The Bulls never showed up for this game. The Celtics pretty much dominated from start to finish in the 116-93 win. With another game tomorrow night, Doc was able to rest the starters in the fourth quarter, keeping Pierce Ray and KG under 26 minutes. It was amazing with the Celtics up 22 and less than 9 minutes left in the game, seeing KG on the sidelines standing and calling out instructions and encouragement to his teammates. Not long after he went to the bench for good, he could be seen shouting and making hand movements to make sure his teammates were talking to each other and communicating on the court.
Perk had his third straight strong game finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks and just 1 foul in just 27 minutes of play. KG had 16 points and 8 rebounds and fell just short of his 20,000th point. He needs just 7 points to hit the milestone and will surely hit it in Memphis. Would have been nice for it to have happened in front of the Celtics faithful in the Garden, though. Powe had a nice game with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. Big Baby had 4 points, 1 assist and 1 block and single handedly took out the scorer's table as he dove for a loose ball and landed square on several people. PJ Brown came into the game with 1:24 left in the 3rd and got a standing ovation from the crowd. He finished with 3 points, 6 rebounds and 1 steal in only 6 minutes. The real benefit of PJ Brown (and Sam Cassell as well) will come from their experience and willingness to impart that knowledge to the Celtics younger players. Both have already been seen giving instruction to Rondo and the bigs during time outs and that is going to pay dividends in the playoffs.
Rajon Rondo also continued his strong play with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. The announcers said that Rondo was the first player out on the court and worked on his shooting for a couple hours before the game. It is that kind of dedication that is going to make him one of the premier players in this league. Ray Allen still struggled somewhat with 11 points on 2-7 shooting to go with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Sam Cassell was in the house but didn't play. He was seen cheering and encouraging his new teammates from the bench. He also went over to both House and Rondo when they came in for time outs and was giving them advice. This is the reason that he will be invaluable to this team. House played well and had 8 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 block. Posey had a good game off the bench with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Tony seemed to struggle in this game going scoreless but pulling down 4 rebounds and dishing out 2 assists. Scal got some minutes for the first time since the groin pull kept him out. He lookes way different with a shaved head. The crowd urged him to shoot everytime he touched the ball. He finally hit a 3 on the last play of the game to go with 3 rebounds and 1 block.
I really disliked the ESPN announcers. They spent most of the game chatting about everything under the sun except the action on the floor. They showed graphics, inteviews and each other, all while the action was going on behind them. For all the criticism of Tommy being a homer from other teams' fans, he still calls the game as good as anyone out there. He doesn't ignore the game while talking about the Spurs and everything else under the sun. ESPN coverage is among the worst.
The Celtics shot 46% and held the Bulls to 32%. The Celtics out rebounded the Bulls 55-35. They also out scored the Bulls in the paint 42-24. The best thing about the win is that the starters got to take the whole 4th quarter off that should help them against the Grizzlies. It was good to see PJ Brown get his first minutes as a Celtic and he did a good job in his debut. The officiating seemed to be going the Celtics way for much of the game although the final free throw differential wasn't that far apart with the Celtics taking 43 free throws and the Bulls taking 38. But the Celtics seemed to be getting away with a lot of contact. I guess we deserve a break after all the bad officiating we have seen of late. After the game the Celtics were travelling to Memphis for their Saturday showdown with the Grizzlies.