Last night the Celtics were up and down against the Jazz. The first half was fairly evenly played and were the Celtics best two quarters of basketball so far in spite of not defending well and allowing the Jazz to shoot 59% for the half. Then the wheels came off in the third. The Celtics came out flat and the Jazz went on a 15-0 run to put the Celtics in a big hole.
Enter the hero of the night (And Tommy Award winner) Rajon Rondo. With Telfair being taken to the hospital with shortness of breath and chest pains, Rondo got the call and answered it quite well. He brought defense and energy and behind his leadership, the Celtics twice cut the lead to 3 but couldn't finish out the game. Once again, team defense came up short and was the biggest reason for the loss.
There were a couple of silver linings. One was the play of Rondo who finished with 13 points on 5-10 shooting to go with4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Perk also seems to be breaking out of his fouling pattern drawing only 2 in 22 minutes of play. He also scored 10 points on 5-5 shooting with 4 rebounds and 4 blocks. He played very well and that is a good sign for the future. Gomes continued his solid play with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Even Scal played well with 3 rebounds and 1 block in 10 minutes without the mistakes that usually accompany his play. I still would much rather see Powe out there, though. Wally and Pierce also only combined for 5 turnovers instead of the 17 from the game before. Our free throw shooting still continues to need improvement as we only shot 56% from the line. The officiating was pretty bad last night, missing some very crucial calls and making some bad ones also.
There are some positives among all the negatives. Team play as a whole is improving, individual players are improving. Now if we could just play some defense, we may have a chance this season.