The Celtics clinched the second most ping pong balls with their 104-102 loss to the Bucks. Before the game, Al Jefferson was presented with the 2nd Auerbach award that goes to the Celtic who most exemplifies Celtics Pride. Pierce won the first one and was presented the award by Red himself. At half time, they honored the members of the Celtics first championship team, 50 years ago today.
The Celtics trailed the entire game but made a couple of runs to keep the game within reach. The Celtics won the battle of the boards 41-33 but couldn't get stops when they needed them, allowing the Bucks to shoot 53% for the game while shooting 46% themselves. During the game, for long stretches, Tommy, Mike and Cousy all were chatting about the first championship team and were talking with other members of the '57 team while the action was going on. The game obviously wasn't their top priority tonight.
Leon Powe was the player of the game, coming up big down the stretch to make the game as close as it was. He finished with 18 points,8 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block. I love his intensity and work ethic. West had this to say about Powe:
“He’s a beast. He’s man-child. He’s going to be a great player in this league. He can rebound the ball. He has a nose for the ball. He’s always getting the and-one’s, and he’s causing havoc down in the paint. That’s the type of player you need to build championship-type teams. You need guys like that.”
Tanguay said on the post game show that he felt that Powe clearly earned a chance to be back next season. I hope so. Perk looked for his offense more than usual and finished with 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists but also had 6 turnovers. Pinkney played well and finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Delonte West returned to the starting lineup, replacing Ray at the 2, and finished with 13 points on 5 of 12 shooting to go with 4 assists and 1 block in 33 minutes. Rondo played only 26 minutes and finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Telfair played most of the 4th quarter and finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists in 21 minutes.
Green had a good game finishing with 21 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals, but got down on himself for missing a 3 late in the game and didn't touch the ball on the last play when they needed a 3 to win. Gomes had another solid game with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block. Ray played the point down the stretch and finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist.
Now we have the second worst record for sure with this loss and I keep thinking how terrible I will feel if the Bucks, with the 3rd worst record wins the lottery. It is such an inexact science. I guess we can only hope that finally after 20 years of terrible luck and tragedy, the lottery will go our way. [Box Score] [Recap] [Play by Play] [Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!]