The Celtics team I watched play the Wolves last night didn't look in the least like the team that won the previous 5. They were flat on offense, shooting an anemic 44% from the floor and 26% from beyond the arc. And even worse, the team that hopes to become the best defensive team in NBA history allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 52%.
And who in the world is Oleksiy Pecherov?? The Wolves didn't even pick up his option. But yet, there he was, scoring 24 points on 9-14 shooting to go with his 8 rebounds. Honestly, does this guy look like a guy who could go up against KG and Perk and come out on top?
There was something really wrong here. I know Perk was mostly concentrating on Big Al and did a decent job of holding him to 18 points and 4 rebounds. But come on. KG couldn't contain this guy?
Looking at that last play again where they called the jump ball, I think if I was a Wolves fan, I'd be a little upset with the call. I know that KG got a lot of ball on that play, but the call could have gone either way. I don't like having games come down to the discretion of the ref. It should never been that close.
Pierce looked tired and went back to driving into triple teams instead of passing the ball a few times. His last jumper was flat and front rimmed. They were playing in back to back games but they played limited minutes the night before because it was a blow out. Even the bench looked out of sorts with Rasheed and Eddie shooting a combined 4-15. But, Rasheed, Eddie, Shelden and Quisy each made at least one crucial basket or play and I still see this bench winning more games than not.
It wasn't all bad though. Perk looked good with 13 points on 6-7 shooting, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. The Sultan of Swat strikes again. And Rondo did some good things with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. All 5 starters were in double figures. And, they had only 9 turnovers.
In spite of the fact that they were out rebounded 40-36, and allowed the Wolves to shoot 52% while shooting only 44% themselves. And in spite of the fact that last night they were dying by the 3, they still got the win in the end. But, they won't win many games with the kind of effort they put out last night, especially on the defensive end. Hopefully this isn't what we can expect in back to back games all season. But in the end, the Celtics are 6-0 and still undefeated. It was experience and poise in the end that pulled it out. I guess I should be happy. Of the other top contenders, all have lost at least one game. And the Lakers have been stretched to OT in two games along with a loss. So, I'll take 6-0, even with a close win over the Timberpups.
Next up: Phoenix on Friday. Let's hope they find their defense for that game or the Suns will run them out of the building.