The biggest loss this past Sunday had to be the Celtics dropping a game against the Pistons 103-88 right? That’s the only game I am willing to remember. The C’s fell to 20-20 after losing their 3rd straight game. They also lost against the Bulls on Friday in overtime, but at least that was a hard fought game. We also got to listen to the ugliest player in the NBA, Joakim Noah, complain about how dirty of a player KG is again.
The C’s will look to bounce back against a struggling Cavaliers team on Tuesday night in Cleveland without one of their best players, Anderson Verejao is out for the season with a blood clot in his lung. However, they still have Kyrie Irving who is proving himself once again as one of the top players in the league, without a lot of help around him. The Green will also take on the Knicks on Thursday and the Hawks on Friday before hosting the Heat next Sunday. Should be a tough road ahead, but at least we have something to watch with no football!
Overall, the Boston Celtics are 12-11. They are right in the middle, sitting in 15th place overall out of 30 teams. This is not the Celtic’s team that we have come to know and love. The season is just over 1/3rd of the way over, and we are not getting any better. The C’s, who are usually one of the better defensive teams, are allowing 97.9 PPG. This stat isn’t as bad as some, except for one fact: We aren’t scoring. We are only averaging 97.4 PPG. I’m no math wiz, but I’d say those numbers are going to have to improve if we want any chance to beat the big teams of the East this season (New York, Miami, Atlanta).
We don’t have an easy schedule coming up either. We play the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday, then come back home to play the Cav’s and Buck’s, both of which have shown that they can put up serious points. Then we take on the Net’s on Christmas, and the Clippers two days after that. Sitting just one game above .500, the C’s need to find a way to get some W’s.
The only consistent scorer this season has been Captain Paul Pierce, who is averaging 19.7 PPG. Rondo is scoring lower and lower each game, but if he can keep getting 12-15 assists per game, they should be okay. Garnett is shooting around 50% lately, but doesn’t play enough minutes to put up any serious numbers. Meanwhile, Jason Terry has been big off the bench, but still has not found his stroke on the 3-pointers, something we have been lacking since Ray Ray took his talents to South Beach.
The Celtics dropped two games this weekend, both against quality teams, and the games weren’t that close. On Friday night, The C’s lost to the Rocket’s 101-89 behind Harden’s 21 points and bench player Greg Smith’s 20 points. Paul Pierce played 41 minutes and was able to contribute 18 points, 7 rebounds, while everyone else seemed rather flat. Garnett put in 14, Rondo put in 15 and added 13 assists, but we were out played badly.
On Saturday night, they Green and White took on one of the best teams in the league, the San Antonio Spurs. For the first half, it looked like this would be a game. That ended about halfway through the third quarter. Garnett only put in 13, Rondo had 6 points, and failed to reach double digit assists with 9. Sullinger had a team high 7 rebounds off the bench, and Jason Terry had a huge first half and managed to score 18 points total, even though he slowed down significantly in the second half. Parker put in 22 for the Spurs while Gary Neal was able to score 20, as the Spurs improved to 19-6.
The Celtics won against the Bucks on Saturday to improve to .500 after dropping a close one to the 76ers on Friday. Pierce scored 49 points between the two games, as he has been on fire already this season. Playing like the Pierce we have all grown to love, the Celtics continue to look like they are playing better together.
The C’s will play the Rose-less Bulls tonight, who are still a very strong team considering they lost their MVP. They will also play the Jazz, Nets, and Raptors this week. As much as I hate Noah, the guy already got 20 rebounds in a game this season, and no one on our team has come remotely close to that. If we want to win tonight against the Bulls, we will need to get him off of the glass so our bigs can scoop up some second chance buckets. Even better news for the Green, it looks like Rose’s replacement Kirk Hinrich will be sidelined too. Rondo could be a big game changer tonight if that is the case. I know Hinrich can’t compete with him anyways, but a 3rd stringer will be blown out of the water.
The Celts losing streak reaches two games as they fall to the Chicago Bulls 89-80. The Celtics season long problems came back to haunt them as they were out-rebounded by the Bulls 52-37 and gave up 16 offensive rebounds. They were held to just 12 fast break points as opposed to the 33 they put up against the Bulls just this past week. After being down 16 at one point in the early 3rd quarter, the Celtics fought and clawed their way back with a 22-7 run to take a 61-60 lead. The big surprise of the game was Mike James, who the Bulls just signed to a 10-day contract. He came off the bench in the 4th quarter as the Celtics were making their comeback and completely changed the game for the Bulls. He scored 8 points and had 4 assists in his 17 minutes and had the best +/- of any player on the court. His defense on Rondo was far superior to the play of John Lucas and will likely get minutes in the following games.
Rondo had another effective night with his 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists, but he found the ball in his hand too late in the shot clock a few too many times and was forced to take shots that are not part of his game. A lot of credit is due to the Chicago defense. Kevin Garnett had an efficient double-double as he scored 18 points on 7-13 shooting with 10 rebounds. Ray Allen shot 3-8 from 3, all of them coming during the Celtics third quarter run. The Bulls were led by Deng and Boozer with 23 points each.
