The Celtics played great ball in the first half and were up 54-39 at the half. Then, in the end of the third and much of the fourth, Doc had a lineup in that just caved in and he left them in there as they lost the lead and fell behind. In his post game conference, Doc said that he decided he was just leaving that group in and was going to win or lose with that unit. He felt that the Bobcats just took the game away from the group that was in minus Leon, who he said was phenomenal.
Pierce was poked in the eye in the third quarter and hit hard enough that he cut the inside of his mouth and spent the rest of the game on the bench, much of it holding a towel to his eye. But he seemed to be ok afterwards. He finished the game with 23 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 23 minutes.
There isn't much to talk about other than the play of our bigs. Perk was great and finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks in 24 minutes and he played great defense on Gerald Wallace and basically shut him down when he was in there. Al played his usual good game with 22 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Powe played only 15 minutes but as he always does, made the most of them with 4 points, 8 rebounds and a block. But Doc didn't have Perk or Al on the floor as the Celtics blew the lead. Powe was out there, doing all he could, but nobody seemed to be able to hit a shot around him.
Gomes returned after being out with a foot injury and was obviously rusty hitting only 1 of 8 shots and finishing with 4 points with 3 rebounds. Green seems to be regressing and over thinking his shot. He is so good hitting off the catch but lately has been putting the ball on the floor and hasn't been near as effective. He finished with 8 points on 2-9 shooting with 1 rebound, 2 assists,and 2 steals.
Doc removed Rondo from the starting lineup in favor of Scal who went scoreless in 19 minutes with 2 rebounds. Why Doc insists on starting Scal I really don't have a clue. West and Rondo play very well off each other and so do Al and Perk and with Pierce at the 3, that lineup seems to play well. Scal would be much better suited to coming off the bench. Rondo came off the bench and finished with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. West had 10 points on 5-13 shooting with 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Ray played 17 scoreless minutes and finished with 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.
Once again, Doc's decision to leave the small lineup out there as the Bobcats caught up and passed us was the difference in the game. Losing with your best lineup on the floor is one thing, but Doc has been going with a small lineup with very little offense down the stretch in the last two games and we have lost because of it.