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Recap: Ray, KG save Celtics from demoralizing loss

Chuck - Red's Army February 28, 2012 Uncategorized 36 Comments

KGJamison

For the first 12 minutes of this game, the Celtics played inspired, efficient basketball. It showed on the scoreboard as the they raced out to a 28-12 lead. The rest of the game was a giant, hot pile of ______, but the Celtics made enough plays to win it, 86-83 over the Cavs.

Had the Green lost this one, I would have put my Celtics footie pajamas back in the closet for the rest of the season. 

Love the energy I'm seeing from Kevin Garnett (18 points, 8 rebounds). His steal and outlet to Ray Allen (who finished with a dunk) put the Celtics up 82-81 with 48-seconds left. He followed up his own missed jumper with a HUGE offensive rebound and then made two free throws with 3 seconds left to just about seal the game. 

Ray had the stroke going tonight. He led the Celtics with 22 points (4-8 3 FG). He was also sporting one helluva tan. 

Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo were mediocre, at best. Pierce (12 points, 4-11 FG, 6 assists, 6 TO) salvaged his craptastic effort with 5 points late in the 4th that turned a one-point deficit into a 2-point lead. Not sure what to make of Rondo's (0 points, 0-6 FG, 11 assists, 5 TO) performance. 

Brandon Bass (12 points, 7 rebounds) was up to his old tricks – burying jumpers. He was streaky tonight – starting the game 5-5 and then missing 6 straight.

Chris Wilcox led the team with 11 rebounds. He also had a pair of fast break dunks.

Keyon Dooling is getting worse as the season progresses. MrTripleDouble10 had a great line on Twitter: "Other than replicating TA's trebuchet jump shot, I'd like to see Dooling do, well something." I have no idea what trebuchet means, but it sounds very TA.

Garnett passed Charles Barkley for 18th on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Box score | Recap

"KG with the European flop. He learned it from Casspi, Crispy, crunchy… whatever his name is!" – Tommy Heinsohn.

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

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  • Alex

    I’m just going to copypasta what I typed up in the Celticsblog comments section:
    Rondo & Pierce…
    Wow, these two almost cost the C’s this win…
    Rondo played like shit (why in the world would you have 0 points when Irving is defending you…)
    Pierce had more turnovers than Rondo… and when you have more turnovers than Rondo, that’s REALLY sad.
    Rondo ruined the entire rhythm in the second quarter by acting like an idiot with his “Cousy” passes he was trying to pull off. Jeez man, this kid had me ripping my hair out of my head.
    Please keep Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. These guys are the Big Two right now, Paul Pierce looks like mess at times (clutch shooting near the end but his turnovers are really killing this team), and don’t get me started on Rondo. Rondo did a poor job defending, attacking, and his flashy attempts at getting assists are always leading to turnovers, which helped the Cavs get back into this game.
    Thumbs down for Pierce and Rondo. A bit of a raise from the thumbs down for Pierce for hitting some clutch shots near the end but his turnovers were just too damn costly.
    Thumbs up for KG and Ray Ray. Brandon Bass went cold at the end but this guy was shooting pretty damn well in the first half.
    Nice alley oop dunk, Wilcox! WOW!

  • cez

    Please trade KG and Ray. I like them and I’d rather they don’t have to go through…this.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/andreas24x7 Andreas24x7

    Rondo was the one who was craptastic..i kept waiting and waiting and waiting for him to make a few plays or get to the basket for a big lay in..but nothing..
    Zero POINT ZERO! (Points)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    I know… but he did have 11 assists. Hard to blast a point guard for having 11 assists.

  • kg.the.great

    i didn’t watch the same game as you. the game i watched rondo had irving on lock. irving couldn’t get a shot off the first half. the second half the cav’s learned and used multiple picks in which rondo would get switched out to a another player. irving took advantage of those switches and he also burned avery a couple of times. rondo’s turnovers came in the fast break with blocked lanes and him being in the air. he had to either force a shot or pass. pierce on the other hand had a terrible three quarters, caspi fucking CASPI abused him. nice clutch shots though

  • http://profile.typepad.com/lobbe Caterpillar from Italy

    Man, if Rondo makes ZERO points he should at least have some assists, otherwise there are no reasons at all to keep him on the floor.
    And, talking about assists: did you see any fantastic passes, or just regular ball distribution ending up in some made jump shooters by Ray, KG, etc
    Let’s be real and let’s go beyond numbers: do you really like Rondo’s playing?

  • Quest

    Ray and KG are the only players worth keeping sell everyone else.
    Only thing that matters now is what does Danny think about this “craptastic”play and what does he plan to do about it in the next 15 days.
    Looks like Rondo should have gone to the Bahamas as planned instead of Allstar weekend and Paul????

  • http://profile.typepad.com/andreas24x7 Andreas24x7

    but 5 TO’s and his head to head opponent had 24…another game where he completely turtles in the face of competition..im starting to think he doesn’t want to play here AT ALL anymore.

