bulls 100 Final

Recap | Box Score

99 Boston Celtics

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Celtics missed Avery Bradley tonight. Rip Hamilton had a field day against Jason Terry, Leandro Barbosa and Rajon Rondo, drawing fouls and using his superior height to his advantage. Had Bradley been available, Rip would have surely been limited.
  2. This one stings. The Celtics still lost despite benefitting from Luol Deng leaving the game early after re-aggravating his bothersome hamstring. Deng was pretty ineffective all game, and had he been healthy this game could have easily been a blood bath.
  3. The Celtics almost escaped tonight. Make no mistake about it. It took a superhuman offensive performance from Rondo, and Kevin Garnett and Jared Sullinger playing the whole fourth quarter for the C’s to almost pull this one out.
  4. Carlos Boozer played MVP level basketball through three quarters and disappeared in the fourth. His only point came on a free throw from a very questionable foul call on Paul Pierce with 22.5 left. I think his stumble in the fourth quarter was due in part to cooling off and not going against Brandon Bass. The combination of KG and Sullinger on defense in the fourth was reminiscent of Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk pairing (god, I am so happy hockey is back.).
  5. The officiating was just AWFUL tonight. To qualify: the refs didn’t favor one side over the other. They just continuously made one bad call after the other. The litany includes: the Pierce/Noah jumpball (italize), the out of bounds call on Rondo that was overturned, the Nate Robinson phantom foul. To make matters worse, it seemed like every blown whistle was momentum stifling. Overtime notwithstanding, when three players foul out and one player has 5 personal fouls, the game is not being officiated properly.
  • Phil725

    Barbosa sure picked a terrible time to remind everyone why he doesn't play, huh?

    Most of my blame for this loss goes on Bass. He was terrible on defense all night, got killed rebounding, and his mildly effective offensive night does nothing to change either of those things. The whole team took too long to wake up though, and they couldn't get a stop when they needed down the stretch of the fourth quarter or overtime.

    I've gotta collect my thoughts on this one a little, but overall it just seemed like one of those that you're just gonna lose. Oh well…

    • The Cardinal

      B.S. dude. He was no worse than anyone else tonight, which is a plus considering this is only the 2nd time all year he's played with the first unit. Starkiness – I appreciate it. But a B.S. comment?

      • Phil725

        What did you see from him that was so good last night? He does absolutely nothing in the flow of the offense. It's give him the ball, get out of the way, and hope his shots go in (or hope his corner 3 bounces right back to him for a put back.) His drives weren't going in, and that makes him an extremely limited player. Shots at the rim aren't that much more valuable than anything else if they're not falling. Now I don't think he fits at all with the starting lineup, so I'd count that as a legit excuse… but at the same time, the bench (Terry/Lee/Green/Sully) KG lineup (the most effective unit for the Cs all year,) was the only reason the Cs were in the game at all. Barbosa wouldn't help that one either.

        He got killed on defense and ended a few possessions on offense. It doesn't matter if he didn't play worse than anyone else, because he submits these games all the time. Garbage time all star play aside, that's why he doesn't play more of a role. I've said all along, when things are stagnating, he should get a chance to bail them out. He should also have a very short leash. He's a faster Eddie House.

        • The Cardinal

          Man, I still say you're hyper focused on Barbosa's limited one game outing just like I thought you were on Jason Collins performance during Doc's desperation run to shake up things. I was silent about JC because he's never gonna be a rotation player and I understood it to be what it was – a wake up call to his other, under performing bigs and nothing more. I'm speaking up about Barbosa because is a rotation player whether the C's utilize him or not. After Bradley returns, I suspect he'll revert back to his role but that has little to do with the alleged superiority of Lee or Terry IMHO.

          Like Terry, Barbosa is a former six man of the year and like Terry, there has been no significant drop-off in his ability to do the things he does best. Yes, in Doc's existing offensive schemes, he will be under utilized if he wants to see the light of day and defensively, while he will never be Avery Bradley, neither will any other guard on this roster. There is no doubt in my mind that if he got two-thirds of the playing time of Lee and Terry, he would be more effective defensively than Terry and roughly equal to Lee I maintain that a couple of offensive schemes that did take advantage of his skills would benefit the team more than: 1) what they are doing now, and 2) anything else they could do with the current roster.

