We finally saw the Jeff Green from the preseason that had been compared to James Worthy. Let's hope that he's here to stay and doesn't regress again. He was aggressive and that's what the Celtics need from him.
Along the same lines, we finally saw some aggressiveness from the whole team. They played defense and got stops. They were aggressive going to the basket. They played Celtics basketball. And they actually fought for rebounds. They got a little complacent in the 4th quarter and let the Thunder make it a close game, but they fought back behind KG's free throws and Jason Terry's hot hand to get the win. As with Green, I hope these Celtics are here to stay and don't regress to the no defense Celtics that we saw against the Spurs and Pistons.
Rondo's streak of double digit assist games continues and it now at 36 games. He can tie Utah's John Stockton for the second-longest streak in league history on Sunday in Orlando. Then there will just be Magic Johnson ahead of him with 46 games. Opinion over Rondo's streak is mixed between those who feel it's a distraction and those who think it's a great accomplishment. I don't believe it's a distraction. Rondo seems to rack up the assists almost effortlessly. He gets them in the flow of the game and has shown that if his shot is there he'll take it. And, what's great, this year he's making them.
Doc has changed Kevin Garnett from the Big Ticket to the Big Cellphone. Here's Doc's quote about managing KG's minutes.
“Garnett is like a cellphone that you buy at the 7-Eleven. You’ve got 32 minutes, and if you went 33, then the phone would have been dead. We had to manage his minutes.”
Paul Pierce had a great game and his steady play led the Celtics. While watching the game, my husband said "Paul Pierce tricked them with his old man move. He's like the basketball version of the changeup pitch." I thought that was a great analogy. Pierce never does things really fast but yet teams are often at a loss to stop him. Here's what Perk had to say about Pierce's game.
“He’s got a lot of tricks. That’s the reason he’s been scoring the ball like he has for years. Got a lot of tricks man. He did a great job tonight of just playing smart. He’s moving well and it looks like he’s in great shape, he’s doing his job”
More from Perk. He hasn't forgotten his Celtics roots and keeps up with the Celtics, still watching all their games two years after the trade.
“I watch them every night. Even nights we play at the same time, I still go back and watch their games, see how they’re doing. They do the same on my end. We give each other professional criticism.’’
And on Rondo, who is still his best friend. Perk and his family had Thanksgiving Dinner with Rondo's family.
"“If you don’t understand who (Rondo) is, you could pretty much want to strangle him. But he’s a good dude. You’ve got to understand who he is as a person. It’s just the way he carries himself. Other guys told him, ‘You’re the only person I’ve seen who watches your own self walk.’ He’s an interesting dude.’’
This was a very good win for the Celtics over a quality team at home. There's no denying that the Thunder are one of the top contenders in the West. The Celtics needed to establish themselves at home. They needed to get their defense back on track. And they needed a win over a contender. In this game they got all three. Now on to Orlando and hopefully a 2 game win streak.