The Celtics fell to San Antonio on Wednesday, in ugly fashion, allowing a season-high 112 points on 59% shooting (is this NBA Live?), including Tiago Splitter’s 9 of 11 for 23 points in 26 minutes. Interior defense was nonexistent and Splitter, Dejuan Blair (5 of 7) took full advantage.
Fortunately, the C’s bounced back to beat the Thunder at home on Friday thanks to a well-balanced attack, including a vintage 4th quarter from Garnett, and the marksmanship of Pierce and Terry (combining on 8 of 12 on threes), and the bench spark provided by former Thunder swingman Jeff Green (17 points). Ball movement was crisp from the outset, as Boston looked determined to protect home court, refusing to drop two in a row at home. This win, like the road wins at Milwaukee and Chicago, helps create a confident foundation that the rebuilt C’s need. They used the momentum and pulled out an overtime win at Orlando on Sunday to pull two games over .500 at 8-6.
Boston has now won six of their last nine and are beginning to establish a scoring identity as a team. When Garnett gets a day off in between games, he’s producing nicely. As expected, KG’s minutes are being closely watched, in the hopes he’ll be available for the long-term, Rondo’s ankle appears to be fine, as he’s been lighting Kevin Garnett had his most productive game of the young season, scoring 24 points on 17 shots, and hauling in 10 boards. Rajon Rondo enjoyed another near triple-double,finishing with 15 points, 16 assists, and 9 rebounds. The Celtics finally managed to out-rebound an opponent, 51-42.
Pierce’s three-point shooting has become more significant this year. When Pierce doesn’t attempt many threes, they have struggled, but when he takes (and hits) the triple, they are still capable of winning tough games (Friday night vs OKC).
- Overall, Pierce is hitting on a career-best 42% from distance, but he’s attempting only 3 per game in the team’s losses, compared with nearly 6 per game in Celtic wins.
- Interestingly, Pierce is only shooting 43% overall.
- Since missing two fourth-quarter free-throws in the loss to Brooklyn ten days ago, Pierce has yet to miss another, knocking down his last 25.
- Rondo has put together back-to-back 16 assist, 8+ rebound performances.
- Jared Sullinger has found some consistency in terms of minutes, and is rewarding the team with much needed help on the glass.
- Leandro Barbosa turned into Vinnie Johnson against Orlando, scoring 16 points in 11 minutes of action.
Wed, 11/21, vs. San Antonio
San Antonio 112, Boston 100
Fri, 11/23, vs. Oklahoma City
Boston 108, OKC 100
Sun, 11/25, @ Orlando
Boston 116, Orlando 110 (OT)
Next Up: two days off before two home games: Wed vs Brooklyn, Fri vs Portland
Another reason we should appreciate Doc Rivers:
Reminding each player of their role, bringing out the best in each player and capitalizing on the depth they have:
Here’s the link from ESPN Boston