          I understand that your view point about each player is going to differ – hell, sometimes mine changes two or three times about a certain player over the course of the season. But Barbosa is a rotation player even if it's ultimately with another team. Hamilton blew by every player that guarded him Friday, and Rondo guarded him over twice as long as LB, but guess what? That's how confirmation bias works – we're all guilty of using a small sample size when it supports our view, and conversely demanding a larger sample size when it doesn't so no harm, no foul.

          I can dissect the play of Terry, Lee, Bradley, and Rondo over the entire season in the exact way you do LB and conclude that they should never see the light of day. In a more objective test, I would bet that LB's career numbers you mentioned previously would compare just as favorably to CL and JT as this season's more limited data set (but that's just a belief that I'm not gonna try to prove or disprove).

          In the end though, this is what a message board is for – to express and debate opinions – and I respect that. I certainly don't think I'm smarter about basketball than Doc or Danny, but like any poster here who is honest with himself or herself, I hope to have bragging rights at the end of the season. If we win the championship with or without Barbosa's help honestly, I won't even remember this debate!

          • The Cardinal

            A little bit off topic: according to Hoops Hype, the C's are covetous of – da daaa – JJ Reddick. So if there is any truth to this, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of the log jam at the 2 position

            Just like with the Rudy Gay rumors, I'm neutral – it just depends on which players would be part of the deal.

  • tbunny

    Refs were garbage. Not even the jump ball which was crap. Just the constant whistles and no game flow. I hate games like that.

  • Danny

    I can’t even believe how horrendous the officiating was in that game. Honestly this was the straw the broke the camels back for me. That jump ball call is inexcusable. The phantom foul calls for Chicago the lack of calls for the celtics. It’s unbearable to watch and completely ridiculous that it will never be addressed. The NBA has a serious officiating problem far worse than any other professional sport they have too much power over he flow of the game and if they so choose can determine a winner. The whole thing sucks that white ref should be embarrassed he his horrible. I wouldn’t be shocked to find out he had some kind of bias against the celtics. Won’t even use the g word here but there was something up with that game.

  • Danny

    I swear Chicago makes more stupid falling away end of shot clock broken play shots than any other team in history. I hate that team.

    • Phil725

      That was what stuck out to me about the game more than the officiating. Credit the Bulls on making those shots, but the Heinrich one at the end of the fourth quarter for example was a game winning strip by Terry that happened to turn into a game tying assist.

      Mark Davis is on the Mount Rushmore of bad refs, so it's not surprising that he was involved. I just didn't come away that mad at the refs. Then again, I was watching the ESPN feed. I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume Tommy got everyone fired up back on CSN.

      • Anthony

        I believe Rondo was the one that stripped the ball that led to Hinrich shot. Regardless, everyone is correct about the Bulls hitting all these ridiculous shots late in the shot clock.

        All I can say is Mark Davis must still be holding a grudge from the Rondo bump. The jumpball call was just absurd. How did they review the call and still miss it? It wasn't clear that Jimmy Butler fouled Pierce twice at least and Noah barely touched the ball? SMH

        • Phil725

          It might've been Rondo, I thought it was Terry, but I haven't looked at the replay.

          The jump ball call wasn't reviewed though (that's not a reviewable call.) The only thing that was looked at again was the out of bounds call that went off of Hamilton's knee/hand and not Rondo. They did get that one right after replay.

          I know everyone's still up in arms about that call, but I just can't believe the Cs lost a game where they were up by 2 possessions with 20 seconds left in general. How does Pierce get trapped there? How does Rondo put in a spot where a jump ball is even a possibility?-I thought Terry was streaking relatively free into the backcourt. I didn't see who the Bulls had guarding the backcourt, but Rondo's too good of a passer to have that picked off if he makes the pass. Above all else, just get a stop! It was basic execution screw ups that well coached veteran teams don't make. The jump ball was horrible, but it also shouldn't have come to that.

          • Anthony

            Didn't they review the jump ball call to make sure it was Noah that was jumping instead of Butler? Either way, I agree with you that it was a bad decision on Rondo's part to not throw it to Jet who was streaking to the other end of the court. Jet could've easily ran off a few secs of the clock before anyone can chase him down.

            The call that fouled out Sully was pretty inconsistent with the game. Bellinelli drove and leaned into Sully and fouled him out. Hmmm…not sure about that one.

            I guess the only good thing I got from the game is that Rondo can still be ultra aggressive when he wants to be.

    • Derios

      Danny you couldn't have expressed my sentiments any clearer… it's such a shame because I love the game, but I get equivalent enjoyment watching NHL where the officiating is far more tolerable. It's unbelievably frustrating. And I get that hindsight's 20/20 but that Noah/Pierce jump ball was just plain inexcusable.

