Boston Celtics: The Big Green Machine

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Archive for October 27th, 2009

C’s Clip Cavs On Opening Night

Posted by r1zzo23 on October 27, 2009

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It may not have started off well, but it ended just fine as the Celtics beat their rival Cavaliers in Cleveland to start the season. The Cavs were 39-2 at home last season and will start this season 0-1 at the Q. Everyone had to know that the great start from Cleveland was going to happen and the question was whether or not the Celtics could weather the storm. They did that and much more as they went from down seven after one quarter to up six at the half.

The Celtics never relinquished the lead at all in the second half. It was comfortable for most of the third quarter, but when it got tight in the fourth, the Celtics just seemed to make buckets and get stops when it was needed most. LeBron James had a good game (38 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 blocks) but he didn’t make enough plays down the stretch to get his team in a position to win. He had some crucial turnovers that really kept the momentum from swinging in Cleveland’s favor.

The MVP of the game has to go to The Truth, Paul Pierce. He paced the Celtics’ scoring in the first half with 13 points, but was held scoreless in the third quarter. But tonight, like any other night, Paul was Mr. Fourth Quarter. No matter how cold he gets at any point of the game, there is still very few players in the entire league who I would want to have the ball in the final quarter. He finished the fourth quarter with ten points, finishing the game with 23 and knocking down three huge buckets while dishing out a beautiful assist to Kendrick Perkins for an and-one finish under the rim.

Garnett played 33 minutes in his first serious game action since his knee injury and looked good, but still rusty. He finished with 13 points, ten rebounds and three block shots, but he missed a dunk that he would finish 98 out of a hundred times. His knee didn’t look to bother him much and he just needs time to strengthen it and get back into game shape.

Ray Allen got hot in the second quarter along with Paul Pierce to spark a huge Celtics run, but cooled off considerably in the second half and finished with 16 points on five of 16 shooting. Rajon Rondo played a good game. He knocked down a couple jumpers and got to the rim for a bucket or two. He did get blocked badly by LeBron in the first quarter on a layup he should have just sprinted down the floor instead and that seemed to deter him from getting to the rim from then on. He finished the game with eight points, six boards, three steals and a game-high ten assists.

The three newcomers, I thought, played very well as a group. Rasheed Wallace led all bench players with 12 points on four of nine shooting including three of six from deep. His defense was as advertised, but he seemed very trigger happy. He took a couple bad shots early in the game and he may just have been anxious to get his Boston career off to a good start, but he seemed to settle down and hit a few big buckets for us. Marquis Daniels looked very smooth out there. He didn’t fill up the stat sheet, but his penetration with and without the ball got others some good looks. He slashed to the rim, posted up once or twice and hit a big three from the corner, too. Shelden Williams played as I thought he would. His defense was good, as was to be expected, and grabbed three boards. He finished with four points, all on free throws, and we shouldn’t expect much more from him on that front.

To me, the unsung hero award goes to Kendrick Perkins. Looking at the box score does him no justice. He finished with nine points, one rebound and one blocked shot, but his impact was so much more than that. It was clear as day that his jumper from the short corner will be there for him all game off of penetration by Rondo, Pierce and Garnett. He was knocking it down and had a couple rattle in and out, so that is a great part of his game that will be utilized accordingly. He may have only had one rebound, but he kept Shaquille O’Neal, Anderson Varejao and Zydrunas Ilgauskus from getting offensive rebounds. Garnett, Pierce and Rondo got a lot of their rebounds off of Perkins’ defense and box outs.

Tonight was a great way to open the season. Those who were on the floor for the Celtics looked healthy. The defense was great, holding the Cavs to 41% shooting. TNT had a graphic that showed the plus/minus in three categories: bench points, three-point shooting and fast-break points. In all three categories, the Celtics heavily dominated the Cavs. If we continue to do that, we should win a lot of games going away. We can happy that the season has started the way it is, but let’s not get satisfied yet because we have a pesky Charlotte Bobcat team coming to town tomorrow night. This is the same Bobcat team that ALWAYS seems to steal two games from us each season. Let’s hope we can put them down tomorrow in front of a raucous home crowd.

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Posted in 2009, Game Analysis | 1 Comment »

Season Opener: Celtics @ Cavaliers

Posted by r1zzo23 on October 27, 2009

Cavs Opener

 

Here we are folks! We’ve had our time to discuss the Celtics’ roster, off-season moves, contract extensions, injuries and preseason basketball. Forget all that because it is time to focus on meaningful basketball games. I know (as well as the Cavaliers) that the first game doesn’t make or break your season, but this is definitely a game I would circle on the Celtics’ schedule. Other than the Magic, the Celtics and Cavaliers are the on the only true contenders for the NBA title out of the Eastern Conference this season.

Both teams have new faces that they will have to integrate into their respectful rotations and fast. Boston added Rasheed Wallace who has seemingly gelled with the team very well. His skill set fits perfectly as he plays defense and can stretch the field and bang down low. ‘Sheed will be a huge boost to the bench and will certainly be a reason we win a lot of games this season.

Marquis Daniels will be playing point-forward off the bench and has looked very comfortable in that role. Seeing the second unit play in the pre-season, it looked as if the backcourt of Daniels and Eddie House were a great combination and Daniels could be a match-up nightmare for opposing teams that choose to put an undersized guard on him.

