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Celtics Sink Clippers: Celtics 106, Clippers 104

 
Los Angeles Clippers 104 FinalRecap | Box Score 106 Boston Celtics

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Celtics had ten turnovers through three quarters, and then seven in the final frame. They had built up enough of a lead to hold on for the win but that’s not going to cut it against contending teams with healthy rosters. So far, they’ve able to hold on and beat the Magic and the Clippers playing this way. While it’s true that the game would have likely been a lot different had Chris Paul played, it’s important to remember that the Magic didn’t have their full compliment of players either. Taking their foot off the gas is just not sustainable. I hope that ends at two games, and Doc Rivers agrees: “We stopped playing.  We stopped playing. You could see it in the third quarter.  It’s back-to-back games, and I told our guys that.  I hate as a coach when you’re telling them that and they’re agreeing with you after the game, and we still did it.  That’s back-to-back games where we were playing really good basketball.  We were pressuring, we were getting up the floor, we were playing in space, our offense was early clock – and we get into the third quarter in the middle of it and all of a sudden they’re scoring in five seconds, we’re walking the ball off the floor.  And I’m trying to tell them, ‘That’s not who we are.  We can’t be that anymore.  We just can’t.  We can’t play that way.’” It must be both frustrating and relieving to see a team lose focus, allow their lead to dwindle, and then end up winning the game.
  2. The Celtics limited the Clippers to ten points in the second quarter. While the Clippers’ franchise is no stranger to low scoring quarters, the credit really goes to the Celtics’ defense. Everyone pitched in, crashed the glass, closed out on shooters and rotated defensively. The Celtics forced the Clippers to take tough shots which resulted in fast-breaks launched off of rebounded airballs. Seven of the C’s 26 points in the second quarter were fastbreak points. It was a sight to behold.
  3. During the CLNS/CelticsBlog Garden Report after the Magic game, Evans Clinchy, Jared Weiss, and I all joked about how the Celtics weren’t going to get 56 points in the paint against the Clippers. LA’s frontline is just too formidable. We were, of course, right. The C’s only managed 30 points in the paint. However, what’s encouraging is that the Celtics were still able to build massive leads despite not being as successful going to the basket. The C’s motion offense is allowing them to attack the rim and converting there doesn’t automatically dictate the C’s success.  This is due in large part to the the type of versatile players the C’s have at their disposal. On Friday, the Celtics were able to convert against the Magic. Today, they turned that type of dribble penetration into three point shots (the C’s were11/18 from beyond the arc).
  4. The Celtics bench scored 50 points tonight. Leandro Barbosa and Jeff Green led the way with 14 while Jason Terry chipped in 13. Hell, even Jason Collins was able to finish with seven. Against the Magic, the C’s were able to win by converting shots from the painted area. Today, the C’s downed the Clippers with the help of their bench. It seems we’ll continue to see a lack of consistency in the C’s success without Rajon Rondo or Jared Sullinger.
  5. It’s not everyday that the officials get something right and today, they did a great job analyzing the two potential flagrant fouls on the Clippers and making the right calls. The foul where Ronny Turiaf grabbed Barbosa and spun him down was exacerbated by how Barbosa tried to finish the layup. To me, it also looked like Turiaf grabbed Babosa by the shoulder, and not his neck, which would have led to the officials decision to not call a flagrant.


    The Matt Barnes’ shove on Kevin Garnettwas a situation where Garnett tried to exploit Barnes’ reputation for indiscriminately doling out flagrant fouls. I wouldn’t be surprised if Garnett is warned based on the league’s new anti-flopping policy. It’s obvious that Barnes shoved Garnett and prevented him from cutting across the lane, but the foul was no harder than a regular personal.


