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A Case Of The Sundays: Pacers 106, Celtics 79

 

After both teams kicked the ball around for much of the first quarter, botching transition passes and good looks at the basket, the Pacers shook off the sluggish and ground the Boston offense into dust with their defense and size. Indiana completely shut down the Boston bigs (Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Brandon Bass combined to go 8-28 with only 9 rebounds between them) and had the game on cruise control by halftime. Boston scored only 22 points in the paint the entire game (Indiana: 50) and without an inside attack, their mid-range game faltered.

It wasn’t just a talent problem tonight. After yesterday’s matinee against Washington, the Celtics played the basketball equivalent of a lazy Sunday drive, losing guys in transition for open threes and missing cutters in the half-court. They were a step slow much of the game, their minds, perhaps, on the coming five-day Christmas break. Indiana’s better than Boston, but not as thoroughly as tonight’s game could lead you to believe.

There’s no point in handing out a batch of C’s, D’s and F’s for this one. But let’s note the particularly poor play of Olynyk, who, but for a few nice passes, looked like a D-leaguer tonight. Also, save some scorn for Jeff Green, who was mostly comatose in a way we’re all familiar with. On the upside, Courtney Lee got 23 minutes from Brad Stevens and looked lively. And Phil Pressey did some nice things on offense, especially a late feed to a slashing Olynyk for a layup. Which is why he gets his photo on the game recap. He deserves it as much as anyone tonight.

  • High Rollers

    Wax Tailor, "Say Yes" (Instrumental Mix). Perfect tune for tonight's big fat L.

  • High Rollers

    Jeff Green (who's character I don't doubt, just his ability to show up with consistency in professional basketball games…) went 5th in his draft. Rondo (whose consistency is equally dubious but who upstages LeBron consistently in the playoffs) went 21st.

    Height isn't everything. (Yes, I am going to say this on a night we face Mighty Roy.)

  • High Rollers

    I miss this:
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-heat/sfl

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Celtics Hubbers!

  • High Rollers

    Considering the comments from 9 tonight, I guess they want a Parker/Randle/Wiggins/Embiid somewhere in that picture as well.

    Whatever. I don't want to see this group's spirit broken. That's the worst. I guess it won't be, playoffs or no. They're professionals after all.

    • High Rollers

      I take it back. That's loss talk. Rondo wasn't going to rush for anything. Perfectionist.

  • High Rollers

    Last thing, props to Mighty Roy for calling Sully an East K-Love in the making. Confirming what the rest of us already knew and coming off his own W, but still nice of him to say.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Lance Stephenson is a real asshole. Somebody is going to mess him up with a hard foul eventually. Watching him try to get the triple double at the end of the game was painful to watch. Is this the worst edition of Jeff Green sulking we've seen yet? How do you get a guy who sulks as much as Green does out of a funk?

    • YouSerious?

      Having Rondo get back on the court to act as a leader could help out some, probably. I'm still holding out hope for waiting to see how this team looks with Rondo on the floor.

      • CelticsBIG3

        Hopefully we don't get ball dominant "Rondo ball" where it sticks in his hands too long and he dribbles the air out of it.

        • hax

          If it leads to a better offense, I'm fine with rondo holding it 80% of the game. But in the current 'open man or keep passing' system, Rondo moving without the ball could create some interesting defensive breakdowns.

  • CG12

    I'd really like to see the C's play faster. They have periods where the push the ball with some regularity, but it seems like they have not been doing it as much recently. They have players who can run, and aren't good enough to beat a lot of teams in the half court, so they should try and use whatever edge they can find. Pushing the pace is a good way to do that.

    • hax

      At Butler, Stevens would run out the shot clock purposely to keep the ball out of the other team's hands. The less time they have the ball, the less chance they score average-or-better points in the game. It kind of worked, he just got an above average team to the finals twice. :p
      NBA shot clock is shorter, so I don't think he does that as much.

  • CG12

    Mike Gorman and PJ Carlesimo were talking on the broadcast about the refereeing quite a bit. I'm generally not one to talk much about the refs, but I thought that the C's were unfairly on the wrong end of a lot of calls. Roy Hibbert elbows someone in the face while posting up – no foul. Jeff Green goes up, Hibbert slides under him and whacks him on the arms (twice) – also no call. I'm sure the Pacers get the benefit of a lot of those calls because they play so physically, the refs are used to seeing it and there is no way they could call everything.

  • MattyBright

    Wow, that one was ugly. What's up with Olynyk? He seems totally lost out there and looks darn slow. His shooting looks so bad too…..did Danny blow this pick? (I know it way early to pass judgement on him though).
    Just venting a bit here.

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