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Recap: Celtics pick up pace, plaster Kings

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) January 30, 2013 Gametime, Recaps 32 Comments

The Celtics rode a monster second quarter in which they outscored the Kings by 23 to coast to an easy win over the still-in-Sacramento Kings.  The Celtics did exactly what they needed to do without Rajon Rondo… get defensive stops, push the tempo, and get to the rim.  The Celtics had lulls for the second part of the first quarter and pretty much all of the fourth quarter, but they dominated the rest of the way.  The final score 99-81 of  was much closer than this game actually was.

The Green:

That second quarter was an utter domination.  It was, for lack of a better term, pretty.  As I said on Twitter, it’s a bit ironic that the best strategy for the Celtics, after losing one of the fastest guys in the league, is to push the ball more, but that’s just how it is.

Jason Terry had one of his best shooting nights of the season (his third-best shooting night of the season, specifically).  He shot 5-7 for the third time this year.  He twice shot 6-8.

The Gross:

The half court offense, as expected, was pretty terrible.  We can debate about how much the Celtics relied on Rondo to a fault, but the fact is he created whatever meager offense the Celtics mustered in half court sets.  When the Celtics relaxed, or when they couldn’t push off of stops, they were not good at all.

Speaking of which, I’ll toss the “attitude after they got up big” here too.  After nearly pushing the lead to 28, the C’s let off the gas.  Seeing Kevin Garnett on the floor more than halfway through the 4th quarter of what should have been a massacre did not please me.

Jared Sullinger left after 4:08 of play with back spasms.  NOT, what you want to hear right now.  Neither is this

The Greenlights:

Avery Bradley with the chase-down block

Kevin Garnett all panties [(c) KWAPT] to beat the shot clock

Leandro alley, Garnett oop

The Grid:

  • Six Celtics scored in double figures (Pierce-16, Garnett-13, Green-Terry-Bass-12 each, Bradley-11).
  • After 6 first quarter turnovers, the Celtics only had 10 the rest of the way.
  • Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 10 rebounds.
  • Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 5 assists. Pierce & Terry had 4 each.

They looked great for a while, they looked crappy for a while.  But they blew out a bad team, and they’re figuring out how to move on without Rondo.  The fact is, Rondo helped a lot, and he hurt some things too.  But there’s enough talent on this team to do OK in the regular season.  The playoffs… well….. let’s just enjoy this win, OK?

Box Score

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  • KWAPT

    Did not like hearing the Sully stuff either obviously, but just trying to enjoy 2 wins in a row right now. So encouraging to see Green, Bass & Terry all score 12 points. A nice, balanced offensive effort. John didn’t put this in his recap, but if anyone’s interested in hearing his thoughts on tonight’s game, you can listen to him live on a show called “The Man Cave” at 10:30pm EST tonight. Link ->
    http://beta.wecb.fm/

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

      Strange- hadn’t really heard anything about his back since draft night.

  • eddysamson

    On the Sully thing- doesnt Lebron leave games due to spasms sometimes?

    • Mannie

      I think you mean muscle cramps in his legs…

      • eddysamson

        Hah yeah you’re right

  • JG

    If it wasn’t blatantly obvious the celtics are better offensively and defensively without Rondo, tonight may have made it a little bit clearer. I’m not looking at points, shooting percentages, none of that. I’m looking at the fact that RIGHT out of the gate, the celtics 1. got stops 2. Advanced the ball with the PASS (not the dribble which everyone oddly gives rondo so much credit for). 3. NUMEROUS people touched the ball every possession. A friend pointed out tonight “wow, the celtics have some pretty decent passers”…I told him, yeah we would never know that with rondo on the floor because only 2 guys touch the ball per possession when he is playing. Him for 20 seconds, then the guy who is taking the shot for the last 4 seconds.

    Once again, I would love for this team to pick up a real pg for the remainder of the season. I’m a bit weary about the “pg by committee” idea. But, that pg certainly, in my opinion, does not need to be rondo if you are looking for them to play good, team basketball.

    Terrific win. Of course it was the kings, but lets not forget the Celtics (cough, rondo) let Isaiah Thomas go for 27 on them in a 20-something point loss not too long ago. It was less the result that made me happy, and more the fact that I saw them play quality basketball.

    • Mannie

      Rondos absence won’t be really missed against bad defensive teams. Teams with good transition and half court defense will show his value to the team.

      • JG

        Yeah true that showed against Miami as well. And New York when he sat out that game.

