And with that, the road trip mercifully ends. It’s only fitting that the C’s would allow this game to go to overtime. I mean, why not play an extra five minutes of basketball on a SEGABABA, on the road, and at the end of long roadtrip? It’s not exactly how they drew it up, and give Utah enough credit to fill the world’s fourth largest terminal lake for taking the C’s to the brink. They may not have played much defense, but they were as ferocious as a horse-headed crocodile!* The Jazz really made things difficult by making shots and hustling.* Seriously. Read the Great Salt Lake’s Wikipedia page.
It’s a make or miss league. You hear Doc say it all the time. Usually, he’s referring to those tough, game-changing buckets. The kind that can really break team’s will. Tonight, it was all about the wide-open variety. In the second half, the Celtics missed a lot empty-gymers. My unofficial count for missed threes in the third quarter: Jason Terry (1), Jeff Green (1), and Paul Pierce (2). Despite missing opens ones, Paul Pierce was an absolute killer tonight. Credit DeMarre Carroll for both making it hard on Pierce and for having four r’s in his full name. Neither are easy to pull off and Carroll makes it look easier than most. Even with Carroll’s effectiveness, Pierce was just too much. Sometimes, the isos induce eye-rolls. It was great to see Pierce convert would-be back-breaking jumpers into actual calls to the chiropractor.
Gordon Hayward has a huge advantage in looking like a cabbage-patch kid that got his hands on some stolen Nerdluck goods. I’m convinced his angelic mug completely disarms his opponents and causes them to not take him seriously. That is, until he destroys you (I’m looking at you Paul Pierce and Celtics’ transition defense). In addition, that mop-top exaggerates contact in a natural way Paul Pierce would kill for.
The Celtics had to have this game. After losing last night, it’s clear the Celtics weren’t going to take any chances. This is why Terrence Williams didn’t have to take hit shooting shirt off and Jordan Crawford shouldn’t have. Who knows? It may be an indication that both of them are falling out of favor. Personally, I hope not. I doubt either will be a meaningful contributor come playoff time. But I want to see them get a lot of minutes as the season winds down, the veterans rest up, and the playoffs are positioned.
With the Celtics leading 108-105, I thought of the perfect Tweet, yet wasn’t actually near my computer. “Don’t let DeMarre Caroll hit a long two and tie the game!” What was up with those Utah score keepers? I understand it’s hard to see where a player’s feet are on the opposite side of the court but that’s why the officials signal the difference. I happened to notice them right away. The first one I had to rewind and verify I wasn’t losing my mind. The second one was definitely a “aw, hell naw, not again!”