Let's face it, other than the Rajon Rondo to Kevin Garnett alley-oop, last night's game against the Bobcats wasn't something to write home about. The Celtics looked ragged out there, failing to close out on shooters or even failing to keep up up guys like Eduardo Najera, who blew by KG late in the game and bailed him out by missing a lay-up. Paul Pierce was jacking up rushed threes. Even when they attempted to run their sets, screens were set with zero effort and several times multiple players either botched the set or had no clue what they were running.
Blame it on the second night of a back-to-back (which has been the C's bugaboo this season), the tired legs, the bruised heads or even the snow, simply put that was just a gross game all-around. The one thing that jumped out at me on the stat sheet were the excessive minutes that the starters logged. All five starters logged over 30+ minutes, with Rondo leading the way with 43. In fact, all five except for Garnett logged over 35 minutes. With an already depleted roster this was unnecessary for an early February game against the Bobcats. Of course the C's covet that elusive #1 seed, and perhaps the reasoning was that they have the next two days off to prepare for the rematch with the Lakers. Either way there's no need for the starters to play that much in that instance.
There was a bright spot to last night's game. Kendrick Perkins continued his remarkable on-the-fly rehabilitation from ACL surgery last night, scoring 8 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and blocking 3 shots in 35 minutes. His lateral movement on defense is impressive, as his post defense. He's also been relatively quick on his help rotations as well as getting up and down the floor in transition. Watch the brief clip below for some of his highlights.
- Perk bodies up Kwame Brown and sizes him up perfectly for the block
- Perk is the first up the floor in transition, and as Rondo penetrates to the lane, he sets up shop down low. Rondo passes it to KG who executes a beautiful touch-pass to Perk for the big two-handed slam
- The Perk/Kwame Brown scuffle: Perk plays Kwame tough down low for a handful of blocks. This toughness is signature Perk
- Gerald Wallace slashes to the hoop, beating Glen Davis for what seems like an easy lay-up until Perk rejects the offering
- Wallace seeks revenge by driving baseline and hopping away from Ray Allen, but Perk is up to the challenge again and stuffs the lay-up attempt