With the unfortunate injury to Glen Davis, Shelden Williams will be broken in to the rotation more than we would have expected just a week ago. Nicknamed “The Landlord”, Williams can carve out some space in the paint, rebound effectively and play some very good defense. Shelden is an ideal power forward off the bench for this team and if Clifford Ray could work a little magic on this kid’s offensive game, he could be a steal for the Celtics.

The Cavaliers have just as many new faces to break in. The biggest of them all is Shaquille O’Neal. He is way past his prime, but he did improve his play in Phoenix last season. He looks to be in the best shape since his LA days, but will his game hurt LeBron’s? The Cavaliers also upgraded their wing position. Instead of having to rely on Sasha Pavlovic, they now have Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon. Parker is a good, consistent shooter while Moon is an athletic freak and can play some stringy defense. Both players are upgrades over Sasha, and with rumors that Antonio Daniels could be on the way to Cleveland, this team looks to have a stacked backcourt.

Keys To The Game:

  • Keep “The King” In Check: The Celtics cannot allow LeBron James to take over this game on both sides of the floor.
  • DEFENSE! : The Celtics pride themselves on the defensive end and need to show that tonight. Limiting their offensive boards will allow us to rebound, outlet and run (Tommy can’t wait to see us fast break!).
  • Protect The Rock: The Celtics were plagued with turnover problems last season and need to remedy that if they want to win a title again this season. This team loves to make the extra pass, but may need to get a bit more selfish and take those good looks at the hoop rather than risk a turnover.

Not much more to say now. Time to throw on your favorite Celtics’ garb, grab the beverage of your choice, get the lighting just right and get ready to scream at the TV screen another 82 (hopefully much more) games as this season kicks off. Enjoy the game and let’s hope we start this season off with a bang!

Posted in 2009, Game Preview | Leave a Comment »

Glen Davis Has Successful Surgery, Out At Least Six Weeks

Posted by r1zzo23 on October 27, 2009

Glen Davis SurgeryFrom John Beattie:

Following a weekend fight with a former high school basketball teammate that left Celtics forward Glen Davis with a broken thumb, the Celtics announced Tuesday that Davis underwent successful surgery and will likely miss the next six weeks of action.

As every Celtic fan craves details on this story, it remains to be cloudy as ever and we may never know exactly what happened between Glen Davis and his “friend”. All that is known now is that he won’t be contributing to this team for close to two months. He’ll be out at least six weeks due to the injury and Celtics’ owner Wyc Grousbeck has already said he will be suspended once he returns. This is very sad as he was going to bolster a bench that would be tops in the league. With Davis out now and Scalabrine already sidelined, this means that new addition Shelden Williams will have to step in and give some meaningful minutes right away.

There were said to be some problems with Glen Davis (if you haven’t noticed, I’m trying not to call him Big Baby any more) last season and perhaps that was a major reason why he didn’t get nearly the contract he was expecting. After something like this, it makes the league’s GMs look that much more smart for not throwing money at him for having a good postseason.

This is a sad story and is taking up way too many headlines for my liking on opening night, especially when we are playing our rival Cavaliers. This injury will sting, but I’m ready to forget Davis as a part of this team until he is back and contributing for this team. If he wanted to prove that he deserved the bigger contract, he would have improved his game (yet to be seen) and have been more professional and concerned with the situations he put himself in off the court.

Posted in 2009, News, Players | Leave a Comment »

Rondo Boosts 2010 Free Agent Class

Posted by r1zzo23 on October 27, 2009

Rondo Restricted FA

From Marc J. Spears:

Rajon Rondo(notes) will not sign a contract extension with the Boston Celtics, allowing him to join next summer’s heralded free-agent class, the player’s agent told Yahoo! Sports late Monday.

Rondo and the Celtics have until Saturday to negotiate an extension, but his agent, Bill Duffy, said the point guard has already made a decision to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Duffy said he has had recent talks with the Celtics about Rondo, but the negotiations never progressed enough to lead him to believe the sides were close to a deal. Celtics president Danny Ainge couldn’t be reached for comment.

“We’re not going to do an extension right now,” Duffy said. “The conversation has been cordial. We’ve been talking the last couple of weeks. There is a difference between the perception of him in their eyes and our eyes. With that being said, the focus is on Rajon to have a fantastic season and concentrate on winning a championship.”

I really can’t say that I was at all hopeful that we would sign Rondo to an extension before the deadline, so this doesn’t surprise me much. Would it have been great to have him locked up for this season and the next five as well? Of course it would have. Would that mean that we would have had to overpay for him? Perhaps, but top-flight point guards are going to cost money and Rondo has got all the skills to be elite at his position.

The report goes on to say that the Celtics had offered Rondo and his camp a five year, $45 million extension. Rondo’s agent was looking for something in the area of five years, $55-$60 million instead. Personally, I would give him $55 million for five years, but it’s not my checkbook being opened. Without an extension being agreed upon, Rajon Rondo will become a restricted free agent and able to seek any contract he would like. Even though it hurts for the Celtics not able to get a deal done, they still hold all the cards as they can match any offer he accepts. If the Celtics want Rondo to be a part of this team after this season, he will be here.

Looking at other players that have received extensions from Rondo’s same draft class, Brandon Roy received a five year, $80 million extension while his teammate, LaMarcus Aldridge, got a five year, $65 million extension. Rondo isn’t exactly on Roy’s level and Aldridge is a very good player, but his salary is inflated due to his height. I think that Rondo’s floor is going to be the five year, $55 million deal that I mentioned earlier. I see him making great strides in his jump-shooting this season and becoming an even better floor general for this team.

Posted in 2009, News, Players | 1 Comment »