Found November 04, 2012 on
Celtics Green ...a boston celtics blog.:
Stephen A Smith
Once again, we recap the best and worst of the Celtics Opening
Week. So far the Celtics are 1-2 to start the season, having lost both the road
and home openers but winning against the lowly Wizards last night. Let’s take a
look at what else is up in Celtics Nation:
Too ‘hot’ to handle: The Celtics came into Opening Day with one thought: beating the Miami Heat to a pulp. That didn’t happen, as the Heat ran away with the 120-107 victory amidst a sea of questionable and dubious calls. I don’t want to sound like a homer, but I had at least seven or eight calls that went Miami’s way. Still, it was not an excuse for the porous defense and lack of defensive pressure. If there was anything we can take away from that game, it’s that the Celtics offense looks good, even if Jason Terry, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee still haven’t found their strokes yet..
Jared Sullinger and playing under the rim: I really, really like Jared Sullinger. So it pains me to write about his one major shortcoming: his lack of lift and his below the rim style of play. I can relate somewhat to Sully because I play the same way he does, but the concerns are real. Against an athletic team like Miami, Sullinger will get blocked. But he is an old school bulldog and will not give up on plays easily. He will put the ball in the hoop and and I love how he crashes the boards as well. He got his first career start last night against the Wizards as well, so Doc is quite high on Sully. And we have some excellent examples of NBA players with the similar dilemma who have thrived in the league and while I think it’s a stretch to think of Sully as the next Kevin Love, he fits on this Celtics team quite nicely.
Punk play or not, Wade needs to grow up: Please, D-Wade. You’ve had your share of so-called ‘punk plays’, and one of them even happened at an All-Star Game. Granted, it was Kobe, and maybe I should thank you for that, but I can’t forget your pivotal role in breaking Rajon Rondo’s elbow in the 2011 Eastern Semis. I just can’t. I don’t get why you keep complaining when you feel like you were fouled and it was not called, and I don’t get why you were so upset with Rondo not allowing you to coast for a layup. You were winning. You think our boys would allow you to coast for an easy two points just to rub the salt in the wound? Please.
The return of Ray and the ‘cold shoulder’: It was weird seeing Ray Allen wearing white. And while I was a bit moved by his hug with Doc Rivers and his acknowledgement of the coaching staff, I couldn’t help but laugh when he tapped Kevin Garnett on the shoulder and KG didn’t even flinch. I love both these guys, and as Stephen A. Smith acknowledged in his show, they are just being their true selves. Allen wanted to let KG know that all is well and he has love for him, but KG didn’t want any of that. Not in the middle of a game, no less against the hated Heat, at least.
Stopped by the Buck: I honestly thought the Celtics were going to run all over the Milwaukee Bucks, especially after Brandon Jennings’ proclamation that he was upset for not getting the contract extension offer he wanted. I honestly thought the Celtics were going to have an easy time toppling over this overmatched roster with ill-fitting pieces. Needless to say, I was wrong. Brandon Jennings was magnificent, or at least the atrocious defense made him look good, as the Bucks cruised to a 99-88 win in the TD Garden. I didn’t like the booing at all, but I guess the Garden faithful had to do something to light a fire under the team. Cue Kevin Garnett making the ‘pack of hyenas’ speech. Makes me wonder if KG watches a lot of National Geographic or Discovery Channel.
A win is a win is a win: I was up early for this one, as the Celtics got the first win of the season out of the way with an 89-86 thumping of the depleted Wizards. The trademark Celtics defense was on display in the first quarter, allowing only two points for the first seven minutes while scoring seventeen. It was an exciting glimpse of that this team can do when the offense and defense come together. It got a bit too close for comfort in the fourth, but as I have said time and time again, even on a bad shooting night, Paul Pierce will drain that dagger shot that kills the hearts of the opposition, and that is exactly what he did tonight. Props to Kevin Garnett for two surplus defensive plays: getting the youngster Kevin Seraphim to turn the ball over when the Celtics were only up by one, and cleanly contesting Martell Webster’s desperation three pointer as time winded down.
Final thoughts: It’s a long season, and we are still figuring out where the new pieces fit on both sides of the ball. Like the classy former Celtic Marquis Daniels, I will preach patience with the 2012-2013 Celtics, because it will take time to make the adjustments needed. Fortunately, there is plenty of time. It’s not like the Celtics are blowing a late-season division lead already.
