It’s a good thing Brendan is doing grades tonight because I’m not in the mood to reward the kind of basketball the Celtics played tonight. I know, I know… they won. It’s true. But look how they did it. Paul Pierce spent the entire third quarter playing hero ball like it was 2005, the aged Kevin Garnett didn’t come close to the 27 points he put up against Toronto (I wouldn’t hold my breath for any milestones beyond tonight’s 25,000 – he looks completely done in back-to-backs). And with Pau Gasol out and Dwight Howard injured, the Lakers are probably the worst team in the NBA after the Celtics. Plus, that Fab Melo guy? He’s got bust written all over him. In summary: this victory, like this season, means nothing.
Calm down. I’m just kidding. That was f*#@ing awesome.
For the first time since game 6 of the 2008 Finals, the Celtics made the Lakers quit. No other way to put it. They just broke LA’s spirit. Boston dominated every aspect of the game and, during a stretch in the third quarter, ran off the single most exciting stretch of play of the whole season. It started when Jason Terry drilled a three and after a Lakers miss, Jeff Green streaked upcourt for a breakaway dunk off a Paul Pierce outlet pass. Then, Green sprinted back the length of the court to block a shot which set up the dagger – a deep Paul Pierce three that effectively ended the game. Just beautiful basketball.
Pierce (24, 7, 6) was spectacular tonight, creating for himself, for teammates, crashing the boards and, if a step slower than in years past, he was no less effective. Pierce just has an ability to protect the ball while he slows the game down and makes the right play. You can imagine him doing this at age 50 if you imagine hard enough. Anyway, Pierce’s game tonight reminds everyone why it would be so hard to see him leave Boston.
There were so many other highlights we’ll just mention a few of them in passing: Avery Bradley’s ludicrous defense on Steve Nash and his steal and layup at the expense of Kobe Bryant, another encouraging game for Jeff Green who did mean things to the Lakers when he saw how soft their defense was, three consecutive botched possessions in the fourth quarter for Dwight Howard and KG’s wave to the fans after he dropped in that jumpshot for points number 24,999 and 25,000.