Noah had 16 rebounds, 8 of them offensive; Kyle Korver missed all 5 of his 3’s; During their run, the Celtics went mostly to a 2-3 zone, something Doc doesn’t like to pull out very often, it was also the cause for their downfall as Mike James picked them apart in the 4th; Derrick Rose missed his fourth straight game with a bad back.
Avery Bradley Alert:
Avery didn’t give us much to talk about last night, playing four minutes and missing his only shot. In a low scoring game against a team like the Bulls I would like to see some defense out there. Hurts to see Keyon Dooling out there for 9 minutes when Bradley’s losing the burn.
The Celtics (15-13) look to take on the Chicago Bulls (24-7) in a rematch of last Sunday where the Celtics came on top 95-91. The Celtics are coming off of a surprising loss to the Detroit Pistons last night while the Bulls are coming off of an easy win over the Sacramento Kings. The Bulls are likely to be without both Richard Hamilton and Derrick Rose. Rose has missed the last four games with a back injury. With Derrick Rose out, C.J. Watson, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng have all taken over bigger scoring roles. The Bulls are 6-2 this season when Derrick Rose does not play. For the Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Mickael Pietrus, and Jermaine O’Neal are all day-to-day, while Brandon Bass is out until after the All-Star break with swelling in his knee. Both Pietrus and O’Neal played last night. Kevin Garnett sat out last night with a hip flexor, although Doc did say that he looked great in the morning shootaround. The Celtics are 4-5 on the road this season while the Bulls are 10-1 at home. If the Celtics are to win, expect Rondo to have another big night. He had 35 and 32 points in the last two games while pushing the pace for the Celtics to create somewhat of a new identity for the team.
Tune in at 8:00 tonight on TNT to watch the Celts take on the Bulls.
The Celtics lost for the third time in four games against the Detroit Pistons Wednesday 98-88. Ben Gordon was the difference as he came off the bench for 22 points, including a 4-6 effort from 3 in the fourth quarter to put away the Celtics. Kevin Garnett sat out the game with a sore left hip, Chris Wilcox started in his place. The Celtics were outscored 25-16 in the fourth quarter as the Pistons pulled away by going on a 14-4 run to start the fourth quarter on the backing of 3 quick Gordon 3’s. Rondo finished the night with 35 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals, but was held without a basket and only put up one shot during the 14-4 run.
Chris Wilcox shot 8-12 from the field and had 17-9 in his spot-start for KG. Jermaine O’Neal in his first game back from the injured shoulder had 1 point, 2 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Jujuan Johnson had 10 points in 25 minutes but seems to be a step outside his comfort range. Ray only had 8 free throws in the first quarter and one basket in the second, he finished with 10 points. Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe and Ben Gordon scored 69 out of the Pistons 98 points.
Doc said that Kevin Garnett looked “great” in the morning shootaround; Bill Russell was in the stands for the game; Rondo and Wilcox had two more alley-oops last night; the Celtics play the Pistons again at Detroit this Sunday; from ESPN.com, the Celtics have held their last 26 opponents under 100 points. Other than Ben Gordon, the Pistons scored 7 points from their bench.
Avery Bradley Alert
Avery played nine minutes last night and was largely ineffective from the floor. He left Gordon wide open for a 3 and was immediately pulled in the fourth. Hopefully he’ll have a bounce back game against the Bulls.
The Celtics play the Bulls tonight at 8:00 PM in Chicago. Look for a preview later on today.
Celtics come up with a big win over the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls as they win 95-91. Rajon Rondo led the way for the Celtics as he had 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 assists. His constant pace pushed the Celtics to 33 fast break points as he controlled the flow of the game. Rondo played with an attitude that hasn’t been seen for the last few games as he really took it at the Bulls. I couldn’t tell if either he had been ripped into by Doc after the last game or if he was really offended that Rose wasn’t playing. It almost seemed as to Rondo that playing against the likes of C.J. Watson and John Lucas was insulting to him and he was punishing the Bulls for it.
Celtics continued their 3-point shooting woes as they went 3-13 from the field, but hit two huge threes in the fourth quarter to keep the Bulls at bay. Maybe not in the best interests of the Bulls, but with Rose out Watson and Lucas shot the ball 32 times. After Luol Deng had 21 points and 16 rebounds in the first game he was held to 10 points and 5 rebounds.
The Celtics will look to make it 2 in a row as they take on the Pistons on Wednesday at 7:30.
Extra Notes: Derrick Rose missed his second straight game with a sore back; Brandon Bass is going to be out until all-star break with a sore knee; Stiemsma played only five minutes but had a major impact as his block led to a Rondo And-1,but he was shafted on the high five with Rondo; Keyon Dooling played after missing the last 9 games; Rondo tried to turn the Celtics into the east coast version of lob city last night by throwing alley-oops to both Jujuan Johnson and Chris Wilcox.
Avery Bradley Alert: Bradley played eight minutes, great defense on C.J. Watson who kept forcing up bad shots during the time Bradley was in. Bradley shot 2-4 from the field for 4 points, had 1 block, and two rebounds.