First, Paul Pierce deserves a lot of credit for the Celtics success. It has been amazing to me as I watch the games, it doesn't seem as though Pierce is much of a factor, but then when I check the box scores, I am surprised to see what Pierce actually did in the games. Against the Rockets: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal,and 1 block Against the Grizzlies: 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal Against the Pistons: 19 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 1 stealHe is doing a bit of everything and yet when watching the game it doesn't seem that way because he is doing it all within the flow of the game and not forcing anything. In the Detroit game especially, he realized that Big Baby was the hot hand and they were leaving him alone and Pierce continually found him in the post. He truly is turning into a complete team player.
Chauncey Billups is a sore loser. He made this comment after the game:
"They're a little more happy than we was when we won our game out there," he said. "It was just like a regular game for us. Two good teams playing. They're kind of playing like it's the Super Bowl, man. It's just a regular game, two good teams playing. There's a little more at stake for them and their psyche than [for] us, but they won, it's cool."
I guess the Pistons dissolve into shouting at each other during time outs in all their regular season games. They wanted this game every bit as much as the Celtics. Championship caliber teams should be playing every game like it is the Super Bowl. If they aren't they don't have what it takes to win it all. The Celtics need it more for their psyche? What a pompous jerk!! Round 3 of the Pistons/Celtics rivalry is going to be on March 5. As of now, it isn't scheduled for national TV but if they don't add it, they aren't very smart as the rubber match between these two teams should be one of the best matchups of the regular season.
The much maligned bench of the Celtics have been making some very good contributions lately. In the Houston game, Pollard had 10 points. Against the Grizzlies, Tony added 20 points and against Detroit, Big Baby poured in 20 points and Tony added 10. Pollard has been contributing quality minutes as have House and Posey and it seems as though one player off the bench comes up big every game. This depth will be needed for the Celtics to win a championship.
We now have 3 players sporting stitches from teams playing us very physical. KG has 4 stitches over his eye courtesy of Kwame Brown. Posey has 4 stitches in his arm courtesy of Rudy Gay (although Gay may have gotten the worst of that one with a broken tooth) and Rondo has stitches over his eye courtesy of the Pistons. Thankfully, Ray Allen wasn't hurt when he was tackled by Lamar Odom but he very easily could have been. The Celtics have a bullseye on their backs as every team wants to be the one to knock them off. But the real problem has been the officiating as they allow way too much contact against the Celtics. I have to believe that either the refs are incompetent or Stern has an agenda against the Celtics. Either way, something should be done about it before someone really gets hurt.
The Celtics have 3 days off before playing the Bobcats on Wednesday. This could be another one of those trap games. They may have a big letdown after the huge win over the Pistons. They may tend to overlook the 11-21 Bobcats who are just 1-11 on the road. The Bobcats always play well against us and they are not a team to take for granted.
The trade I would like to see is Brian Scalabrine for Tyronn Lue. Lue is one of KG's best friends and is one of the people KG consulted about coming to Boston.
"First, his presence here was a big factor in getting Kevin to come," Ainge said. "When I went out there to visit him, Tyronn Lue was staying at his house. He and KG are best friends. And that was key, because Tyronn had played for Doc and told KG that Doc was good to play for."
Lue for Scal works in the trade checker. Lue has played in Doc's system. He should fit in with the chemistry since he is best friends with KG. Atlanta has more than enough point guards and Lue seems to be the odd man out. This would give us the insurance behind Rondo that we need and it would allow Tony and House to play to their strengths at the 2 rather than having to concentrate on bringing the ball up and setting up the offense.
I had to wonder if maybe Big Baby's outburst last night might be due to the Gilbert Arenas syndrome. Ever notice how Arenas always has a huge game against the Celtics? Ever since the Celtics promised to take him with one of their first round picks and then went back on that promise, letting Arenas slip to the second round, he has had it in for the team and always gives the Celtics his best shot. Just after the draft, Big Baby said that Detroit promised to take him in the first round and then didn't, allowing him to slip to the Celtics in the second round.
This season has been incredible so far. The rest of January will feature 7 home games and 5 away games. We will face old friends against both Miami and Minnesota. We will face each of the 4 Atlantic division rivals with the Nets and Knicks on the road and Philly and Toronto at home. We face Orlando on the road and the red hot Tralblazers at home and finish the month by hosting Dallas.