Once again, the Celtics faded at the end of a game. KG played very strong in the beginning of the game but like the Celtics, faded at the end. He finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. In his post game interview, he said that the Celtics have to get their defensive swagger back. I think he hit the nail on the head. The Rockets shot 49% while the Celtics shot just 43%. The Celtics have forgotten how to play that lock down defense that became their calling card last season. They are especially lax on defense at the end of games.
Paul Pierce continues to play well consistently, although he missed several wide open shots in the 3rd and 4th quarters. He finished with 26 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal.
Rondo is struggling. He finished this game with 5 points, no rebounds, and 5 assists but just seems to be missing that spark he had during the win streak. He allowed the Houston guards to get past him on defense and just wasn't aggressive on offense. Teams are taking a cue from the Lakers and defending Rondo and it has affected him. We need him to get back on track because when he plays aggressively, he makes the Celtics very hard to beat.
Ray needs some rest. His legs obviously aren't under his jumper. He has shot 11-51 in his last 3 games. He played almost 50 minutes last night and almost 40 minutes tonight. That is too much. Doc has got to get this guy some rest so that he can get his legs back under him. He is playing well other than his shot, though. He finished this game with 13 points on 4-13 shooting to go with 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.
Big Baby had a nice game with 12 points and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes and he added a lot of hustle off the bench as well.
Gabe Pruitt got some meaningful minutes and played great defense along with scoring 7 points and grabbing 1 rebound in 15 minutes. It is good to see him getting a chance to play. Eddie continues to struggle hitting just 1 of 5 shots for 2 points with 1 rebound and 1 steal.
Ron Artest spent most of his time throwing elbows and putting wrestling moves on various Celtics. He also spent some time grabbing refs after they called fouls on him. Ron is a dirty player and was glad to see him foul out of the game. At one point he body slammed Ray Allen and hit him with an elbow to the head to boot and the refs called a double foul.
Perk had a quiet game. He took just one shot and didn't score but played good defense and finished with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks.
Scal played just 3 minutes but left the game counting his teeth after a hard collision with Ron Artest, who didn't seem to be at all phased by having Scal's teeth stuck into his head.
Leon scored only 2 points, but as always brought energy and effort off the bench as he grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked 1 shot in 16 minutes.
The Celtics have now lost 3 in a row and 6 of their last 8 games. They scored only 11 points in the 3rd quarter of this game and have allowed teams to come at them and finish off games during this losing streak which is something they haven't allowed since they started last season. Let's hope they are tired of losing and are ready to get their fire back because they have a very big game on Friday against the first place Cavs. The Cavs are now half a game in front of the Celtics and are 18-0 at home. You better believe that they will be ready for this game. Let's hope the Celtics are too.