  • Joe A

    Avery Bradley had a pretty good game, Although I cringe whenever I see him dribbling or passing. But yeah, not the best start of the second half of the season for Paul and Rondo. But a win is a win, hopefully this will be the exact opposite of the last few seasons where the C’s start off hot, then cool off during the second half of the season. Maybe this year they’ll get hot at the right time

  • paul

    Nice to see all the bully fans making the most out of a chance to shit all over Rondo. Rondo did have a terrible game, but you know, when a guy has a terrible game and still has 11 assists, he might just be a pretty good player.

  • Alex

    Paul… Your credibility goes to the dump until you pull your thumb out of your ass and actually criticize when things need to be criticized. Romeo had no excuse to play this crappy and his horrible turnovers were the main reasons why the whole game shifted for Cleveland. Remove the green tinted glasses and share some actual insight rather than complain about the “haters”.

  • Alex

    LOL Romeo. Don’t you love phone autocorrect. Rondo*****

  • http://profile.typepad.com/andreas24x7 Andreas24x7

    I’m starting to think Rajon needs a change of scenery for his own good. He looks uninspired out there, too confident and playing like he has nothing to prove. He might need a challenge, a new offense and a new coach that will put a shoe up his ass.

  • gowyo

    what the heck is up with Peirce? He’s looked completely disengaged the last 6 games. Almost like he doesn’t care anymore.

  • paul

    I think it is interesting that none of the Rondo haters have noted that it was Rondo, not Garnett, who actually made the steal that won the game for us. Look at the video. Garnett does appear to get a hand on the ball, but it’s Rondo who tracks it down, steals it from its intended recipient,and tips it to Garnett.
    yeah, it’s kinda hard to hate and blame Rondo like you do if you are actually honest about what happens in the games, isn’t it?

  • Lee in Oregon

    If the OKC game was a moral win, this was a moral loss. Whether they want to admit it or not, this team has chemistry issues. For the most part tonite, I thought the C’s got out-hustled. Pains me to say it but they’re barely a mediocre team right now.

  • http://www.redsarmy.com/home/2012/01/ray-allen-to-play-jermaine-to-sit.html#comments Rondo’s #1 Fan

    anyone thinking that rondo is playing like crap so he doesn’t get traded? last time there were rumors he played the same game and then he uped his game just in time to impress david stern for the all star now we r back to trade rumors and rondo obviously doesnt want traded!!

  • Elliot

    the worst starter on this team is Pierce (apart from Oneal), I don’t care if he’s Mr Celtic or the franchise player that’s no excuse. HE IS PLAYING TERRIBLE and the times he does play half decent he only plays the 4th quarter. The sad thing is if a trade happens he will be the last to go and well that’s just BS. Well done to KG to step up and have a team meeting before All-Star break I thought it was funny that Pierce didn’t want to have a meeting, you know the captain of this team who is meant to lead especially in tough situations, I also assume he wasn’t listening in that meeting either.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/kwapt KWAPT

    Thank you. More than HALF of Cleveland’s points were in the paint. 44 pts in the paint WITHOUT Varejao. And your starting (and backup) PG cannot go scoreless. Can’t happen. I love the C’s as much as anyone, but this was very, very disappointing.

  • James Eisenman

    You’re not right Paul. Garnett knocked the ball loose over toward Rondo who corralled it and sent it back to Garnett. The steal was Garnett’s though. Who was not guarding Kyrie when he hit his 3 near the end?….Hmmm. Right, Rondo didn’t get through the pick. Shocker.

  • Nick

    Lets not bury a team for a road victory in late February. I do take two things from this game though, and they sort of go together. Rondo is frusterated, or confused or something. This game reminded me of the finak games of Manny Ramirez Red Six career… It looked as though Rondo just didn’t give a shit. I am as big of a Rondo fan as there is… When he plays super hard and goes all in… he can stand toe 2 toe with any point guard in this league. And then on other nights like 2night, he can get outplayed by a rookie. The frustrating thing and the part that brings me to the Manny comparison is that he COULD HAVE taken Irving to the basket and gotten layups or free-throws all night long, but instead he facilitated and never attacked. I UNDERSTAND that this team struggles on O and Rondo may have been trying to get everyone going, but i think all celtics fans discussed at nauseum that rondos gota shoot, he must attack always and get up 17 or 18 shots every game. This is his team now, well it was SUPPOSED TO BE at least. So while i’ve been a rondo apologist in the past, i wont let it slide tonight. The other thing I take from this game is that Avery keeps getting better and better. This guy is a stopper, and hes a freakish athlete. The more and more the dribbling and jumper improve… the more he makes Rondo expendable.

