Paul Pierce, The Bench Lead Way Over Cavs | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Paul Pierce, The Bench Lead Way Over Cavs


The Celtics opened their quest for Banner 18 with a dramatic 95-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The big difference in this game was the Celtics bench. They turned a double-digit deficit into a 6-point halftime lead.

Paul Pierce (23 points, 11 rebounds) was clutch in the fourth quarter (10 points), nailing an 18-footer with a minute left to give the Cs a six point lead.

Other observations:

The Cavaliers started strong…building a 13-2 lead.

Celtics second unit played strong in the 2nd quarter. Add in some offense by Paul Pierce and the Celtics lead 51-45 at the break.

LeBron James may be the best ever at blocking shots on the break. He rejected a Rondo dunk attempt in the 1st, and got Ray Allen in the 3rd.

I didn't see explosiveness from KG. He seemed to get beat on rebounds and loose balls. He got burned on an alley-oop and missed a wide open dunk midway through the 4th. He finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Celtics bench outscored Cavs bench 26-10. Wallace had 12 and Daniels had 7.

Minutes breakdown – Ray (42), Pierce (38) and KG (33). Are you happy with those numbers?

Box Score | Recap

After the jump, photos from the game.





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  • JD

    Great start to the season, a really solid game all the way around, everybody contributed and nobody really played poorly. And the defense was just awesome, great gameplan to make LeBron do everything and cut off the other guys.

  • Schools

    What’s up with wearing the home whites on the road? Did the NBA go NHL on this or was it just an opening night thing?

  • Great question. I didn’t even realize it…

  • Sophomore

    Great game, but… did we honestly have only 14 turnovers for the game? It felt like 1,400.

  • idaho_jim

    i’m cool with the minutes, as tonight was a big win over a eastern contender on the road. lets see some blow outs and get the b3 some zzzz

  • Jason

    All-around solid. Those minutes are fine (actually I encourage it) for this game. If it happens against the bottom-feeders, then yeah it’s a problem. Overall, very good win and that’s all that matters for Game 1, especially against the top competitor for the #1 seed.

  • James

    KG seems to be dragging the right leg…anyone else notice that?

  • No, I didn’t notice that. he looked a little winded… but that’s all

  • KY Celts fan

    NO. He’s fine. Everyone needs to stop looking for something that’s not there.

  • green18

    Love Paul but why did they keep saying he was second all defensive team last year? He was second all-NBA but not all defensive

  • KY Celts fan

    Any one else notice how much Ray was guarding Lebron? Was this just because they were switching on screens, or was that really Ray’s man?

  • Green In Cleveland

    I wish you guys could hear the sports-talk radio guys in Cleveland tonight! Their voices got real soft and low and all they could say was how great the Celts looked. According to them there are other players on the Cavs who are supposed to “step up”. I thought having LeBron start each possession at half-court worked well. I mean, that’s the way LeBron has won the the championship every year he’s been Cleveland so far.
    Oh, yeah, I forgot. He hasn’t won squat.
    Mike Brown winning “Coach of the Year” = joke
    Nothing will ever change on the Cavs unless LeBron decides it will. That’ll be about the time he leaves for New York.
    Celtics bench is sick deep. Out scored that Cavs’ 26-10.
    NEWS FLASH: basketball is a team game. (Shhh, don’t tell LeBron.) Go Celts!

  • JD

    I noticed that too, but I liked Ray’s defense on him. Perhaps that can take more of the burden off of Paul, if Ray can guard LeBron for a little, because I think Ray is certainly capable of it.

  • DRJ

    KG is not jumping. Don’t if it’s because he can’t, or won’t, but he ain’t, and we can only hope that that will change. That we won with KG at 60-70% is a testament to the depth of this team. Paul Piece seems just awesome this year… I think he’s determined to get it done, and he will. Rondo brought his sometimes-A, sometimes-B game tonight. Perk’s new midrange jumper looks great. It’s gonna help a lot going forward. Bench is awesome. And Sheed, big guy, is that a wig you’re wearing??

  • Were back!!!!!

  • is it goaltending if a player is moving the ball downward in his hand when his attempt is blocked on a dunk?
    becuase if it is than lebron goaltended rondo

  • redStoolsArmy

    i’d say no because if the ball hasn’t left his hand yet then he hasn’t attempted the shot yet.

