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Recap: Matthews out-duels Pierce

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) February 24, 2013 Recaps 17 Comments

The Blazers had lost seven straight going into tonight’s game, but Wesley freakin’ Matthews made sure that’s where the streak would end.  The C’s got big games out of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but those two didn’t get a ton of help.  They drop a very winnable game 92-86.

The Green:

The Truth came to play.  After early foul trouble, Pierce carried the Celtics and was the only reason why they had a shot to win this game.  Pierce dropped 8 dimes, mostly to KG, who was on fire in the second half  (5-9 fg in the second half, 4-7 in the 4th).

The Gross:

I should rename this section the “Another lesson in not overreacting to things that happen in 1 or 2 games”

Jeff Green followed up his “breakout” game with a 4-12 shooting performance.  He scored 11 points and grabbed 4 rebounds, but he was largely invisible out there.

Terrence Williams, the guy many commenters found so amazing that they were shipping Rondo off and signing TWill to multi-year deals, finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 0 assists in just 7 minutes of play.  Trust me, he only earned 7 minutes.

Jordan Crawford didn’t hit any of the 4 shots he took.

The worst thing you can do in sports is overreact to singular events.  Green will have awesome games again, TWill might have a 10 assists game in him, and Crawford might drop 25 tomorrow.  We shouldn’t have overreacted to the Phoenix game, and we shouldn’t overreact to this one.

The Greenlights:

Lee finds Wilcox for the oop

The Grid:

  • Pierce’s final line:  23 points (9-16 fg, 1-3 3pt), 8 assists, 7 rebounds
  • The Celtics starters shot 29-59 (49%)
  • The Celtics bench shot 7 of 26 (26.9%), 0-5 from 3
  • Wesley Matthews:  24 points (8-11 fg, 5-8 3pt)

The Celtics bench failed them tonight.  Guys were going 1-on-1 a lot instead of moving the ball.  In the few stretches where the Celtics pushed the tempo and played the style of ball that made them successful over the past month, they were clearly better than Portland.  When guys started trying to go 1-on-1 too much, it led to breakdowns across the board as flat-footed C’s got torched in transition, lost their men on D and watched Matthews drop 3′s on them in the secondary break.

With each injury, trade, and free agent signing… the Celtics lose a little bit more of their margin of error.  Paul Pierce willed them to a competitive game, but much of the team let him down.  When it came down for one last dip into the well, Pierce came up empty.  Had they played the unselfish ball they’ve become known for recently, they would have won this game easily.

Now they have to go to Utah… and you wonder if they’re going to have their full squad as Doc starts resting guys more often.

Box Score

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  • StepD95

    Consistency is the problem with this team and has always been (with or without key players).

    What happened to the ball movement? Taking ill advised shots early into the clock..T Will looked really good Friday, but got a little Nate Robinsonish tonight (can’t be doing that during your evaluation period).

  • Frank A

    Crawford can score in bunches but for some reason when guys come to Boston they leave their game in their prior city. It’s almost like they become scared. I rather see him go 4 for 15 with a few bad shots then 0-4 and no aggressiveness.

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    Big moves should’ve been made at the deadline.

  • Mannie

    So does this also mean we play better without Kg in the line up?? Haha

  • Shane

    Jeff green called for a phantom offensive foul on kick out to a pierce 3, 5 point swing. Bass clearly hit on the head at the rim, official refuses to blow the whistle. Ball clearly goes off of Hicksons hands, blazers get the ball (ref is 2 feet from the scene). KG called for a travel, which is the correct call, but what about Aldridge who shuffles or takes 2 steps after killing his dribble? Wont call those ofcourse.

    NBA is the most poorly officiated pro sport, whether its corruption (e.g. team donaghy) or sterns memos (blazers on a 7 game losing streak) or simply bad officiating (hard to believe since so many times u feel there is so much bias), it doesnt make a difference for me…it digusts me night in and night out.

    If it wasnt for the love I have for this core group with KG/PP, I would find it hard to follow this team/league as fanatically as I do.

  • Mike C

    I have a question for anyone. Do other teams just UP their game when the Celtics come to town, or do our guys play DOWN to a lower level against low ranked teams. YES, we cant win every game. However, we keep dropping games to scrub teams & we WILL miss the cutoff for the post season.

    • Brick James

      I don’t think either is the case. Portland is a decent team, they were favored to win this game by 2 at home. Yes the Celtics’ record is better but not by much.

  • Larry Legend

    Can we all just agree that the Boston Celtics are what are. A middle of the pack team, at best, in a watered down NBA, with few truly good teams. We look at the blazers and say how can they lose to them, but the blazers are saying we got a very winnable game tonight. The celtics don’t scare anyone anymore. They aren’t difficult to play against anymore, and they aren’t a good team anymore. They’re just a ho-hum 42-40 type of team trending the wrong way. Sad….

    • RedsLoveChild

      Fully agree…it`s been this way since Feb., 2011.

      Not blaming Jeff Green at all….but, it started the moment Perk was traded, which was quickly followed by the news that Shaq was finished.

      From then on, they were reduced to being a super-soft finesse team, that would get pounded on the glass on a nightly basis. Those type of teams scream “vulnerability”.

      However, they do have a few very good, young players. They lack a “centerpiece big” that can lift them out of mediocrity.

  • Larry Legend

    I think perk may be the most overrated Celtic of all time. Jeff Green is hands down the better player. The Celtics got the better player in that deal period. Perk played hard and had a role. But you think playing with 3 other Hofer’s (KG, PP, Ray) not to mention the best defensive big in NBA (KG) had anything to do with that?! So tired of the perk trade. Celts got best player in the deal. That’s it. But I do agree they lack a big. But they’ve chosen to go away from that philosophically anyways (small ball). Which I hate. You win with big man play in this league. Always have always will.

    • RedsLoveChild

      If you look at the stats, Perk probably is the most overrated Celtic ever.

      However…he clogged the lane, made the opposition think twice before driving the lane, boxed out for KG, gave them a “meanness”.

      Think about the defensive job Perk did on Howard when it was BST vs. ORL…now think about how badly Howard destroyed BST just 5 days ago.

      • Larry Legend

        Yes that was what I was referring to when I said he had a role and did it well. Just can’t stand how people over value the guy…not saying you were, just in general.

        • RedsLoveChild

          In some ways, Perk was the “anti-Rondo”.

          Rondo cares deeply about his stats {assists}, avoids getting fouled to steer clear from having to shoot FT`s, etc.

          Perk didn`t give a shit about stats. His job description was basically to make KG`s job easier, to lighten KG`s load, do the grunt work. Without him, KG must work harder, and at an older age.

        • Josh

          I think recollections of Perk benefit from the fact that the starting 5 of PP, KG, RA, RR, and Perk never lost a playoff series when all 5 were able to play in every game in the series.

          Now, this has always struck me as pretty over-specific—EVERY team faces injuries and some of the C’s wins during that time period came against teams missing starters. But there are folks who say, hey, we get the 2009 title if we have KG, and the 2010 title if we have Perk.

  • NateB

    Yeah, Perk’s reputation in Boston will always be undeservedly high because of the trade; under the new CBA salary scale OKC is paying him about twice his value. Doesn’t anyone remember the hands of stone, the obligatory twice-a-game terrible-pass turnovers, the bad FT shooting, the fact that he was only about 6’9″ even though he was often referred to as being 6’11″ or even a “7-footer”, etc? Perk was a hard worker, very tough and very loyal. But he was never better than an average NBA player.

    • Larry Legend

      Agreed.

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