Basketball is one of the most eloquent, graceful and beautiful sports to watch. The way some players glide up and down the court or shoot a perfectly balanced jumpshot makes many fans appreciate the sport. Tonight the Celtics completely butchered that for the Blazers, something we've been waiting for and are happily welcoming. Some might light up when they see the Jeff Green dunk over Jared Jeffries, personally my favorite moment was when I saw the number 34.8% in the Blazer's box score. The Celtics were moving in the right direction when they forced the Blazers to shoot an abysmal percentage from the field. It wasn't much better from behind the arc either as they shot 20% as a team. Like always defense led the charge and opened up a lot of different opportunities.
"It makes things easier on our offense when we defend the way we did tonight... That's the type of team we are." Paul Pierce couldn't have put it any better, the scrappy defense allowed the Celtics to get out and run propelling them to 20 fast break points. They were also able to force 23 turnovers giving them 18 points off the Blazer blunders. The tenacious Celtics defense that we've been dying to see finally arrived and against a very competitive basketball team. When you have Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nicholas Batum (to name a few) on your team you're not doing too bad for yourself. This is a young team that given a couple seasons will come into their own and be a force out west.
The defensive success also helped the team on offense as they were able to score efficiently and almost at will while keeping their field goal percentage near 50%. All those stops helped them get out and get easy shots for their role players as seen in the success from Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and Jason Terry. Green led the team with 19 points but only grabbed 3 rebounds, something he needs to improve even on a day that he played very well. Terry scored 17 points on a variation of pull-up shots, three-pointers and aggressive drives to the rim.
Not enough can be said of the rook though as he continues to produce when given the opportunity. Battling a front- court consisting of Aldridge and Hickson Sully held his own and was able to corral 8 rebounds while scoring 9 points. On any lottery team I'm fully confident he'd be putting up some great numbers but for now on a veteran laden team he's giving us exactly what we need. Courtney was also a bright spot scoring 10 points grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing 5 assists. He was a factor on both ends of the floor and this type of play is what the team needs on a consistent basis. His sudden drop off from behind the arc is a bit puzzling but considering his track record it should all work it's way around.
The old timers, Garnett and Pierce, played some good basketball as well with Garnett leading the charge on defense and Pierce having a good all around game. Bass had a quiet night and didn't rebound as well as I'd hoped but maybe I'm just being too picky. Tomorrow we'll be in Milwaukee and this type of defense needs to continue as we visit two high octane ball hogs ( I mean scorers).
Quote of The Night: Doc: "Jason Terry is like Kevin (Garnett) in a lot of ways. Everybody should coach him once. He plays hard. He's so darn competitive." code for he swears a lot, bleeds green and refuses to lose while being one cocky ball player. Definitely sounds like a true Celtic.