That’s all for now, but be sure to check back Tuesday when the
Celtics host the Wizards (yes, them again) at the TD Garden.
[Discuss on CG Forums!]
BEST OF MAXIM
Rajon Rondo isn’t an unnecessarily cheery guy. I’m not saying he doesn’t smile or that he never seems happy, but he doesn’t really ever come across as the kind of person who would help make the locker room a more vibrant place, certainly not after a loss like tonight’s. So when I say “Rondo seems even more depressed and subdued than usual,” please understand it’s...
We’ve seen what happens to the Celtics when Kevin Garnett isn’t in the line up. We know it. But if you don’t, Cedric Maxwell summed it up quite nicely on CSNNE:
“I think the thing about KG, KG is the engine,” Maxwell said. “You can have the keys — Rondo has the keys to everything — but KG is the engine and when the engine is going the car is going the right way...
Rajon Rondo's one-handed shot-clock beater was named the #3 play of last night by the NBA. Many other entertaining plays are among those in the video above, including a vicious Vinsanity block, a Gerald Green dunk, and a buzzer-beating game-winning 3 pointer by Brandon Jennings.
In his most introspective moments, and really at any other time of day, Kevin Garnett is prone to complex metaphors. He uses them, I think, in an attempt to simplify his own thoughts when relating them to everyone else. So it was little surprise when Garnett referred to a cackling animal when describing how his team needs to behave after Friday night’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks...
The Celtics came out strong in this game and looked like they were going to run away with this game in a blow out. The Celtics sprinted out to a 17-2 start in which the Wizards' only points came on a Kevin Garnett goal tending call, which was actually a clean block. At the end of the first quarter, the Celtics were up 26-12 and led by 7 at the half. The Wizards' second...
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Talk about a fan base that has been beaten down. I really feel bad for them. Even in the Celtics worst years during that 22 year absence from championships I don't ever recall talking about the Lottery 2 games into the season. As always, there's the refs complaints. That's to be expected because these days, refs blow calls on both sides in just about every game. ...
Last year Tommy Heinsohn made headlines when he compared Celtics D-League pick-up Greg Stiemsma to Bill Russell. Tommy wasn't comparing them as players, but solely as shot blockers. Well Goldy Blocks might have a new home this year far away from Boston, but he's putting up shot blocking numbers so far that even Russell might have been jealous of (Blocks weren't recorded...
No matter how much we want to make it all about Pierce, Garnett and Rondo we can't discount the importance of the role players. During the preseason, there were rumblings of whether or not Brandon Bass or Jared Sullinger should start.
Three games into this banner chase, it is plain to see that Sully is the better fit with the starters. This isn't an indictment on Bass...
Jared Sullinger gets his first NBA start tonight, with Brandon Bass coming off the bench.C's-Wizards 6:30 WEEI
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) November 3, 2012
Rather than keep the rotations consistent as the team tries to build confidence and chemistry, Doc is still mixing it up and trying to find the right combination of players for this team. To that end, Jared Sullinger...
This shot by Rondo is simply amazing. With the shot clock winding down, he puts up a shot that was blocked and with one motion he swats the loose ball at the basket and it hit nothing but net.
[Discuss on CG Forums!]
Earlier tonight, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo scored one of the luckiest baskets that I've ever seen in NBA history.
In the 4th quarter of the Celtics victory over the Washington Wizards, Rondo was trying to put up a shot with the shot clock winding down.
Watch as Washington's Kevin Seraphin blocks the shot of Rajon but somehow, Rondo tips the ball into the basket:
We are having an outlier experience where down is up and up is down in this bizarro season of 0-2 start for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. I was overjoyed to see the Lakers struggle out of the gate. I was not so thrilled to see Boston's new 'Big Three' play so passively in this 0-2 stretch.
Friday night's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks showed a team...
It was just that kind of a night. The Celtics looked tired and disinterested; giving in to a speedy Milwaukee team that absolutely abused Boston inside and on the break.
Slow Start, and it didn't get Better: The Celtics were hoping to come out strong and be the aggressor, but Milwaukee actually controlled the game early, forcing turnovers as the Celtics could not establish a...
WASHINGTON D.C. – The Boston Celtics are halfway to their first win of the season. The Celtics take a 49-42 lead over the Washington Wizards into the locker room. Boston cooled off after blowing the game open with a 17-2 run with 4:17 left in the first quarter. Those first two points for Washington came [...]