  • JR99

    I have to correct this misconception. Rondo played 32.5 minutes, during which he virtually ALWAYS brought the ball up on offense. Out of all those possessions, he took exactly 6 shots (missed them all) and got no foul shots. Which means all the rest of the times he initiated the offense, what did he do? He PASSED THE BALL. If you give any guard in the NBA that many possessions and passes, he will get a nice number of assists.
    Which is not to say Rondo is not a great distributor. He is that…. but ONLY when he listens to Doc’s NEVER-ENDING admonishments to KEEP IT SIMPLE… MAKE THE SIMPLE PASS, not the needle-threading turnover-producing hot-dog passes he started to try after the Cs got the lead.
    And that’s the problem with Rondo. He’s thick-headed, stubborn as a mule, and REFUSES to play straightforward, solid basketball. Always something to prove. Always ignoring the coaches. (Another example: I watched him during his entire 4th quarter time, and he NEVER brought the ball up except by walking it up. This after Doc implored the team to speed up the offense.)
    And this is why it looks like nobody in the NBA wants to trade for him. It’s not for no reason.

  • JR99

    PP had a bad game. But he has had many great games this season, so there’s reason to hope he will soon improve.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mannoperry Perry Manno

    Btw, half (6) of RR’s total assists (11) came in the first quarter.
    I think it’s counterproductive to overreact and run him out of town, which was the consensus here and throughout Celtic blogsphere. The Rondo situation will play itself out. If Danny feels trading him will improve the team this year and beyond hell do it.
    The larger problem lies within an offense predicated almost entirely on jump shooting and while Rondo’s assists makes up for his erratic scoring patterns those assists are dependent on perimeter shots falling like they did in that first quarter. They shot 60% to open the game, but barely sniffed 40% the remainder of the evening.
    Rondo great at setting up is teammates, but with this team’s personnel those perimeter shots are not high percentage ones when they come late in the shot clock. Plus they’re turnover prone. That’s why he needs to concentrate more on dribble penetration in the half court and at least attempt more than 6 shots to keep the offense balanced because they do not have a true post up presence and lack the personnel to find high percentage shots in transition.
    Meanwhile, it appears the pilot light has come on in Bradley’s head. His shooting is an added bonus, but after a sloppy 2nd quarter the kid made some heady dishes in the second half and for the most part is playing like a seasoned veteran. Quite the opposite holds true for Dooling who has been the biggest disappointment of the season. The only reason why he’s getting minutes is because he’s being showcased … I think.

  • James Eisenman

    I can’t believe that you could say that you “don’t know what to make of Rondo’s performance.” It was completely awful. Other than the assists, he was totally useless. He turned the ball over. He couldn’t make a shot. And his defense was just plain TERRIBLE. If Kyrie Irving hadn’t gotten a little cold at the end, he would have had 30+ on Rondo. Rondo gotten beaten by him on literally every play. Rondo’s defense is so bad now that he not only gets beaten by being run into picks, now he can’t even stay with his man on the open court. Irving beat him by two steps on nearly every play. How can anyone defend this guy? I can’t think of any Celtic in the history of the team who played worse defense than this guy. My God, it’s become embarrassing.

  • Alex

    Paul… Ur mancrush over Rondo is gettin sad.

  • Danno

    Someone get Paul here a cookie, or a blankie. He’s so sad for his woobie.

  • Alex

    Finally… We have someone who realizes that there is a deep issue with Rondo. I love Rondo but this year… He hasn’t improved a bit and it frustrates me.

  • Alex

    Good luck telling Rondo to penetrate. That kid continues to walk up the ball and stall the offense.

  • Alex

    What is up with people overexaggerating? Rondo is a good defender WHEN HE WANTS TO BE. That is what makes this frustrating. I’m not even sure why Rondo’s defense is declining… But ill just have to say that the effort he puts on defense has been lousy.

  • Alex

    Trust me… There are a lot of Celtic players that played much worse defense than Rondo…

  • James Eisenman

    Rondo hasn’t played good defense this year or last year. So who cares about what he could do if he wanted to do it. HE DOESN’T WANT TO DO IT!!!! Go back and look at last night’s game on a tape again. Focus on Rondo on defense only. He literally got beaten by Irving on nearly every play. The only reason we won the game is that Irving missed some drives at the end AFTER beating Rondo. Because other people came over to help. Rondo was getting left in the dust this game, even when he got up on Irving. I have followed the Celtics since the retirement of Cousy and I can only think of one player who gambled and got left in his tracks as much – my prior defensive nemesis – Antoine Walker. Uggh

  • James Eisenman

    Oh yeah and Eddie House but he didn’t start.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/licktheglassitol Classless

    Our alleged all star PG had zero points against a 19 year old rookie and people still line up to kiss his bum. I guess this is what its come to: defending a putrid win against a lottery team. I just. CANT WAIT until the 1st rd when the C’s are playing 4 on 5.

  • Mike

    that doesnt apply to rondo?

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