        • Shawn

          As the recap stated it was showed in this game.

        • kg215

          What you are saying would be more plausible if it wasn’t for the ridiculously small sample size. “we beat the Knicks without Rondo, we beat the Heat without Rondo so we are better without Rondo.” The sample size is only 3 games counting this one against the Kings. If we play significantly better on both ends the rest of the season against multiple contenders then we can talk about being better without Rondo.

          • Danno

            The Celtics are 14-7 without Rondo playing the last two season either due to injury or suspension.

          • Reggie35RIP

            Exactly.

          • Reggie35RIP

            btw my “exactly” was @ kg215’s comment.

  • Andrew LV

    Great game love that there was no one that individually won this game it was just a combo of 12-13 points by 5 or more players

  • Frank A

    We should have been playing this up temp style with Rondo,…I never understand why whoever got the rebound would only outlet to Rondo, that’s on Doc. It would have been nice to see rondo get a rebound and throw up court to the first open Celtic he seen. Very frustrating! However he will be missed in the playoffs , lets not forget through 5 games against Miami in last years eastern conference finals rondo was the best player on the court. For both teams!!!

  • paul

    Funny how a lot of players didn’t decide to start really playing until now. There’s an ugly story behind what happened to the first half of this season that we may find out about some day.

    • Pete

      It is kind of intriguing… I don’t know if I buy in to it yet but it sure as hell looked that way tonight.

    • JG

      Agree with this. Though idk if we will ever hear it.

  • KGino

    Demarcus who?

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    Great win.

    I knew the C’s would had take off since the beginning.
    Call me crazy, but every time I see this team playing w/o Rondo I see a better basketball overall. Don’t wanna make a point out of it, but it’s a fact to me.
    Probably, if we’re gonna make it, we’re gonna miss Rondo at the playoffs, when the game is on another level and when he always change his intensity.

    We’ll see, so far I like our chances.

  • NateB

    The silver lining of the Rondo injury is that we’ll get to see Pierce shine in what could (should?) be his final season as a Celtic. If you read between the lines of Pierce’s comments since Rondo’s injury it’s obvious that he views it as an opportunity to play the way he wants to play. But the point that Rondo plays harder and better in the playoffs and would give the Cs a bigger upside is very valid.

  • NateB

    And as everyone is pointing out, while general NBA fans perceive Rondo as some kind of great defender, Cs fans know that in the regular season Rondo is a TERRIBLE on-ball halfcourt defender.

    • kg215

      He isn’t terrible, half the time he is engaged and can lock people down, half the time he allows his defender to blow by. Averages out to mediocre to me. Luckily Lee is a noticeably better on ball defender and him+Bradley is a joy to watch.

      • NateB

        The only time I can ever remember seeing Rondo in a crouched defensive stance is when he guarded LeBron a few times toward the end of games in the playoffs last year. He never makes any effort to stay in front of his man.

  • Matt W

    1. How was there not Gino time in this game?

    2. I have decided that Barbosa’s new nickname should be “Thunder Lizard.”

    That is all.

  • Art

    Why couldn’t they figure out what to do WITH Rajon Rondo? The Rondo pattern was get a big lead and blow the whole thing, play down to the level of the competition, or stay close then lose in the end. It’s still early, but we’re going to find out if Rondo was THEE problem. Not necessarily because of Rondo himself, but because of Doc’s and Danny’s management and coaching of him.

    • kg215

      yeah I bet when Rondo was watching the game he was thinking “why didn’t you guys run like that with me.” A lot of times Rondo was a 1 man fastbreak. Maybe it’s because the other guys are getting more touches/minutes.

      • Danno

        Bull. Rondo walks the ball up the floor on every possession. He slows the game down more than anyone else.

  • iKOrpBE

    No Rondo Cs win, why? coz Rondo hug the ball exhausting time and pass it with 4 sec left!

  • Reggie35RIP

    Was great to see all the ball movement and so many different players contributing. I wouldn’t say we play better without Rondo. I’d say we play different.

    I just want to know what’s up with Wilcox. He had an injured thumb for a while, no news. Then he’s suited up on the bench for a few games, makes a cameo against Miami and now he finally gets some decent minutes. I don’t know if they were working him back into the rotation or what, but Wilcox needs minutes. Unsurprisingly he played way better D on Cousins than Collins.

  • Curt

    KWAPT. Please explain the panties quote!

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