Long Week Over, Celtics Take Their Lumps
Posted by r1zzo23 on November 16, 2008
After five games in a seven day stretch, the Celtics finally get a couple days off to rest up for their first meeting with the new-look New York Knicks this coming Tuesday. Let’s take a look back at the past couple games:
Wednesday vs. Atlanta Hawks, Celtics win 103-102
This is easily the most memorable game of the young season for the men in Green. The Hawks came to town sporting one of two undefeated records (our rivals in purple and gold being the other team) and gave the defending champs about all they can handle. But in the end, the Hawks just couldn’t handle The Truth! The Celtics never really led throughout the entire contest until very late in the game. With about 30 seconds remaining, the Celtics were up by two points when Joe Johnson drove baseline and kicked it to a wide-open Marvin Williams in the corner for an uncontested three, putting the Celtics down one with about seven seconds left. After a timeout, the Celtics inbounded to KG at halfcourt who then handed it off to Pierce. Paul did what he does best, taking Al Horford one on one for a 15-foot fadeaway jumper to but the Celtics up one with .5 seconds left on the clock. Easily the greatest moment of the young season.
Friday vs. Denver Nuggets, Celtics lose 85-94
A tough game for the Celtics all-around. Their defense wasn’t as tenacious as usual and the bench (other than Eddie House) gave absolutely zero to the team. The whole team just looked a step slow as Kenyon Martin and Nene seemed to blow by both Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins on a few occassions. One thing this made the Celtics Nation think about was the offense has been very stagnant so far this season. Last year, we seemed to score at will but now it seems we are really working to earn every bucket. Guaging by first hand experience, it looks like the Nuggets got the better end of the Iverson deal than the Pistons did.
Saturday @ Milwaukee Bucks, Celtics win 102-97 in OT
That’s right, it took overtime for the Celtics to beat the feisty Bucks, but a win is a win. The Celtics had to pull this one out without Kevin Garnett for most of the overtime period as he had fouled out. Luke Ridnour, who took Ray Allen to the rack to tie it up a the end of regulation, also fouled out. Andrew Bogut was ejected from the game after receiving his 2nd technical foul of the game after a tussle with Garnett in overtime. With Rondo and Perkins each contributing a whopping two points each, the Big Three had to pour in 68 between the three of them (Pierce leading the game with 28) with Tony Allen also chipping in 10 off the bench (on a horrid 4-12 shooting). The Bucks are a very scrappy team and Scott Skiles has got them playing some tough defense early this season and this was without their leading scorer, Michael Redd. The Celtics were lucky to escape with a win as they let up a sizeable lead late in the game once again. Remember when we used to try to blow teams out rather than let them back in the game?
What did we learn this past week?
First off, I don’t think it’s too crazy to say that Paul Pierce is the MVP of the league so far. He has put this team on his back so far and is winning games in the fourth quarter mostly by himself. When Jalen Rose is getting your vote, you know you’re a serious candidate for the award.
The overall team free throw shooting has been greatly improved lately and should continue. The team is still DEAD LAST in the league. Not what championship teams are made of, but if there is any team that can turn that around, it is the Boston Celtics. Rondo needs to stay under control and Pierce seems to be trying to do too much lately. Doc will get them to start playing much more efficient basketball.
We also learned that it is not a forgone conclusion that Antonio McDyess will be returning to Detroit. His agent said that they are definitely weighing his options, and there are plenty of them out there. It’s assumed that the Celtics and Cavaliers are great options for McDyess, especially if he’s looking for a ring.
With all this said, the Celtics are still sports the best record in the East and that could be up for grabs Thursday night when the Pistons come to town. But the team should not be looking past the Knicks as they can score in bunches and could definitely steal a win from us.