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.
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.
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.
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
@ Boston Garden