The Celtics split their weekend games with a win over Toronto 107-89 on Saturday afternoon, and a loss to the Pistons 103-83 on Sunday night.
On Saturday, Garnett dropped 15, Pierce 19, and Terry 20. Terry connected on 4 of 7 three-pointers. My favorite thing about the game on Saturday was Jared Sullinger recording his first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Rondo added 20 assists as well.
On Sunday, things didn’t seem to go right for the C’s. Garnett was able to drop 15 again, but Pierce only put in 13, before leaving in the 4th quarter with what looks like an ankle injury. Jared Sullinger had another big night though with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Things did get scary late in the game, with Rondo’s consecutive 10+ assist streak on the line. The last two minutes revolved around plays being called for him to get an open shooter to give the ball to. He failed to do so until a broken play left Jared Sullinger at the top of the key who hit a deep shot to extend Rajon’s chance at the record. He is now 3 games behind John Stockton for 2nd highest.
Celtics lost their third straight game, second in under a week to the Detroit Pistons, 96-81. Kevin Garnett did not play due to personal reasons in his family. Rajon Rondo was also ejected in the 3rd quarter after the referees missed a layup where he was clearly hacked. He got up and had some choice words for the referee, which got him the first technical. As the ref was signaling the technical, Rondo threw an underhand chest pass to the ref. Unlike the assist that usually follows, Rondo was ejected from the game and the Celtics were left down 13 without their motor.
Nice to see Paul in a little bit more of an attack mode tonight, especially when the Celtics were trailing in the fourth quarter. The ref’s weren’t giving a lot of calls but he was getting into the paint and getting his shots off. He had 18 points on 6-11 shooting. Before the ejection, Rondo was 1-6 with 5 points and 10 assists. Pistons outshot the Celtics from the line 46 to 15. The Celtics committed 22 turnovers and gave up 31 points of their turnovers. The Pistons were all over the place tonight, they went to a 3 guard lineup for a majority of the game. The players were just ball hawking all night and the Celtics were way to lazy passing the ball.
The Celtics have the 3rd game of their 5 game road trip at Dallas tomorrow night 8:00.
Tommy was so angry after the game that he wouldn’t appear on the initial postgame show. He later said that “I can’t blame Rondo, but he’s going to lose a lot of money for a simple pass to the Referee”. Rodney Stuckey had the same amount of free throws as the Celtics; Game could have been a lot worse, the Pistons missed 17 free throws;
Avery Bradley Alert
Avery Bradley played relatively well tonight; he was 3-8 from the floor with 7 points and 2 assists. While his defense at one or two points was overaggressive from his defense, he still played well and pushed the pace for the Celtics. I would like to see him help set the tone of the game earlier as he did in the Magic games this season. Nice stat from Comcast sports network, when Bradley plays +10 minutes, the Celtics are 13-4.
The Celtics look for revenge against the pistons today at 6:00 in Detroit. The Pistons won the last game Wednesday 98-88. Detroit is on a hot stretch as they won 6 of their last 8 after starting the season 4-20. The Celtics are now 15-14 on the season as they look to rebound from losses to the Bulls and Pistons. This season the Celts are 4-6 on the road and the Pistons are 7-10 at home.
Rondo cooled off a little after two straight games of +30 points, he had 17against the Bulls. Kevin Garnett had 18 and 10 in his first game back from a hip flexor. The Pistons are coming off of a win against the Kings where they were paced by Rodney Stuckey’s 36 points. Brandon Knight their rookie had a double-double with 23 points and 10 assists. The Celtics have to make sure that they find Ben Gordon after he went 4-6 from 3 in the 4th quarter the last time they played.
According to Synergy Sports, the Celtics have the 3rd rank defense and the 9th ranked offense. The Pistons have the 29th ranked defense and the 27th ranked offense. The Celtics should look to use their advantage off of screens to Ray Allen and even Mickael Pietrus. The Pistons rank 27th in defending screens. The Pistons are also the 30th best team in the NBA at defending isolations. The Celtics should look to spread and let Paul and Rondo have a little one-on-one fun.
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.
So far this year if you have bet against the Pistons chances are you are up money. They are absolutely terrible. The Mavs haven’t been a dominant force like they looked last year in the playoffs but I certainly see them being able to cover this spread against Detroit. Go with the Mavs.
Tonight the C’s turn over a new leaf on this young, yet disappointing season. Home opener at the garden against another winless team in the Detroit Pistons, hopefully the return of Pierce, and according to multiple sources, the introduction of Mickael Pietrus in a Celtics uniform. You best believe the garden will be electric. Anything short of a commanding win is unacceptable. The biggest IF is Pierce, though. Earlier this week Doc noted today as the earliest Pierce would play so let’s hope he’s ready. Sasha just isn’t cutting it as Pierce. In the three starts in Pierce’s place, Sasha’s averaging 4 points and 1.7 rebounds, slightly lower numbers than we’d expect out of Pierce. If all goes well, we’ll see him out on the floor tonight. Regardless, Rondo needs to continue taking control of the offense. Wednesday night we saw a different Rondo than the hustle and aggressiveness that came with the first two losses. If Rondo can be aggressive on the offensive side, as he always is on defense, then it’ll open up the floor for the rest of the team to step up as well. A lot of IFs in Boston tonight for sure, but don’t count out the Celts just yet.