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T-Mobile Recap: Sloppy finish taints victory

Chuck - Red's Army March 26, 2010 Uncategorized 19 Comments

Rondo

Can any other team lose focus faster than the Celtics?

The Celtics toyed with the Kings for 2 1/2 quarters tonight. They built a 24 point lead in the 3rd quarter, only to see it evaporate into a measly 6 point advantage late in the 4th quarter. How did it happen? The bench was a minus 22. Fortunately, the Kings didn't care about winning this game. While a win is a win (94-86), the team's inability to finish off Sacramento meant additional minutes for the Big 3.

The 2nd quarter was the Rajon Rondo (6 points, 18 assists, 3 steals) show. He was picking pockets and dropping dimes like a college kid who slipped into a CYO game. On one fast break, he destroyed Sean May with his behind-the-back wrap around dribble. While May drifted away looking for the pass, Rondo exploded to the hoop for a lay-up.

Another solid performance by Kevin Garnett – 18 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks in 26 minutes. On the other end of the spectrum, Rasheed Wallace had one rebound in 24 minutes.

Injury news: Left knee tendinitis kept Kendrick Perkins on the bench. He will likely miss Sunday's game vs the Spurs. Nate Robinson twisted his ankle in the 2nd quarter and did not return. In the post game presser, Doc said Nate is 50-50 for Sunday.

Marquis Daniels did not play with the 2nd unit in the second quarter. Those minutes went to Tony Allen. Quis did play 6 minutes in the 2nd half, but it's possible Doc was trying to wake up Daniels.

Doc benched Glen Davis after he picked up a technical foul for complaining over the lack of a foul call in the 3rd quarter.

There were a few milestones tonight. Rondo surpassed Rick Fox as the team's single season leader in steals. Rondo's 18 assists are a career high. Paul Pierce knocked off John Havlicek as the Celtics all-time leader in free throws made.

The Cs have clinched the Atlantic Division. With the Hawks loss to Philly, the Celtics hold a two game lead over Atlanta in the race for the 3rd seed.

Box score | Recap

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  • Double P Reppin the B

    Rondo continues to amaze. KG is looking damn good and promising. This team is looking scary and the playoffs are right around the corner… GO GREEN!!

  • KY Celts fan

    Celtics win, Lakers lose! Savor these moments!
    And Rondo! Damn, boy! I can’t imagine what this guy will be like in a few years!

  • DRJ

    I savor the moments when you say “savor the these moments” cause I know something good happened :)

  • DRJ

    I buried this in a prior thread, but it’s worth repeating….
    Doc explained before the game why we sometimes see two different KGs from game to game (e.g., Rockets after Knicks). He said they’re working him extra hard between games, so that sometimes he just can’t bring it in the actual game. He must mean extra-hard muscle-building exercises. Doc finished by saying KG will DEFINITELY have it all for the playoffs, which is their goal.
    This is huge, because it removes (almost) all doubt regarding which KG will show up in the playoffs. It’s gonna be 100% of the 2008 version, that’s which.
    I’m trying to imagine who is gonna beat this team with KG, Paul and Ray all at 100%, and Rondo = about 150% of what he was in 2008, and the bench strong, and even Perk, when well, playing better than then. I can’t think of anybody…..

  • Double P Reppin the B

    Those hard workouts in between games seem to be paying dividends now because I can see a clear difference in KGs abilities. I’m getting so excited for the playoffs

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570792716970b Christopher

    I wasn’t able to see this game, but despite a disappointing second half, it was still a solid win. Not a buzzer beating win to truly make us feel badly. Gives me hope for the post season and a ton of hope for Sunday against the Spurs.

  • DRJ

    Agree about the clear difference. If you graphed KG’s good games, going peak to peak you’d see a clear progression upward.
    Cs are peaking. And maybe, just maybe, LA and CLE are doing the opposite.

