The Nets continue to be a bad matchup for the Celtics and tonight some of that frustration came out as Rajon Rondo gets involved in a scuffle and gets ejected and the Celtics lose an ugly game, 95-83.
It looked good early as Kevin Garnett started getting going early, with six points and three rebounds. But as soon as he leaves the game, the Nets go on a 19-6 run to make it a 28-20 lead. The second was just some ugly basketball to watch. Between the really aggressive defense by Brooklyn and some god awful offensive execution by the Celtics, the deficit grew as high as 22.
Then the little brouhaha happened. Kris Humphries fouled a flailing KG and Rajon Rondo took offense to it, giving the Hump a shove with his forearm, which led to Hump retaliating and pushing Rondo into the stands and a shoving match occurred. This led to Rondo’s night (and the much talked about streak) being over but it also ended the night for Hump and Gerald Wallace.
Now this will be talked about more than the atrocious effort the remaining Celtics put forth but let’s just call this what it was: a chain reaction of overreactions with each overreaction topping the previous one. KG flailed a bit which led to Rondo being angry and taking a page out of KG’s book by taking a cheap shot to stick up for his teammate. Hump’s reaction to Rondo is exactly how I pictured him freaking out the first time he listened to Kanye West’s “Theraflu“. It was just all a chain reaction of suck that will definitely lead to some fines and probably some suspensions. It doesn’t make Rondo a punk or selfish, nor does it make him a great teammate. It was just a overreaction that will end up costing this team more than just this game, something that I’m sure Rondo will regret. And something that the detractors will point to and giving John and myself an aneurysm.
If you would’ve thought that the Rondo ejection would have led to the Celtics would’ve come out with a spark, you were awfully wrong. They could never really get it closer thansix and the second half was just chaos ball with Joe Johnson going Iso-Joe and the Rondo-less Celtics looking lost offensively. To top it all off, both Jeff Green & Courtney Lee got banged up with a knee & wrist injury. Now on the 4 G’s.
Not much to be excited about. Kevin Garnett played well in the first half and made some shots in the second to make this game semi-interesting. He finished with 16 points & 10 rebounds. Brandon Bass also had 16.
The offensive execution was brutal for big chunks of the game. The Celtics only scored six points within the first seven minutes of the second and then just dropping 11 in the entire third quarter. Paul Pierce had himself a pretty rough night despite what the stats show: he went 14 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, but went 4-of 13 from the field, including 1-of-6 from downtown, and had five turnovers. He also ended up getting embarrassed again, this time by Joe Johnson who dribbled Truth to his knees and hit a ridiculous jumper.
Jerry Stackhouse went into NBA Hangtime mode and hit 5-of-6 from 3 point land tonight, all from the corners, leading a Nets bench that scored 52 points tonight, compared to the Celtics 18.
Andray Blatche had 17 points & 13 rebounds. ANDRAY F’N BLATCHE. That should tell you how this game went.
The Grid: (quick stats)
The rebounds were pretty close as the Nets edge the Celtics, 33-32, but the Nets killed the offensive glass tonight, getting 17 of them compared to the Celtics 8.
The Celtics actually had a better field goal percentage tonight (42.7% to BK’s 40.2%)…
..but the Nets made more threes (10) than the Celtics attempted (7).
Rondo nearly had as many points (6) as Deron Williams (8) despite playing less than half the minutes. Rondo only played 18 while Williams played 40.
Despite having an atrocious night, the Celtics still looked better than their next opponent, the Portland Trail Blazers, who just lost to the Washington Wizards. With the way Doc Rivers called them out in his press conference, hopefully they can make a statement Friday.