    We spend so much time bashing the officials, it’s important to point out situations in which they make the correct calls. And trust me, we want this type of officiating come playoff time. It will work in the C’s favor more often than not given the C’s physical brand of defense.
  • IBleedGreen

    6. Celtics are better without Rondo

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

      *cringes*

      *can't get thought out of head*

      • janos

        hi michaeldavid
        you are smarter this, come on

    • jr9901

      Well, they're playing better, and they're winning more games, beating two contenders so far. Other than that though, they're not better. (Whatever that means.)

  • Phil725

    I'd be shocked if KG was warned for that play. Judging from what I've seen from the warnings, the league doesn't care at all about exaggerating actual contact, they just flag exaggerating nonexistent contact. That was a legitimate hit by Barnes.

    The Barbosa one was the right call, but I thought they messed up by letting the Barnes one go. He threw a cheap, unnecessary elbow (regardless of whether KG fell or not,) and it set the table for allowing the situation to escalate. The officials were lucky that the game came down to the wire so there was no chance for that potential escalation to happen. Of course, I could also be letting my personal disdain for Barnes seep into my analysis. There aren't many players I legitimately dislike, but he has the perfect combination of reprehensible off court and on court behavior.

    As far as the game goes, I really like what I'm seeing. There's no reason to think that this group is playing as well as they can (remember those two months where we talked about needing time to gel?) and they still put up 92 points in 3 quarters. There are things they can work on, like playing four quarters, and nothing they're doing right now seems unsustainable. I love how the ball moves, it just looks like they're getting good shots in all quarters that are prime numbers. That's not something I could say earlier.

    Edit: 11 3s are obviously unsustainable, but there were a lot of open ones in there. With the 3pt shooters on this team, they should be better than they've been, and games like today makes me think they will be.

  • elroz

    Love what I'm seeing from Green, Terry, and Barbosa …and Collins is contributing with minutes.
    KG has played 23, 23, and 28 minutes the last three games – good!

    However: why is Doc not playing Wilcox a little more I don't know… I'm not saying I want 30 minutes, but 10 minutes a game would be pretty good.
    But I guess it depends on the game dynamics..today Collins' size was more important I guess.

    • Danny

      Wilcox should definitely play more.

  • FrenchJujubean

    You writers of this blog are so freaking pessimistic all the time. You said the C's beat the Magic in the paint, and tonight they beat the Clips with the help of their bench. And you call that a lack of consistency? Damn, I call that the ability to adjust to their opponents. I call that versatility. I call that personel wealth. You said it yourself: "LA’s frontline is just too formidable." So of course the C's are not gonna demolish them in the paint. They found another way, and it's freaking encouraging, smart and skilled.
    Plus, you of course know that it's impossible for a team to excel in every aspects of basketball during each game. So even if they were having a hard time in the paint today, this is the bench that stepped up and managed to save the deal. And maybe next game the bench will be down, but KG and Pierce will step up.
    This team is awesome and in my opinion, you focus too much on little weaknesses that are not what should be remembered, considering the two players we just lost. I said it and I repeat it, this blog used to be cooler. More articles, more fun, more positivity. I used to visit this website several times per day, now it's a couple times a week. Sorry guys, not my bad.

    • Phil725

      I read 'consistency' in that sentence as a synonym of predictability. As in, you don't know how the Cs are gonna get it done from night to night because it's different every time. One night it'll be attacking the rim, another day it'll be the bench. I don't think that's negative.

    • CelticsBIG3

      This site used to be MUCH better. We can't even get grades for every game anymore? We get one article that has nothing to do with the specific game a week; maybe? CelticsLife.com folks.

      • OKCeltic

        Chill out. Grades or not this is still the best site for Celtics news. When your subscription price goes up, then start complaining. Oh yeah, we get this for FREE.

      • janos

        hi big3 is janos
        i am always like your talk here and am hope you are not leave site. it is no secret site is less good since haynes retire but is still good forums and web manger always try hard us for make happy. bigg est problems i se rigtht now is micheals pina is not hear eithers? need him and haynes for full complents web manger ;, on current here is partial teams.

        • CelticsBIG3

          I'm not going anywhere because I like talking with everybody on here, but the effort level to make the site interesting to visit daily has decreased.

