The Celtics got off to a great start, building a 30 point lead and then held on for a 7 point win on the road against the NY Knicks. On a night when Jared Jeffries returned to the Knicks lineup and when the Celtics were without their 3 centers against Eddy Curry, who has been putting up all star like numbers lately, the Celtics came away with an improbable win on the road.
Pierce came out with a hot hand and finished with 31 points on 11-22 shooting to go with 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Of course he also got his 3 turnovers in. But he made 2 of the biggest plays of the game with a 3 to stem the Knicks comeback and a huge rebound and 2 free throws to seal the game.
But Pierce had help. Once again, Big Al came up big with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. He played decent defense on Curry without fouling out as well. Powe came in and was one of the reasons we built a big lead in the second. His defense was great and in 12 minutes in the first half he had 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. But then he played less than 2 minutes in the second half while we were giving away the 30 point lead. I don't know what this kid has to do to get regular minutes. He comes up big every time Doc gives him a chance and then ends up on the bench. Scal hit 3 big 3 pointers and had 2 rebounds and fouled out in the 4th. I really question Doc's game plan when he keeps Scal in the whole time the Knicks were chipping away at the lead, mostly going inside to Curry and Powe and Al are sitting on the bench. Scal did ok, but he isn't an interior defender and he isn't a rebounder. Powe and/or Al should have been playing but Al only came in after Scal fouled out.
Gomes was steady as usual scoring 8 points to go with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. West continued with his shooting woes shooting only 1 for 6 but finished with 6 points 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Rondo came off the bench to play only 15 minutes but he disrupted their offense and brought the kind of energy we have come to expect from him. He finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.
After all of the talk about Green needing more playing time, he got only 6 minutes last night and should have gotten more. Tony played good defense but struggled in other areas, throwing away a crucial inbounds pass in the 4th quarter. He finished with 8 points and 5 rebounds. Telfair had a decent but unspectacular game scoring 8 points with 4 assists and 2 steals.
It wasn't pretty, but it was our second win on the road in a row and we will take it. It is a credit to the team that they didn't give up when the Knicks started to come back and almost erased a 30 point lead. Doc has got to figure out how to beat a zone defense though because it seems to throw us into disarray every time and almost cost us another game.
It was a beautiful game in the first half, and an absolute nightmare the second half. This game was a microcosm of our Jekyl and Hyde team. We can look down right dominating (1st half: Bos 61, NY 36) and then as bad as bad can get (2nd half: Bos 36, NY 54). It all correlates to our energy level. When we are inspired (specifically Paul Pierce), we are tough to beat. But when we get caught up with ourselves and think we are better than we are, or when we just aren't inspired, we go into tailspin mode and look disgusting.