In the first half of this game, the Celtics were doing just about everything right. They went into the break with a 49-38 lead. Their defense was doing its job, they were even in the rebounding column, and the Celtics were controlling the tempo of the game.
Then the Bulls stormed out of the locker room and ripped off a 29-17 quarter that saw the C’s fall back into their old habits of getting crushed on the boards and settling for jumpers. The lack of rebounding forced the C’s to play a LOT of defense in the quarter… and when you couple that with the back-to-back night games, you got a gassed team that couldn’t execute down the stretch. The C’s made a little bit of a late run, but they ended up losing to Chicago 93-86.
Kevin Garnett looked tired. He shot 5-16 and most of his shot were front rimmed. He played 38 minutes tonight, and it caught up with him.
Paul Pierce tailed off after a hot start. He had 12 first quarter points, but only 10 the rest of the way, finishing with an 8-21 shooting night. He played 40 minutes.
That’s a LOT of minutes for these guys. Too many. I’m not sure what other options Doc has. Greg Stiemsma must be hurting too much to be effective. He only played 10 minutes and Ryan Hollins only got 8.
Other quick notes about the game because we’re all tired:
- Rondo had his 15th straight double digit assist game.
- Avery Bradley did ok in his start, but Ray Allen played 31 minutes to Bradley’s 26. Starting is overblown… it’s who finishes.
- Ray had 14 points and clutch shot that was initially called a 3 but was turned into a 2. But he and Rondo had a rare miscommunication that sealed the loss when Ray came off a screen and went to the corer, but Rondo threw a pass to the wing for a turnover.
- Brandon Bass tweaked his right knee but didn’t come out. He finished with 15 and 5 and also played some pretty good on-ball defense.
- Luol Deng killed the C’s in the 4th quarter. He had 12 points, including 8 straight for the Bulls at one point.
- I want to punch Joakim Noah. God he’s annoying, but baited Garnett into a bad personal foul and a tech… out KG’ing KG for a bit there. He had 17 and 9.
The Celtics NEED to get something out of their bench guys. What happened to Keyon Dooling? Doc is going to have no choice but to play these guys. You can’t run Pierce and KG into the ground.