      • brobb7

        Hey CelticsBig3,

        Appreciate the feedback. As I've told in the past couple recaps, we are still doing grades. Be patient they are coming, but it's Super Bowl Sunday so we didn't want to have all of our game content lost amidst the SB. Brendan did some good analysis on today's game and they'll be more coming.

        As far as the site's content though, I'm a bit confused about your complaints. We had 30+ articles in the past week alone, with several articles analyzing Rondo's injury, potential trades scenarios, Paul Pierce retiring as a Celtic and much more. We've updated the site multiple times a day every weekday this year and most weekends as well. I'm extremely proud of the content we have produced in a incredibly busy week for the C's and I hp[e our readers have as well.

        - Brian Robb

        • janos

          Hi Bryan is Janos
          Are you seen my typings this site? Times again, I am support this even though everybodys know is not as good as once wases. if haynes was still see things he will talk you about respect to all fan and nice them as well. I am come here couple seasons now and am with you think and thin. Are you replies me? No. Are you say thank you Janos? No. You are seen me type here, and only reply big 3? why you are do this ??? Are you think you are only shop of nba celtics? are you think i am not speak english as good you so not have a thought or feeling here? is to much ask you are good to all fan not just one you think is smartest on nba? dont push me around ok and take all fan for granite and only talk ones you think are best? is not funy joke i am piss right now your bullshit and am awaits your sorries.

          ps you are writes" they'll be more coming. it is theres will be more coming.
          so know i am fixing youre english to ok.

          • brobb7

            Janos,

            You are my favorite (and probably everyone's else's) commenter. You have great insight and are a great fan. You know we appreciate your support here at CH, always have and will. I hope you accept my apology, I was just confused about CelticsBig3's complaints so I wanted to address them, that's all. I'll try to respond to you more in the future. I hope you are doing okay with Rondo out. I know it's been a tough week. Let me know if I can help.

          • janos

            Thank yuo very much write me this one. i am feel bad bother you but was frustrate yes I have had a bad week with loose favorite player and have hours cutted at work but this make my day that you take a time and say such nice things on me in front of everybody. other friends i have you know come america and not learn an english at all becase is afrid of be bully but i am try very hard learn good and this site is helping my so much. I am have to many whiskey tonight with supperbowl and then come here and should have been more respect to web manger but i guess you know sometimes am feels
            invisible and with dughters pregant know everyone is move on life from me so am put all time into nba celtics and then rondos get hurt and then team is still win so am happy, but for same time is wonder maybe rondos not best player i was think; i am sorry for anger post have a good night thanky uo, janos

        • CelticsBIG3

          I appreciate what you guys put into the site, but in terms of participation from comment makers, the usage of the site is down. Maybe that's a function of a rough season up to this point, or something else, but the shear amount of people who were here have fallen off. Probably band wagon jumpers I suppose.

  • Danny

    Always making it more difficult than it needs to be, but I saw a lot of good things.

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

    Brendan thanks for the objective outlook on the whistle tonight. You're better for it. I like to think that C's fans are intelligent, and here we have exhibit A in that regard.

    Sidenote: doesn't Barbosa just seem like the nicest, sweetest NBA guy you've ever seen. I could never root against him.

  • Phil725

    I'm watching the replay right now (still bitter about football,) a huge play at the time (that was later cancelled out,) I forgot about: The Bradley missed wide open dunk that led to a quick two on the other end. That was a four point swing that made it an 11 point game and gave all the momentum to the Clips.

    Then Bass hit a jumper and Pierce made that great offensive rebound > quick 3 to extend things and all was good until the fourth.

    I still feel like AB's a little uncomfortable coming back from the injury. Those kind of plays were vicious slams last year; just ask Kevin Durant.

  • Banner18

    Anyone else think the KG for bledsoe/butler swamp would make no sense at all?

