Wednesday, November 28, 2012

C's Net Loss Is Brooklyn's Gain: Boston Goes Down (Mostly) Wihout A Fight -- 95-83

See? Old 38-year old guys really can still make a huge impact on their teams. Too bad that old guy was Jerry Stackhouse (17 points on 5-6 shooting on wide open, "yodel-ay-hee-hoo" threes).

Ughhhh....where to begin on this one?

The C's lost their cool, lost their defensive drive and lost the game...simple as that.

Let's start with the most obvious thing first: Rajon Rondo got ejected for fighting Kris Humphries at the end of the second quarter. End of streak, end of game. And, end of games for the foreseeable future for Rondo and possibly Garnett and Pierce (if the NBA commissioners review the full tape of the brawl that ensued after Rondo went after Mr. Kardashian.

The Celtics were getting out-rebounded and out-hustled before the last 30 seconds of the half, when Garnett, heading to the hoop for a shot instead took a shot from Humphries as he was already airborne, touching a raw nerve with Rondo, who forearmed Humphries in the chest and clawed him in the face as the melee spilled into the stands. Players from both sides rushed under the basket and punches appeared to be thrown by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who may have connected with Gerald Wallace before Brandon Bass pulled him away. Rondo, Humphries and Wallace were ejected. Unfortunately, along with Rondo and his streak went any semblance of offensive or defensive cohesion.

Hats off to Kevin Garnett who ended the game with 16 points and 10 boards, and Paul Pierce, who made up for a funky night from the free-throw line (just 6-11 on freebies) by filling the breach at point guard with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, though he took 14 shots and made only 3 from the floor. Bass had 16 points but only managed 3 rebounds, and Jason Terry was the only other Celtic in double-digits, but shot 3-8 from the floor to get there.

Oh, yes...and hats off to the new-look Nets, too. They thoroughly earned this one and look to be a true contender, for the Atlantic Division Title at the least. Note to the C's: you might want to stop all of the "Beat Miami" chatter and start looking to just start playing solid defense and boxing out on your respective assignments. The C's are still a team on the rise with the talent to win this year, but there is much work to do to get everyone on the same page, both offensively and defensively. Miami looks like a distant mirage at this point.

The inevitable question that will continue echoing through the League and the halls of Boston Garden until proven otherwise is, "Will Rajon Rondo ever mature to the point that he can be counted on when the team really needs him?" His all-but-guaranteed suspension will leave his team in the lurch without a true point guard on the roster, just when it appeared that the Celtics were about to turn a corner with consistent play.

That said, one can be objective and understand his anger and even respect his desire to stand up for his teammates, but the toughest stand he can take is weathering the storm and staying on the floor when his team needs him most.

In the previous post, I mentioned a greasy, grimy rivalry that was growing. How wrong I was. This is now a full-fledged hate-a-thon between these division rivals (remember the Barbosa hanging?), and the only way for the C's to exact revenge is to box out, play" D" and win a damn game against them.

There won't be much of a break ahead...if the Celtics think the Portland Trailblazers are going to be any easier on the boards, they might as well just start the game with a brawl and let the entire team sit it out until Rondo and Bradley come back.

Box Score (if you dare)


Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trailblazers
Friday, November 30th, 2012
7:30 pm
@ Boston Garden

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