Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Celtics' Bench Sets Suns: 87-79
I know a lot of you out there absolutely hated this game, but I loved it for what it was, not what it wasn't.
"What the Hell is this jackwagon (thanks, Walt!) talking about?" you ask?
I'm talking, of course, about the fact that this game had all of the classic warning signs of the dreaded trap game and the Celtics had every excuse to lose this one: An inferior team (yes, even the Celtics at .500 can consider the Phoenix Suns inferior) coming in off of a tough loss; the C's playing at home after beating three of the top four Eastern Conference teams in the Central Division-leading Indiana Pacers, the #2 Southeast Division team Atlanta Hawks and the Atlantic Division-leading New York Knicks; and the return from suspension of Rajon Rondo, allowing the Celtics to exit "Do It For Johnny" mode and pop a few Chillaxatives.
Yup, the C's had every excuse to step right in it, except for the fact that they are truly becoming more legitimate by the game by continuing to improve, as evidenced by their ability to close out the kind of game that would have so recently left fans shaking their heads over a close loss to a beatable team.
More evidence that the C's are turning the corner? How about the much-maligned bench actually pulling the team through when all but one of the starters (Kevin Garnett with 10 points) failed to reach double digits in scoring?
That's right, Rondo, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley each scored less than 10 and the Celtics STILL managed to come out on top (albeit against the aforementioned inferior team, but...) by a margin of eight points.
The C's came out slow, took the lead into the third quarter, and then frittered it away as Phoenix went on a 13-0 run before the bench again responded, ending with a season-high 47 points and leaping over the trap to close out for the fourth-straight win -- also a season-high.
The heroes? Well, Jeff Green put two strong games together (he scored 16 against New York), scoring 14 assertive points (including a hard 2 off of old pal Jermaine O'Neal's dome), 3 boards and 1 steal; Jared Sullinger had a career rebounding night with 16 and added 12 points, 3 assists and 1 steal; and Jason Terry got on track with 13 points on 6-8 shooting, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 1 steal. Terry got things going for the Celtics in the 4th, opening an 11-2 run with a visit to Threeland and the rest, as they say, was book.
Next up? The 21-15 Houston Rockets. Let's see if the Guys in Green can stop the Linsanity and get past any fear of the Beard for consecutive win #5.
Tale Of The Tape