  • Danny

    Can’t blame tommy I saw it in person it was disgusting.

  • KillerGymRat

    Anytime I see Marc Davis I know it's going to be a terrible night of officiating. And I have to agree with Danny, the whistles this year are just garbage.

    But I do have to say I would love to watch a game once and feel like we got away with some calls. That just never seems to happen. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy (though honestly that wouldn't surprise me)… but from Rondo getting bonked on the head last playoffs in OT by Wade to this games no call and "jump ball" bailout, I've seen the C's on the wrong end of a lot of terrible game changing whistles (or non whistles).

    Ultimately though, it was the pathetic offense through the first 3 quarters and Doc's questionable use of the backcourt. I don't get puttin Barbosa and Rondo together, or why you would ever have Terry at the off guard spot. Terry needs the ball in his hands, and with Rondo and Barbosa together you have our weakest perimeter defense combination.

    It was one of those games that makes me worry that this team has to play it's absolute best to even be competitive. Rondo played amazing. Sully was a beast. No D-Rose and no Deng and we still couldn't control the game.


    • Phil725

      Regarding the whole officiating perception thing, a lot of it depends on how you consume the game. Confirmation bias is a very real thing; the standard fan response is to remember every time they got screwed or even the 50/50 calls that go against them, but they don't notice when it evens out. If you go in looking for the bad calls in favor of your team, you'll probably come away thinking it was more balanced. -if you're general response to any bad call in favor of the Cs is "we deserved that one." it's probably confirmation bias.

      The announcers are a big part of that as well. If you listen to Tommy enough, he'll convince you you're getting screwed. The days people are the most vocal about the refs are days when he explodes on them. It's funny to listen to other local guys on League Pass do the same thing though. If the NBA was like the NFL and had national announcers for every game, ref complaints would be way down, just because they wouldn't be scrutinized by the people describing the game so often.

      The Celtics are also prone to bad ref games though, and that needs factored in. They play an ultra physical style on defense, and they're very capable of going quarters at a time without drawing any legitimate fouls on offense.

      None of this is specific to tonight's game (where even the ESPN guys were calling out the refs,) but just in general. I enjoy the NBA a lot more now that I don't look at the refs until it gets completely absurd.

      • KillerGymRat

        I should clarify, that by "getting away with some calls" I mean ones such as tonight in the Bulls favor, where we would win a game that we should have lost. If you remember any game like that please let me know.

        And since you seem curious I'm truly neutral when it comes to officiating. I'm actually more a fan of the game then the C's. Though they are my favorite team, I follow basketball in general and I don't go in looking for the ways the Celtics get screwed. But it does stand out that in game closing situations, more often then I want to remember…the C's are on the wrong end of a bad whistle that alters the game dramatically. Tonight being another prime example. I was also a collegiate player so I understand how fast the game is and how easy it is to miss a call or make the wrong one and what it's like to be whistled for phantom calls.

        I think it actually pertains to certain players more then the Celtics as a whole. For some reason Pierce has never gotten the star whistles that players of his level of talent typically get such as the Kobe's, LeBron's and now, Durant. If LeBron was trapped there is no way he doesn't go to the line.

        Pierce gets whacked around more then any star player I've ever seen with no whistle IMO.

        I've been watching the NBA for 28 years now and the officiating has definitely gotten worse over the years. Especially now with stupid rules like the clear path foul, and the two-tierd flagrant foul system that has absolutely no consistency to it in how the rules are applied from game to game. Right after the C's lost I saw Elton Brand get a flagrant 1 just because Ibaka fell hard. It was ridiculous. The guy just put his arms straight up and Ibaka's momentum took him down hard because he was so high in the air. I don't like Dallas or Brand. But that's bad officiating IMO.

        Part of the problem is there are just too many stupid rules that have refs looking at too many things at once. In the Hornet game I remember seeing KG blatantly shove Davis in the back, knocking him flat on the center of the floor in transition. It was so obvious a foul Davis laid on the floor in disbelief, but the refs let it go.

        That's how bad the officiating is this year.

        • Phil725

          That's fair, I was kind of talking in general more than to you specifically. A lot of the same ref stuff comes up after every other game, and I don't think it's that bad. The league would do well to weed out some of the turds of the ranks, but I kind of doubt there are better officials waiting in the wings. I just look at it as necessary evil.

