Your Morning Dump… Where Jermaine O’Neal won the game | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… Where Jermaine O’Neal won the game

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

"We won this game because of Jermaine O'Neal.  That's it.  He was… forget his offense… his defense, his presence, his shot blocking, his rebounding, his toughness… and he did it in both halfs.  He was absolutely wonderful" – Doc Rivers

CSNNE: Jermaine O'Neal breaks through versus the Knicks

Thank GOD Jermaine O'Neal was back and ready for that game.  The way the Knicks were swatting shots all over the place (they had nine, four for Ronny Turiaf), it was nice to see some late game defensive heroics on our end too.

I know what people are going to say when I say this… but Jermaine O'Neal showed that what this system really needs is a defensive presence in the middle along side Kevin Garnett to really have its best chance at success. 

….AH AH AH AH…. I'm going to stop you right there…. let me finish before you bring up a certain Oklahoma City center….

And the return of at least ONE of the O'Neals is why Danny felt like he could take the chance to bring in Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and others (and the draft pick).  This kind of performance by one guy named O'Neal on his back.  And so what if the first name is a different one than he thought would be there right now?  What matters is someone was back there to block four shots and protect the basket. 

Go back and look at the progression of Jermaine O'Neal in our taking stock series… after a few early "holds" just to see if his knee would respond well, he was a buy for the rest of the season.  The surgery was the right choice at the right time.  He's healthy now and hopefully he will remain that way.  The C's have a day off today, they play tomorrow, and then they have two more days off.  There's plenty of time to rest, ice, and treat him and everyone else this series.  

This way, maybe, we can at least keep one O'Neal healthy until the parade.

Related links:  ESPN Boston: J.O'Neal ready when it matters most  |  WEEI:  The ressurection of Jermaine O'Neal  |  Herald: Jermaine O'Neal fills big role  |  Globe: O'Neal germane to outcome 

On page 2: Ray talks about the final play

“Sometimes the shot goes in, sometimes it doesn’t,’’ said Celtics guard Ray Allen.

Sometimes Paul Pierce keeps it for himself, the way he did against the Knicks in December. He got a screen from Kevin Garnett, shifted his way to his sweet spot, and hit a winner overAmar’e Stoudemire.

Sometimes Pierce will look for the dish. That’s how it worked out last night when he swung the ball to Allen, who drilled a 3-pointer from 24 feet out with 11.6 seconds left to seal the Celtics’ 87-85 win over the Knicks in Game 1.

“There are so many different options off that play that we went to and we knew exactly what to expect,’’ Allen said. “We don’t predetermine. It’s a play that has so many options and tonight I was just the option.’’

Globe: They've seen this play many times

At the end of that video Doc praises Pierce for making the pass… and he's right.  The whole thing was a great playoff play.  And I phrase it that way because the refs let a TON of contact go.  Melo bumped Pierce… Ray and Douglas had their hands all over each other… Douglas then tripped over KG on the screen… Bodies were flying all over the place.  In that situation, you practically have to pull a gun on someone to get a foul (though I'm sure Knicks fans will disagree, given the Carmelo Anthony offensive foul).

We have seen that play run a lot before.  We've seen Pierce take the shot… KG… Ray… and probably a few others.  It's a beauty where Ray sets the pick for Paul at the top, then KG almost sneaks up behind the play and picks Ray's guy as he's reacting to the first part of the play.  Ray the flies out to the wing and now you probably have one of the Big 3 ready to make the play.  Either you get what we saw last night… or the pick on Pierce was good enough to spring him to his sweet spot… or KG's guy will get lost in the confusion and he'll get a jumper.  

Any one of those options works.  I'll gladly take last night's result… especially since it was part of Ray Allen's resurgence.  That right there might be the most important part of it all.  

Related links:  WEEI:  Game winner was nothing new  |  Herald: Everybody loves Ray  

The rest of the links:

CSNNE: Game Story Video: Celtics take game one  |  Not a winning effort  |  Billups not sure he'll play game 2  |  Celtics shut down Stoudemire in final minutes  |  Notes:  Green contributes in the clutch for Celts  |  Celtics come back to beat Knicks  |  ESPN Boston:  Postgame notes: Pierce's defense gets offensive (foul)  |  Rapid reaction  |  WEEI:  Doc Rivers, C's drop Knicks execution style  |  Ray's trey sinks Knicks  |  Herald:  Celtics Ray-se the roof (ed. note: are you kidding me, Herald headline writers?)  |  Knicks cut to chase  |  Paul Pierce gets the job done  |  Baby, Stoudemire exchange mild barbs  |  Murphy getting used to new place: playoffs  |  Globe:  Already memorable moments (Shaughnessy)  |  Nick of time  |  No upsetting developments here 

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  • I’ve criticized Jermaine in the past, but I have to hand it to him for everything he did on both sides of the ball. Great stuff. I don’t mind getting proven wrong because all that matters is that the Celtics got the win. You could see how badly O’Neal wants this opportunity and a shot at a championship; he was as serious as ever and wouldn’t be denied. Great team rebounding (for a change). Great win.
    Need to keep the turnovers to a minimum.
    Need more than 8 points from the bench.
    Baby needs to not shoot every time he gets the ball.
    Green needs to demand the ball.
    Side note: The Comcast camera angles were some of the WORST all season. Who ever thought the “bird’s eye view” at critical junctures of the game was a great idea needs to reevaluate. It’s the WORST angle in all of sports (in my opinion). Not only that, Rondo threw away one of his back breaking turnovers on the fast break and the camera was off in space. It was like preseason out there. I almost turned it to TNT. Not good. Pick it up, guys!

  • I’d love to eat crow after picking on Jermaine all year… but I’m not quite ready to do it yet, great as he was last night.
    Come on, Jermiane! Put together a few more games/series of that, and make me look extra stupid!

  • Anything JO scores is gravy. His defense and rebounding are indeed what won the game, and they’re a lot more significant than the 4 and 5 line put up by the other fella last night whose trade has Celtic Fan weeping and wailing. Looks like with Nene dominating inside, it’s going to take Perkins a handful of games to get to the 20 and 20 Rivers was talking about last night.
    Thought the second half defense was outstanding, from Pierce and Green on Melo to better closeouts on the open shooters – except the last three by Douglas, where Ray was late.
    But I gotta tip my hat to D’Dummy, who took the ball out of his hottest player’s hands down the stretch to hand it to the guy locked down by Truth and Green. What an idiot D’Antoni is.
    Rebound the ball like we did last night, take better care of the basketball. Second unit’s got to get better shots from shooters.
    But happily, we didn’t see our two worst shooters in the rotation – Rondo and Baby – firing at random at the end of the game, as with the end of the season.

  • Let’s not whistle past the graveyard with Jermaine quite yet. If he’s putting in quality minutes AFTER this series, then we’re talking.
    RE: Carmelo offensive foul: I fear we’ll see plenty of shitty calls at MSG to make up for it.

  • Huge win to start the post season, Ray is BUTTAH
    Amen, well put about having JO back and in productive form. Having an edge to compliment KG is huge. Someone asked why KG doesn’t man up Stoudamire and this is precisely why, if JO can play him then KG can more or less guard the other players’ lanes to the hoop. Just like the Knicks said, each time Melo had the ball there were guys in the paint in front of him.
    We can’t exhale on the trade gamble until the season is over, but the odds got 1/15th better last night.