The Celtics extended their win streak to 3 games after beating the Jazz 98-93 last night at the Garden. Rondo only had 6 points before leaving in the 2nd half with a hurt ankle. They said that he could come back but didn’t want to risk it. He did record 10 assists so he is still in the chase of the record, but did not hit the 11 mark.
Paul Pierce continued to show he can still play with 23 points, including three 3-pointers. Jeff Green stepped up big and put up 16 points in 27 minutes, while Garnett added 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists (one of which is worth watching if you check out ESPN today). He tossed it behind his back to Barbosa and it looked like he knew he was going to before the ball was even near him.
Speaking of Leandro Barbosa, talk about a great pick up. He hit 6 out of his 8 shots and put up 16 points while recording a game-high +13 points. The weirdest part about this game for me was that Jason Terry didn’t take one 3-pointer. I know it doesn’t matter since we are winning, but we are gonna need some outside shooters when we play bigger teams like the Lakers. The Celtics play the Nets tonight in Brooklyn at 8 p.m.
It seems as though Rajon Rondo has set an NBA record for most consecutive games with 11+ assists at 28 games. Everyone thought that he failed to do it after he tied the record last week, when he only got 10 assists in the stat book. However, today, the league statisticians went back and looked at the tape and saw that he assisted Brandon Bass in the 3rd quarter of that game, but the assist was given to Terry. So its official, Rondo solely owns that record.
It seemed to end again on Monday night against the Bulls. But wait, once again it seems as though he had an assist that the scorers are looking into now. If they award it to him, he will have an active 29 game streak going.
Most people could care less about that record. He is on pace for another record, if he can keep up the solid play and I don’t jinx him. He is 3rd all-time with a 31-game streak of double digit assists. He is behind John Stockton (37 games), and Magic Johnson (46 games), probably the two best point guards of all time. The Celtics play tonight against the Jazz. Go C’s!
On a side note: Fab Melo and Kris Joseph have been assigned to the D-League with the Maine Red Claws, just as Danny Ainge anticipated.
Not much good news in the NHL this season, but there is one thing that Bruin’s fans can be happy about. Nathan Horton is now healthy and will play if and when the season starts. He last played on January 22nd after his 2nd concussion in just 7 months. His first concussion came against the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. He scored 17 goals and had 15 assists last season before getting sidelined in January.
This will be big for the Bruins who struggled to score at the end of last season. Horton is a proven scorer with a 30+ goal season and many 20+ goal seasons. Can’t wait for the black and gold to get started again.
Here are a few things out of the Celtic’s practices this week:
Assistant coach Mike Longabardi has been tasked with focusing solely on the defensive side of the ball. Former assistants that also did this were Tom Thibodeau and Lawrence Frank, both went on to be head coaches elsewhere.
KG said Sullinger is a lot like Perkins was while he was here. He said he’s not the same kind of defender but is completely unselfish, moves the ball, and has a very high basketball IQ. Garnett went on to say that he loves having the rookie as a teammate already.
Their entire practice Tuesday was about defensive strategies. Doc said they went over cutting out the shooters, eliminating baseline drives, and communicating like his old teams were known for.
They are playing the Wizards again tonight at the Garden. I will be rocking the balcony seats so be sure to tune in since the election is over and there’s no other sports to watch.. Go Celts!
Obviously, we learned last year that no one should count the Celtics out early. They were awful at the beginning of last season and still made it to game 7 against the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. However, we barely beat the Wizards, and lost against the Bucks, two teams that we should beat night in and night out. Pierce is playing incredible, Rondo’s defense has gotten stronger, and KG is always reliable, even after a tough shooting game on Saturday.
The biggest thing to note is the way these new players are mending together. Doc said that he needs to find a way to mix and match the second unit better. He started doing this by putting Jared Sullinger into a starting role, in which he played great. You can tell that he is still young and needs to work, but he has to be ahead of where most rookies are at this point in their careers.
Personally, I am not worried about the C’s this season, and neither should you. We have so much depth and about 7 people that can put up double digits on any given night. Once they get going, they are going to be a tough team to stop. Next up is the Wizards again on Wednesday at home. Hopefully we have this game won before 28 seconds in the 4th quarter.
Jason Terry has been voted as the most likely sixth-man award winner for this NBA season. JET received 11 votes, while Jamal Crawford earned 8. Ray Allen even got 4 of his own. Even Jeff Green was voted for once, even after his rough first game back.
With reigning sixth-man award winner James Harden starting for the Houston Rockets now (scored 37 points and added 12 assists in his debut), the field is wide open. Jason Terry has already won it once before while with the Dallas Mavericks. Leandro Barbosa even won it when he was with the Suns, and if he plays like he did in the first game, he could be a big surprise. But I’ll give my vote to Jason Terry because if he can help get us over the Miami obstacle, he will be seen as one of the key factors since we lost to them the past two seasons.
As expected, both Lebron James and Dwayne Wade score in the high 20’s while Lebron recorded his first double-double of the season (26 points, 10 rebounds). One of the most painful things to watch was Ray Allen dropping 19 points on his former team. Ray played 2 more minutes than Lebron in this game, which no one expected would happen.
On the other side, KG struggled for 9 points, but was able to add 12 rebounds. Paul Pierce played amazing in the first half and ended with 23 points while Rondo added 20 points and 12 assists of his own. The biggest surprise was Leandro Barbosa dropping 16 in only 16 minutes while going 3-3 from 3 point range. The newest acquisition already showed that he deserves to be here.
The final preseason power rankings are out, and there have been more than a few big surprises in the past few days.
Reigning sixth-man award winner, James Harden, was traded to the Rockets to play alongside Jeremy Lin. The Thunder did not want to give him the max deal that he deserved. They instantly dropped from #3 to #5, before even playing a game.
The Lakers dropped one spot from #2 to #3 in light of their 0-8 preseason and an injury to Kobe Bryant. However, they still have Howard, Nash, Bryant, and Gasol together when they are all healthy again, and that looks to be a dangerous team.
Spurs jumped up to #2 this week, but this may be short lived since Manu’s back has been bothering him lately, and they are a year older. However, everyone should know better than to count out the Spurs.
The Celtics jumped from #6 to #4 after they realized that no one in the East can compete with the Heat but us. It goes without saying, injuries will play a key part in this season, with our team getting older. However, we got younger and quicker over the offseason, and are even more motivated this season after coming within 48 minutes of a championship birth.
Assuming the Heat are #1 on the power rankings, who do you think should be #2?
The season is finally here! If you’re like me, you probably completely ignored baseball, patiently waited for hockey and football to start (still waiting on one of those), and have been following the C’s offseason very closely. We are a completely different team than we were last year. There are only 3 players from our ’08 championship team left (Pierce, Rondo, KG). However, many believe that this is the most talented and deepest team that we have had in ages. We couldn’t keep up with the Heat in the 4th quarter of games last year in the playoffs, so we went out and got some fresh legs and defensive specialists. We have Jeff Green back who will help on Lebron and Bosh, and drafted Sullinger who looks to rebound on every play, something we have been lacking over the years.