The Celtics came into Detroit as the heavy underdogs. They have just 9 players available. Their starting unit averages 22 years of age and includes 4 players straight out of high school. They were playing a much more experienced team that is expected to challenge for the title this season. Most expected the Celtics to be blown out, but they played hard and kept the game much closer than the final score indicates. The final score was Pistons 81 and Celtics 73, but the Celtics kept it close throughout the game. The score was 72-70 with just under 3 minutes to play in the 4th. Flip Murray hit 2 3's from the top of the arc and that was pretty much the difference in the game.
This was a game that was fun to watch and there were many positives to bring away from it, in spite of ending up with another loss. Topping the individual performances is Al Jefferson's 12 point, 2 block, and career high 22 rebound performance. Al did a great job of getting position under the basket for rebounds. He had problems getting his shot off at times but still ended up with a double double. Perk finished with 2 points on a jumper from the top of the key as the shot clock went off to go with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block. Perk and Al are playing well together and are building better chemistry with each game.
Gomes played 47 minutes and had a very solid game finishing with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. Kandi finished with 1 point and 3 rebounds but played some solid defense. My one disappointment was that Powe once again got limited minutes and finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds and 1 block in 14 minutes.
Telfair played 30 minutes and finished with 9 points, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Rondo again had a very impressive game with 4 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds and 1 steal in 17 minutes. Ray only played 8 minutes and finished with 2 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound.
Gerald Green seemed to find his confidence and played a solid game. He finished with 24 points on 10-20 shooting a to go with 1 rebound and 1 block. He was called for a flagrant foul on Tayshun Prince in the 4th period, but looking at the replay shows that he had mostly ball on the block and Prince just lost his footing. Prince even went over to Green afterward and told him he knew it wasn't a flagrant foul. To Gerald's credit, he didn't let it shake him and he continued to keep his composure afterward.
It was a very encouraging game in that we were very short handed against one of the better veteran teams in the league and we gave them all they could handle. The play of the rookies and young players bodes well for the team when we get back to full strength. As Donny Marshall said at one point, Gerald Green improves with every play. They are playing team ball and we can see improvement in them game by game. We may not be winning games, but we are gaining valuable experience for our young players that will make us a much better team in the future.