The Celtics defense finally showed up for this game and that would be a good thing except the offense disappeared. The Celtics held the high scoring Suns to only 85 points, but they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and scored only 77 points themselves. Pierce was 2-13, Ray Allen was 3-12, Rondo was 5-12, KG was 8-17. Overall, the Celtics shot only 38.5% from the field and were only 4-17 from beyond the arc.
Along with the shooting woes, the Celtics were out rebounded 50-32. That is inexcusable. Doc played Baby 8 minutes and he struggled with only 2 points, 0 rebounds and 5 fouls. Leon Powe on the other hand played only 4 minutes and had 2 points and 2 rebounds. I have no idea why Doc didn't give Leon more minutes. He played well in his brief appearance. He certainly played better than Baby tonight and yet Baby got twice as many minutes. I think Doc made a mistake in not playing Powe more. No one else had their offense going. He came in and got 2 points in 4 minutes and Doc should have gone to him more.
The officiating was pretty bad again. The Suns shot 12 more free throws than the Celtics and it seemed as though the refs let hard fouls go and then called ticky tack fouls. It wasn't consistent at all. Overall the game was very physical and there were a lot of cheap shots on both sides. Perk played the enforcer with a flagrant foul on Stoudamire after he got away with a few shoves on KG.
The defense appears to be fixed and now they need to get the offense going again. It would be nice to see both on track again at the same time. There were some positives in spite of the ugliness of this game. KG is getting closer to 100% with 19 points although he only had 5 rebounds. Perk is working his way back also with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks tonight. The defense is getting back on track. Scott Pollard saw his first minutes since January 21. He looked very rusty but at least it is a start. The bad news is that the Pistons won and so the Celtics' lead in the East is down to 3.
Next up are the Trailblazers and this won't be an easy game either. Hopefully the Celtics can put together a complete game with both offense and defense and salvage this trip with a win in their last 2 games.