I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers
are saying about the Celtics after playing the Celtics. Here's a dose
of 'enemy chatter' from Portland.
It was, quite simply, one of the most painful defeats of the season for
a shorthanded Blazers team that made a valiant effort against the
second-best team in the Eastern Conference. And in the locker room
afterward, everyone pointed to the same culprit.
"We felt like
we had opportunities to win," Aldridge said. "I had some shots I could
have knocked down, we had opportunities to close them out. … Both
teams had opportunities to make shots and win the game and they made
them and we didn't."
The Blazers won the overall rebounding battle 46-37 on a night when
they missed far more shots than the Celtics (which should lead to the
Celts getting more boards). That was amazing. Portland also
drew more foul shots than Boston, 27-18. It was all about hustle and
nerve and the Blazers had both. In the end Boston just had too much
talent and too many bodies. One shot-blocker on Portland's side to
make the Celtics think twice in the paint probably would have made the
difference. One less turnover might have done it. One more shot made
could have too. It was that close.
Juwan Howard, on the other hand, played one of his most impressive
games as a Blazer. Against the formidable Celtics front line of
Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and "Big Baby" Davis, Howard pulled down a
game-high 11 rebounds, and played 41 minutes, his most since 2007.
It was nice to see Rasheed Walace playing lazily, and languishing from
his lounge at the three point line in a uniform not colored in black,
silver, and scarlet.
In Sheed's defense, he played lazily for only half the game. He worked the post in the first half (11 of his 14 points), but drifted away from the hoop in the second half.