  • Shawn-cvd

    Our second unit was NOT its usual self in personnel. That’s why the -22! Our second unit usually includes Sheed and Nate. Add to that Glen acting like a Big Baby and suddenly you have Scal, TA and Quis (the poor man’s TA of late)starting the forth quarter. This was by design though because despite no Gino Doc still limited the starters minutes. I’ve been very impressed with Doc’s minutes management in March.
    Not to be confused with his efficient play of late Pierce still had a monster game. He had 22 points, 8 boards, 2 steals and borrowed from Glen’s playbook with ZERO assists. Paul is living up to his moniker as the Truth and you can pencil him in for 20+ points per game. Lastly this was a rare night due to the Big Three all playing well combining for 60 points and 25 boards.
    Also good news was the low turnovers which more than made up for barely loosing the battle of the boards. Rondo was brilliant with all those dimes and only two TO’s.
    A great victory due to the Hawks losing tonight. Due to the C’s owning the tie breaker the lead is now two games!

  • Shawn-cvd

    I forgot to mention: in post game interview Ray Allen gave Rondo props for breaking the club record for steals. He also made me feel old by comparing Rondo’s defensive prowess to that of Mookie Blaylock(!).
    Jesus explained that he was stripped time and again by Mookie (which had to be back in the day LOL). Allen has been in this league a good long while…

  • Shawn-cvd

    Nice analysis DR! I thought that too. KG gets strong enough and his leg will have the stability for him to perform.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570423591970b KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    Almost “glad” to hear that Perk has been playing through this injury-it finally explains his complete offensive decline of late. Hopefully this gives Shelden some PT. He’s a better defender and rebounder than he gets credit for. ‘Sheed did not attempt 1 single 3-pointer tonight. Perhaps he should start more often.

  • KY Celts fan

    Almost certainly. Cs are playing their best ball of the season, and Lakers are playing their worst. Not sure about the Cavs. It’s just one loss after a eight game win streak.
    However, after all the complaining and skepticism of this season, the team is pulling it together and at exactly the right time. HOLLA! (yeah, I went there)

  • DRJ

    I included CLE because I happened to see that Varejao left tonight’s game with a hamstring injury. Those can take weeks to heal, and in many cases the effects linger even after the athlete’s return. And he’s a key piece, esp. when they play the Cs. So I included them.
    (Please insert the usual disclaimer about not wishing injury on any athlete, etc., etc., bla, bla, bla.)

  • Perry

    Yes, only six attempts at the basket for Sheed too. He’s compacting his offense for sure. There was one play where he did have an open look at a three but instead passed up the shot. Amazing!
    Here’s a great stat. KG’s deferential +14; Pierce +18; Ray +14.
    The Big 3 are rolling again.
    Kevin sure looked old school last night. If what Doc said about his practice routine is true then maybe we should stop this game to game trepidation. Also glad we have an expatiation for Perk’s up and down play of late.
    Much of last night’s success boils down to defense. When this team can get multiple stops, with Rondo leading the break, it’s lights out for the opponent.
    Interesting that Quis was headed for a DNP-CD before Nate got hurt. Chances are Nate sits tomorrow night. Here’s an opportunity for Quis to play his way out of doghouse. Much rather see him quarterback the offense, and let TA do what he does best.

  • the-green-mile

    that’s why this team will not win a championship this year. they should have killed the kings by 20 points or more. this team don’t have that killer mentality. they don’t stay focused for 48 minutes. a good team like the cavs and the magic will beat the celtics in the playoffs.

  • Shawn-cvd

    I disagree. Doc has other motives last night. Were he exclusively committed to blowing out the kings the big 3 plus rondo would have logged more minutes. Then the problem would’ve been not assessing our 2nd unit to get them rotation worthy. No one will beat us 4 games should we play like we have been or better.11 and 4 this month.

  • KGHaTTR

    But wait I thought KG was done??
    PP was done??
    Oh yeah that guy doesn’t come round much anymore does he…
    I haven’t seen a C’s game in a while with my wife in hospital but it’s great to hear things are coming together….

  • KGHaTTR

    But wait I thought KG was done??
    PP was done??
    Oh yeah that guy doesn’t come round much anymore does he…
    I haven’t seen a C’s game in a while with my wife in hospital but it’s great to hear things are coming together….

  • KGHaTTR

    Mookie could play – I called our cat called Mookie cos he stole stuff!!