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Recap: The Celtics are not dead yet

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) January 4, 2013 Recaps 30 Comments

Despite the proclamations of some people around here, the Celtics are not dead yet.  Neither team could hit a damn thing in the first quarter, but the Celtics went on a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take what amounted to an insurmountable lead.  The C’s lead never dipped below single digits after the 4:00 mark in the 2nd… the Pacers never got their field goal percentage out of the 30’s… and C’s fans got Gino-Time at the Garden thanks to the 94-75 win.

The Green:

This is easily the Celtics best defensive effort of the season.  And we started to get a glimpse of what guys can do in the roles they were supposed to play from the beginning of the year.  I’m looking mostly at Courtney Lee, who played a fantastic game.  13 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists… aggressive moves to attack the basket… and very good defense.  THIS is the guy the C’s traded for.

The Gross:

Kevin Garnett got ejected for a flagrant 2 on Tyler Hansbrough that I thought was barely a flagrant 1.  I think he was going for the ball and caught Psycho T in the head on the way down.  We’ll see how the league sees it later.

The Greenlights:

KG flips over the front row… yells “oh shit… goddammit” because he can’t find his way back onto the court… then he hops the media table.

Rondo blows by everyone for the layup

Courtney Lee steal and dunk

The Grid:

  • Boston out-rebounded Indiana 49-47
  • KG, Pierce, and Rondo combined to shoot 22-40
  • Rondo: 18 pts, 7 asts, 5 reb
  • KG: 18 pts, 7 reb
  • Pierce: 13 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast
  • Jared Sullinger had his second double-digit rebounding effort of the season with 10.  His season high was 11 vs. Toronto on 11/17.
  • No Celtic played more than 30 minutes

I’m going to proclaim this the best win of the year because this was the first “Celtics” win we’ve seen this year.  This was the ugly-yet-pretty defensive mess that’s come to define this team over the past few years.  I know the OKC win was more exciting and over a better opponent, but this is the way the Celtics are SUPPOSED to play.  This is the way they’re supposed win…. by choking the life out of their opponents and letting their offense flow out of that.

What’s the difference?  The Celtics finally have some defined roles….. and it helps to play the 29th ranked offense in the league.

It’s one game.  I see people saying this is the “turning point” of the Celtics season.  Just like I preached patience before killing the team off… I’m going to preach patience before declaring them resurrected.  This was a fantastic win and finally a win indicative of what this team can do… but it’s one win.

This is only a turning point if the Celtics can string a bunch of wins together… and we’ll have to wait to see if that’ll happen.  For tonight, though, it’s a hell of a win over a very good team.  Enjoy this one.  There’s a lot to be positive about after this.

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  • Eddie Allen Powe

    Sullinger should start and Bass can be traded for anything, even a true backup point guard. Courtney Lee plays better without a head band

    • nyceltic

      You’re right about the headband. Bass is a keeper until a bigger fish comes along.

  • terlo

    it was like celtics playing celtics, last week. great turnaround.

  • lkk23

    courtney needs to leave the headband at home…the last two games he has played really well. hopefully they can build off this win down in ATL tomorrow night.

  • Quest

    Haven’t enjoyed watching the Celtics in a long time. Like Doc’s lineups for ths game.

  • brian

    Pretty much what I was thinking. I had a feeling bass or sully would start tonight. Great team win tonight. Outside of miami who can stop us when we play like we did tonight?

  • Erick Lundrigan

    Hopefully they can keep it up. Good win tonight. We gift get that stingy d back to perfect form.

  • Noori

    Really Barbosa deserves Terry’s time, but Terry will keep it based off reputation and salary. I guess if worst case scenario theres an injury we know we are set at guard position.

    Sully is definitely playing better than Bass for sure.

    • eddysamson

      I dunno I think Barbosa is too inconsistent. I think he plays better after he hasnt played for awhile. He doesnt need a warm up but he tends to cool off fast.

    • Brick James

      I think Bass has been playing pretty well too.

  • http://driveittothemoon.com/ Lee in Oregon

    Avery Bradley’s defense got the rest of them going, it was great to see these guys play up to their potential.

    Tommy: “he was going for the ball……and Hansboroughs’s chin”

    Great win, loved Lee & Sully tomite.

  • eddysamson

    Great game. I thought the flagrant 2 was a bit silly I mean…by definition it clearly wasn’t. I dont even think it was a 1 by definition, but with the head contact it still should be.

    • Brick James

      I think the league will downgrade to F1, but the refs made the right call here. KG and Hansborough were getting really physical the prior 3-5 possessions. The game was well in hand at that point. KG also smacked him right in the face – hard. Send him packing and give him extra rest and let the Cs coast to the victory. I have no problem with that F2.