          You're preaching to the choir on clear path fouls. It's my least favorite play in all of basketball. Hey a breakaway!… oh, he reached in at half court, let's sit for three minutes before the guy gets the same penalty as he would've if he crippled him as he was going for the shot.

          The thing I hate about flagrants is how rarely they're judged on intent. It's basically some equation involving how tall the guy who commits the foul is, minus how tall the guy who gets fouled is, then added to how bad the guy lands.

          The thing with the injured free throw shooter rule is that you need something like that. Otherwise a bad free throw shooter could just fake an injury every time, including late game situations, and you could bring your best shooter in.

          I really think the game would benefit from having a fourth official, but the catch is that it would also need to be a good official. They would see more of the floor, but would that lead to more 70FT attempt games that take 4 hours? Sometimes it's best if some stuff is let go, but it's a fine line.

  • Danny

    Say what you want about it balancing out in the end. I agree with you usually it does. But that game was something different. Every time the cs built some momentum and he crowd got into it and it seemed like something would happen the bulls were rewarded with cheap phantom fouls. Like Robinson kicking his leg out or rip Hamilton using his arm an elbow to push off and instead of getting called with and offensive going to the line. There was a clear bias there I saw it and felt it in the arena. That jump ball in inexcusable. They were trying to foul for gods sake. I doubt even Noah himself would be able to tell you with a straight face that was a jump ball. Pierce was attacked. I just find something fishy with that game and they way it shook out and Marc Davis history with the cs and this other white guy don’t kno his name but he sucks. If stern had any integrity at all that guy would be jobless tomorrow. But he won’t hell probably get some playoff game instead. NBA has a huge credibility issue unlike any other pro sport fair or not it’s there. It’s the elephant in the room and it needs to be addressed at some point.

  • ghoulbuns

    Seriously marc Davis throws games. Awful awful awful officiating. Makes it hard to like the nab

  • Swissflix

    What worries me the most is the fact that we cannot win without AB. What does this tell us about this team? And while i'm happy with Jeff instead of Perk, i gotta say it is disturbing to see him not being able to dribble with his left hand! At this level!

    • tbunny

      Look at it this way: with AB, do they give away that game? The Bulls only won because every break went their way in the last 7 minutes of the game. Bulls played hard, they always do, so they deserved to win. But that was a highly winnable game for the Celtics.

  • In the paint

    Folks, there is another problem: our shooting is just bad right now, and PP, as much as I love him is fading. Fortunately, Rondo is becoming consistently just brilliant, and I say this even though I think he has a toxic personality. But he is playing at genius level. Sully is a great catch and again was amazing, considering he is a rook. This kid comports himself like a 30 year old. We also need another big, just do. So, without better shooting and rebounding, even with decent refs- which is a pipe dream- we are not going to win. Tell you what, though, I am not going to walk away from this team as if it were a bic pen. Sorry, I am a fan and I just love the game.

    • jman

      I agree about our offense. Once again, I feel they're lost out there. There seems to be no system plays again. I can see the offense plays being dismantled in the bulls game due to things understanding our offense since Doc plays the same damn plays, and the fact that the bulls are a great defensive team. But, against the hornets? Come on, I feel there's more going on in the background d then any of us know. No way do you trounce on competitive teams and then go against the hornets and look like high schoolers. That to me would be embarrising. But, to those of you that are neutral with the officiating, BS. I can't stand Scale, but he did say the right thing. This is a entertainment league. But home advantage usually means the home team gets the calls. Just ask the heat and Lakers… The officiating last night just tore the heart out of the c's for overtime. Even with the horrible offense, we still had the game except the bulls had 3 extra players. Yes it's hard to ref a NBA game, however, if it's going to be a entertainment league not a true competitive league, then give your home court the advantage like other teams get so the fans who pay big bucks to go to the game get their monies worth. If it's not going to be called without bias. But no way was it unbiased last night with officiating. Those calls were not not mistaken calls. Those were blatent.
      By the way, good jib rondo on the last two games.

  • yordgreat

    the last few seconds of that game i was pretty sure the C's already got it in the bag, ahead by 2 and possession, and then the ridiculous jumpball call happened. by then i knew that the refs have screwed the game up. how the hell can these people call that crap and there were 3 of them there. i have to agree with marc cuban that the nba has some serious officiating problem ever since it became a pu$$y league. man, i really miss the old nba……………

  • rupaul pierce

    chris johnson?

  • catfish


  • catfish