    • tbunny

      It makes no sense. We don't need those players. We need bigs. It doesn't make any sense for the clippers either (uh, they have Griffen and DeAndre Jordan, so KG would come off the bench I guess?). I don't think the rumor is credible.

      • janos

        hi bunny

  • jpbl1976

    @Banner 18: Yeah. It doesn’t. I think the Clips were just throwing things on the wall to see what stuck. If the name of the game is to free-up cap space, Butler’s lousy contract scuppers that.

    Bledsoe is intriguing but if the C’s are committed to Rondo, he is just trade bait. Plus, this whole ‘KG would waive his NT clause because he lives in Malibu’ is garbage. I don’t think it matters as much to him as loyalty — and this was PRECISELY the reason he asked for a NT clause — so Danny couldn’t do stupid trades like this with him as bait.

    Besides, people always reach for that stuff but how many times have players really ‘gone home?’ I think the C’s should keep Truth and Ticket and see how this season plays out.

    The only teams who’d be very interested in a PP and KG deal are the contenders looking for an added edge — and those guys aren’t going to be parting with good assets either. Their picks aren’t any better than what we already have. The non-contenders are just going to low ball.

    • Phil725

      I think saying it makes no sense is overstating it. Bledsoe is the best young guy readily available, and he's cost effective for the future. IF Ainge does end up trading Pierce/KG, this is the type of move it would be. If you trade either of those two, you're openly stating that you're going to suck for 2-3 years, so the future is all that matters. Arguing against blowing it up as a whole is another story, but if it does come to that, Bledsoe could very likely be coming here. LAC is the type of win now team who would make the deal, and they have contracts to fit salary and assets.

      Taking on Butler for KG actually improves the cap situation a little; KG is guaranteed 12mil next year and 6mil after that (12m if he's still on the team, but I have to think he'll retire by then.) Odom's deal would be preferable in a trade since it expires after this year, but you save ~8m in the proposed deal.

      I do think the no trade clause blows this up regardless though. I don't think KG wants to play anywhere else, and I think he'll just retire if the team stops trying to win now.

  • Jim

    Say what you want but this team is much more exciting to watch since Rondo went down. He is the reason Ray left the team.He has the ball in his hands too much. I watched too many games last year where Ray was wide open but Rondo would not make the pass. . He is a great point guard but he does have his faults. I think Doc lets him get away with too much . Everyone on this team is playing better since Rondo got hurt. There is a reason for it. Guys play better when they get to touch the ball.

    • greenboner

      yessss!!!!!

  • janos

    Hi brayden is janos
    is good week we are have but is not due rondos lack, team is make a rallies him plus always you know nba celtics is team ok, not one guys. is not fair say better no rondos, but is not death blow on any player garnet, anyone if hurt we are deep strong and still factor this season so get used us we are not go anywahere.s

  • High Rollers

    Middle of the night ponderings…

    Could Chauncey Billups ask to be waived by the Clips and he and K-Mart hook up with the C’s?

    That’d help with half-court O and rebounding.

  • Kivanc

    Hey, what about the NOT-buzzer beater by Courtney Lee at the end of first quarter? That SHOULD have been called a three, as Matt Barnes clearly touched the net before the ball hit the hoop. Clearly a violation there.

    • jr9901

      Yes, that's correct. I replayed it in slow motion, and Barnes clearly touched the net just before the ball got there, and so it should have been defensive goaltending and an automatic 3 pts.

  • jr9901

    I hope you realize that mentioning what you call a "flop" by KG in the Barnes situation INCREASES THE LIKELIHOOD THAT KG WILL GET FINED. I suggest we keep such opinions in the comments, not in front page stories!

  • CG12

    I thought Barbosa was poor enough in the first half that he deserves a worse grade than that. He can be instant offense, but he can also be instant ball-stopping. Wilcox ran the floor hard a couple of possessions in a row to get out in front of his man, but Barbosa was intent on dribbling it up. Right after that, Terry was pushing it up in an identical looking play and tossed it ahead to Wilcox for the alley-oop.

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