      • kg215

        Being okay with the flagrant 2 is not good because it sets a precedent. Next time KG or any Celtic swipes at the ball, misses and hits the opponents head it’s an auto flagrant 2 and ejection? A foul should have been called obviously (Hansborough received a solid hit) but it should have been at most a flagrant 1, don’t want the league to “maintain consistency” and call it another BS flagrant 2 in the future. The funny thing is the league is never consistent with any of these flagrant foul calls, it varies by ref and the teams/players involved.

        • Reggie35RIP

          I agree. Foul or flagrant 1 at most. The flagrant 2 ejection was overkill. It wasn’t malicious or dangerous. League’s just getting softer and softer. Accidents happen in the heat of a game and they generally look a lot worse when you watch them frame-by-frame afterwards. They called a foul in real time which was the right call and then changed it to a flagrant 2 on review which is BS. Sometimes the refs have just got to back themselves and stick to their initial calls and not use the review system.

          There was some intention there from KG, but not obvious enough to warrant a flagrant 2 ejection. I was already pissed when it was changed because it was soft. But if this had been a close one I would’ve gone ballistic.

  • Andrew B

    Finally I can have a tearless night lol

  • CelticsKid34

    LEST GO CELTICS!!! MAKE THIS A CONSTANT THING!!! we got lakers and knicks comin up soon so LETS BEAT ASS!!!

  • kyle

    amazing game but that forth quarter was unbelievable how many fouls they called on us and how many free throws indiana got

  • Chris

    Sully is an outstanding rebounder.

    Jeff Green did as much as you could ask given the opportunities. He doesn’t need to score 20 when Terry and Lee are also scoring.

    Bass showed the aggressive play he spoke of in the off-season and I for one liked it. Now to find his jump shot.

    Finally…people who don’t rate Bradley don’t understand how good he is defensively. He looked great with Rondo, and when he and Lee were on together, the defense was smothering. It will be interesting to see how they handle Teague tomorrow and Lin and Harden on the 11th.

  • Rhyso

    I seriously don’t know how you could trade Bradley for basically anyone if he keeps up this defense. Sure, Cousins for example, has more overall talent and potential, but what Bradley means to this team is far greater than any player you could obtain in a trade short term. This team is built to win now, and also becomes a great asset in the future for rebuilding.

    Also loving Sully energy off the bench, i doubt he starts this year because he is proving to be a staple of consistency for the second unit. And he won’t make it through a full game with the way he fouls.

    • kg215

      Bradley’s defense is for real but he doesn’t have more value than any big man that we are eyeing but currently can’t get (Cousins, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, etc.). Bradley’s individual defense is at an elite level, but he is not close to elite at anything else. He is a pretty good cutter now but he can’t score 20+ points a night off of it. If his jumper becomes reliable and dangerous then we can talk about Bradley being more valuable than all those bigs. Right now Bradley is not a 2 way player, he did have some good scoring games at the end of last season but the sample size is way too small.

  • stephanie

    Favorite part of the game was when you could hear KG yell to Sully to set a pick: C’mon Sully…Shit!..LOL. Loud and clear.

    • SamR

      That was hilarious. KG was all about the audible swears, that one, the out-of-bounds one, and the one where he let the Pacer know that he needed to get that shit out of here.

  • Elliot

    Brilliant game.. Sully needs to start though! Bass off the bench. Sully is a fantastic rebounder and should be given the chance to grow!!

    And then let’s stick with that starting lineup, build some chemistry and let Jet settle back into sixth man.

    Please don’t fall back into old habits against ATL tonight!!!!!

    • Reggie35RIP

      I agree. Sully would give us a lot more as a starter than Bass.

      He hits the offensive glass hard and is a much better rebounder overall than Bass, which is what we need in the starting unit. He’s a little bit behind Bass in terms of his jumpshot, but not by much. Also he doesn’t need any plays called for him, he just hustles and picks up shots where he can.

  • Double P

    I love Sully, once the refs get off his back. Hes going to make a lot of gms mad they passed on him.

    Love the D from Lee and Bradley too. Let’s keep up this effort tonight

  • Chris 2.0

    Only downside I saw was KG getting tossed before Gino Time. That shit ain’t right.

  • Gary

    Now thats celtics basketball !!! Easily the best defensive effort of the year. Rotations were tight guys werent just getting in the lane at will. Bigs could stay home, Im glad to see they still have that in them.

    Not suprising that it coincides with avery being back, his defense was stellar, and u can see its contagious, even rondo was making a concerrted effort to stay in front of his man, rather than try his infamous reach from the back hope to poke the ball out defense that leaves the bigs hanging (luv rondo game, that is my only beef with him) defense.

    Sully was a monster,the kids luvs bangin down low and boardin, doing the grunt work, something this team sorely lacks. He is a foul machine but thats to be expected with his very physical play and him being a rookie too.

    I think bbass and sully minutes should be flipped with sully playin around 28-30 mpg and bbass playin 18-20 mpg. Sully is clearly outplaying bbass right now.

    Now the big ? is can the celtics maintain this defensive intensity on a nightly basis? I sure hope so.

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  • KGino

    now 21-6 all time with RR AB PP BB KG starting