The Celtics bench pulled out the win against the Cleveland Cavaliers behind a strong performance from Tony Allen. The Big Three all played under 9 minutes in this game and Doc went with various combinations off the bench for the rest of the game. At times the Celtics' bench was playing against the Cavs starters. The Cavs got out to an 11 point lead but the Celtics young guns fought back and pulled out the 96-94 win. I wonder if the drop in playing time for the starters had anything to do with how hard they are playing when they are in. At one point, Paul Pierce hit the floor chasing a loose ball and his head bounced off the floor. He went to the bench checking on his teeth and that was the end of the starters playing time.
Thoughts on the game: Bill Walker once again impressed. He had 10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block and 1 assist. The play of the game was when he flew in out of nowhere for a dunk of a Scalabrine miss.
Patrick O'Bryant is showing some consistency with his second solid game in a row. He finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block. He had 3 rather nifty hook shots in the game that really got Tommy excited.
JR Giddens showed some flashes of what we can expect from him. One play that stood out was when he blocked a shot and then chased down the ball and saved it by throwing it off of Ilgauskas as he was falling out of bounds. He played some good defense and showed some good moves.
Gabe Pruitt ran the point down the stretch and did a good job as the Celtics caught up and passed the Cavs for the win. He had a nice play when he drove down the lane for a dunk. Miles played under 4 minutes and looked quite rusty. Leon was Leon and made the most of every minute, finishing with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block.
Eddie House has one of the quickest releases in the league and showed some leadership in the game as he was vocal in directing his teammates on the court. He finished with 10 points and 3 assists in another solid performance. Big Baby again struggled and may be trying too hard. He needs to just go out and play and not push himself so hard to try to prove himself. Brian Scalabrine proved once again that he may be the worst player in the league going 0-5 for 0 points with 3 rebounds and 3 turnovers.
The Player of the Game was Tony Allen. Doc is obviously trying to give him confidence as he played 42 minutes and he responded with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 1 block. Tony seems to have his explosiveness back and scored from outside and on drives to the hoop. He also got to the line 16 times, making 13 of them. It will be huge for the team if he can continue to play at a high level and show consistency, something that eluded him in previous seasons.
Once again, the young players showed promise and played well but this time they pulled out the win. Bill Walker continues to impress and it was good to see Paul Pierce get up and move to sit by Walker when he came off the floor and explain some moves to him. The Celtics shot 55% and held the Cavs to 46%. The Cavs out rebounded the Celtics 32-30 and the Celtics continued to turn the ball over way too much with 23 turnovers to 21 for the Cavs. All in all, the bench is shaping up just fine and the starters are working together like a well oiled machine.