It’s unlikely this is the last game Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will play for the Celtics but if Danny Ainge does send them parting later today, let’s let it slip quickly from our memories. The C’s put up little defensive resistance in the first half, allowing the Lakers to break them down on the perimeter and get inside for 54 points in the paint. That’s three losses in four games for the Celtics, who are slowly coming back to Earth since their post-Rondo surge.
I wouldn’t worry the recent losses will create any extra incentive for Ainge to break up the band, though. Like the other recent hot and cold streaks, it’s just a few games and his view will be much longer and driven more by the available offers in the market.
Paul Pierce came out firing and ran off 23 first half points in what was either a reaction to his poor shooting in Denver the night before, a little showing off in front of his friends and family in L.A. or a quiet statement that he wants to remain in green for another playoff season with #5 at his side. Best intentions met cold reality come the second half when Pierce hit a SEGABABA wall and added only 3 more points to his total. His shooting remains a growing worry this season but he’s taken on more of the rebounding burden and battled through injuries so it’s hard to make any definitive statements about his decline beyond the gentle slope of age.
Terrence Williams made his Boston debut, getting 13 minutes of burn and acquitting himself nicely. He knocked in his only jumper, made a few nice passes and pulled down as many boards as Brandon Bass in less than half the court time. No matter what happens with Boston’s roster, it’ll be interesting to see if he can apply his considerable talent consistently enough to stick beyond this first 10-day contract.
The gigantic, enthusiastic Fab Melo is still raw like sushi but it was nice to see him out there throwing down dunks and missing free throws during garbage time. Like Pierce and Garnett (and apparently everyone else not wearing #55) he too could see his Celtics tenure come to an end today for some help in the backcourt. If that’s the case, will his legacy compare favorably with the one left by Semih Erden?
Doc Rivers was visibly frustrated with both his team and the officiating as the game wore on. Doc finally got a technical foul in the second half and seemed to be itching for a second one and an ejection but his real frustration was with his team’s lack of defensive focus and the way they couldn’t again break the will of this group of Laker “frontrunners.”