Once again, the Celtics lose a close one at home. The starters seemed to come out flat and we got behind quickly. Pierce's shot was way off and he was having a lot of trouble on the defensive end guarding Hill. Wally wasn't shooting well either. Gomes got a couple of quick fouls and Doc put Scal in for him. After a rather uneventful few minutes and a few mistakes, Doc finally put Powe in and he made his presence known right away by grabbing a rebound. Powe was the player of the game. He came into the game in the second period and was playing well on both ends of the court. He brought energy and toughness and played very well along with Perk. But he didn't see many minutes in the second half and that is very puzzling. This kid is clearly a player and has made the case for more playing time. Powe finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and a Tommy Award in 24 minutes.
Other positives include Perk's play. He finished with 8 points on 4 of 5 shooting along with 8 rebounds and 2 steals. He also played some good defense on Howard and challenged many shots inside. He had only 1 foul at the half and finished with only 4 for the game in 31 minutes. He improves more each game.
Other bright spots included Gomes' 12 points and 2 rebounds in just 17 minutes and Rondo's 7 assists and 2 rebounds. On the whole, our young players out played the veterans tonight.
On the puzzling side, Doc kept Pierce in the entire second half, even though he was playing poorly on both ends of the floor and by the end of the game, he was worn out. Doc's rotations are still very puzzling. We had a lineup in the second quarter that played very well together with Rondo, Perk, Powe, West and Green/Wally. Then, in the second half we didn't see that lineup again. Also, after dominating in the second and early third periods, Doc didn't play Powe much of the second half. Telfair was having a hard time staying with Nelson and was getting burned every time down and yet, he stayed in there. Pierce did show some hustle at one point and dove to the floor for a loose ball and that was good to see as at times he hasn't seemed to expend a lot of energy on the floor.
In spite of Pierce shooting 6-20 and having 5 turnovers, and Wally shooting 5-11 and having 2 turnovers, and shooting 38% for the game (largely due to our two stars), we still had a chance to win this game. We took better care of the ball with only 11 turnovers compared to 16 for the Magic and that was part of the reason. We were also out rebounded 43 - 34
We are 1-6 but there are positives. In a game where Pierce and Wally played terrible, and we were missing Al and Ratliff, we still had a chance to win. I still feel that we need a new coach, though. I think he has lost the players and his game management still leaves you scratching your head and wondering why.
I'm seeing improvements every game. Yes we are 1 - 6, but we at least we are showing signs of improvements. If nothing else, I'm encouraged that the young guys are looking better. So many of them are showing bright futures ahead of them.