Tears, tears everywhere.
If you didn’t already get a chance to see the video tributes for both Garnett and Pierce, we posted them earlier here.
It was really great to be a part of tonight, even if it was from a pull-out matress in my living room. The emotion from the fans during the pregame and tributes was so genuine, and seeing Pierce and KG ackonowedge the fans in return was equally remarkable. It isn’t often that you get to pair two guys who are both incredibly likeable and NBA legends. Watching them go to war for those six years was something special.
As for the game?
Well, we lost 85-79 and it was ugly. Both teams stumbled onto the parquet like some old-timers dancing drunkenly at their high school reunion luncheon. Perhaps it was the anticipation or the overwhelming emotion, but for whatever reason, neither team could score the ball.
It took a Kevin Garnett jumper around the 3-minute mark (of the second quarter!) for the either team to crack 30 points, although it was nice to see KG doing his thing again. Paul Pierce only took two shots in the first half, missing both. Oddly enough, Gerald Wallace looked like the best player at halftime, with seven points and three boards.
Jared Sullinger was again bothered by a right hand/wrist injury. He checked out during the first quarter after re-re-re-aggravating it on a foul guarding Andray Blatch (although he returned).
With around two minutes left in the game, we got to see a vintage stepback jumpshot from Pierce, leading to a strange mix of emotions as it extended the Nets’ lead to eight. Pierce’s night was pretty quiet overall, shooting only 2-8. In his first two games against Boston, he’s struggled to find his offense. So he should probably just come back. KG too.
Even with his restriction, Rondo found himself filling up the stat sheet like we’re used to. He grabbed three rebounds in the first few minutes of the game alone (finishing with eight) , and his fourth quarter leadership helped the Celtics at least have a chance to win. With just over a minute left, he hit a three to make it a one possession game — although his turnover on the next possession effectively ended the night.
With the minute limitations still on and with Jerryd Bayless out, we’ve been getting a full dose of Phill Pressey, which is usually nice. Tonight, however, he stunk it up (0-5 from three, 3 turnovers). It’ll be nice to get some flexibility there when everyone’s healthy.
Chris Johnson played 45 minutes, scoring 12 points on 4-6 shooting. It’s tough to imagine Ainge not keeping this guy around.
Brandon Bass didn’t miss a shot, shooting 6-6 for 17 points.
The minute increase for Rondo, who posted a 12-8-8 statline in 30 minutes. It’s nice to see him sustaining longer durations (knocking on wood now, don’t worry).
The first half: Both teams shot 32.% from the field. Tonight was actually the lowest scoring half across the NBA this entire season.
Jeff Green shot 2-13 from the field (1-7 from three). With the mountains come valleys.
Phil Pressey lost his shot again, and he had a couple of ugly turnovers.
- Nets’ starters combined for only ten first-half points.
- Celtics outrebounded the Nets 45-41.
- Both teams combined to shoot 13-51 from deep.