The standings told us Portland was the second best team in the West, which made us believe this was going to be a game tonight. That was not the case….not at all.
The Celtics overwhelmed the young Blazers tonight. The defense was suffocating. Portland shot 42%. They had 36 points at the half, 51 after 3 quarters.
Rondo (16 pts, 8 reb, 7 assists) was running at full speed tonight and he had his teammates filling the lanes. Van Gundy kept ripping Portland for their lack of transition defense – I thought he was going to have a stroke. The Celtics dominated on the break, in the paint and on the boards. This was a massacre.
When the second unit let a 20+ point lead slip away in the 4th, Doc was forced to put his starters back into the game. KG promptly ripped Glen Davis a new one. To my eyes, it looked like Big Baby was crying. Seriously.
There was a lot of trash-talkin in this one. A lot. Paul Pierce and Brandon Roy jawed all game…and not even a 24-point deficit in the 3rd quarter could make Roy close his mouth.
Oh yeah, Greg Oden. 18 mins, 5 pts, 6 reb, 6 fouls
Here are some things I learned from the ESPN crew:
Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson love the Celtics. They couldn't give more compliments. Amazing how a championship can change perception.
Avery Johnson likes the Celtics over the Lakers and Cavs at this point of the season. He cited wins over Cleveland, Detroit twice and Houston.
Bill Walton called the Celtics the best team in the NBA and was adament in saying the Eastern Conference is better than the West.
Some game photos, after the jump…