  • DRJ

    the exact rule is:
    A player may not “touch any live ball from within the playing area that is on its downward flight with an opportunity to touch the basket ring. This is considered to be a “field goal attempt” or trying for a goal.” There is no mention of a dunk attempt.
    From the literal reading of the rule, it would seem that it is goaltending if Rondo’s hand was guiding the ball in its downward motion at the time of contact. Practically though, I’ve never seen that called.

  • Nora

    If KG was only 60-70% ready Doc would not play him…

  • Jason

    Leg’s not dragging, but he’s not springing. That’s really not debatable.
    Ray D’ing LeTravel I think was intentional. It’s a good change of pace to let LeTravel see different looks, plus it spreads the burden so the main defender (Pierce) gets a little break.
    Was worried about slim Perk, but Shaq’s the biggest, heaviest, strongest player he’ll face and he held his own. I like that he’s been given the green light on the baseline J. It’ll be very valuable later.
    When Rondo’s not running the O, the O is slow and deliberate. Sometimes that’s good, but mostly it seems like it gives the opponent the best opportunity to set up and play their best D. I think Rondo’s skills should be used more. He can break down the D every time and when he does, it opens so many things up. Why not let him do that over and over and over? And why is he never allowed to do it in close situations.
    The 2nd unit was great in the first half, but stalled during their second stint.
    Three different times Celts on a break away saw LeTravel tracking them and each time they tried to score and got stuffed. The problem isn’t that they attempted to score, of course you should, it was that each time they exposed the ball in a conventional way; they made it easy. No one tried to go underneath or do anything to shield LeTravel. It was just stupid. Those plays are supposed to be 6 points and they could have cost the game.
    Quisy was efficient if not a bulk contributor. He’ll have more chances to do his thing, but he was still valuable tonight. Don’t count on Wallace to be that productive from deep all the time. Then again don’t count on Eddie being only 1-3 from deep all the time. Sheldon still has shown me nothing.
    D didn’t look dominant, but it was still a pretty good performance.
    Refs weren’t great, but they weren’t awful.
    Overall, much to be pleased about. There are 81+ more games to gnash teeth. Enjoy this for now.

  • AboveTheRim

    I hope we see that Shaq in the playoffs. Perk and Sheed D’d him up well. He was not dominant offensively.
    KG will be back to form soon enough or he’ll effectively adapt to losing a step and carry us to 70 wins.
    Green 18 Baby!

  • AboveTheRim

    …and Paul Pierce dropping both daggers on them…just beautiful. And that was right after he pulled out the old spin move in the lane and dished it off to Perk for an And 1.
    The MuthaFuckin Truth!!

  • FSantos33

    What John, Chuck, JD, Schools, Sophomore, Idaho Jim, Jason, James, KY Celts, Green 18, DRJ, Nora, Aingelives, Papa Irish, RedStoolsArmy, Above the Rim Said I am with it! Special thanks to Green in Cleveland your post was awesome. Go Celtics!

  • paul

    KG had a pretty good start but has a ways to go as far as sprinting I saw. A few good blocks from the big ticket though. 13 points, solid. GREAT defensive scheme. LeBron was forced to step up and take a lot of risk. Clutch performance from Pierce. The bench looked great, missing Baby. Oh yeah, expected A LOT more from Perkins.

  • How many millions of times have you seen guys get rejected on dunk attempts? Happens all the time.
    “Downward flight” means after the ball was released. On dunk attempts, the ball isn’t released

  • I noticed it, yep. Dunno if I’d call it dragging but it didn’t look like he was springing off his toes running.
    Overall he looked good, loved the vintage KG mid-range.. been a while since we’ve enjoyed that, queue the color guy, “he releases the shot so high it’s almost impossible…”

  • Great game to watch.. not much else that hasn’t been said. ‘Quis is a killer off the bench. Love him. Perk was taking that short J with confidence, like to see it fall more but good stuff that he’s taking it.

  • Orb

    Great game for us, guess the Cavs aren’t going to beat the C’s home record this year. That team just isn’t very good when James sits. However I did have a little wince seeing Leon giggling with El BJ on the bench.

  • Agreed. I was telling someone it was an ugly win becuase of all the turnovers and was surprised when I saw the box score. I think they came in bunches.

  • DRJ

    I’m sure you’re right… but the rule book doesn’t say anything about “releasing” the ball. It doesn’t seem to directly address the issue of dunking at all.