From a basketball purist point of view, this game was very ugly. No one on the Celtics could hit the broad side of a barn except Paul Pierce. In fairness, some of the shots were missed due to being hacked or bumped and no fouls were called. The Celtics 3 times had leads of 10 points and gave every one up as the result of sloppy and passive play and the inability to hit a shot. The Celtics also had defensive lapses that allowed the Bucks to get easy baskets.
Milwaukee Bucks' Larry Sanders (8) blocks a shot by Boston Celtics' Paul
Pierce (34) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston,
Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. The Bucks won 99-94 in overtime. (AP
Jason Terry led the futility parade shooting just 1 of 15 from the field for 4 points. His only other addition was a single assist. The Celtics need Terry to contribute on the offensive end if they are going to go anywhere this season and 6% shooting just isn't going to cut it. Also struggling was the usually dependable Kevin Garnett. After going 2-10 in the first half, he hit his first two shots of the second half and hit a big jumper late in the game, but shot just 6-22 for the game. He also added 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Larry Sanders once again dominated the center matchup with 17 points and 20 rebounds.
The futility continued with Rondo, who was just 3-8 and finished with 6 points 5 rebounds, 11 assists and 4 steals including a huge steal that led to a Pierce three to tie the game in regulation. Brandon Bass was just 2-6 with 6 rebounds, an assist and a steal. That's the bad. Now a word about the good.
Boston Celtics' Jeff Green (8) reaches for a loose ball in front of
Milwaukee Bucks' Monta Ellis in the first quarter of an NBA basketball
game in Boston, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Jeff Green had his best game in awhile and started out aggressively going to the basket, and defending. He shot 4-9 but shot 6-6 from the line for 14 points. He also added 3 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 blocks. He tapped out a Jason Terry miss to Paul Pierce for the game three that tied the game in regulation. However, late in overtime, he took a hard elbow to the face from Ersan Ilyasova as he went for a rebound. He crumbled to the ground and remained there until helped off the court by the trainer and doctor. The diagnosis was that he has a bruised cheekbone and chipped teeth.
Jared Sullinger played very well. He was fighting for rebounds and finished with 7 rebounds in just 14 minutes of play to go with 4 points and 2 assists. He fouled out but was the victim of bad calls on at least 3 of those fouls. Courtney Lee had his best overall game as a Celtic. He brought a spark off the bench and finished with 11 points on 5-9 shooting to go with 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. For that, he earned the Tommy Award.
Now, for the very good. Paul Pierce followed up his 40 point game with a game hight 35 points in this game. He also finished with 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. The Captain is far from finished and dominated this game in every sense. He needs help though because he can't carry the team every game by himself. The other scorers on the team, especially Jeff Green, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Brandon Bass must start hitting their shots on a consistent basis.
Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee (11) shoots past Milwaukee Bucks' Marquis
Daniels, right, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in
Boston, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The officiating was terrible in this game. To quote Tommy: "Missed calls, bad calls,. I get disgruntled and I don't want to be disgruntled before Christmas." They called ticky tack fouls on the Celtics while allowing the Bucks to get away with a lot of contact on the other end. When they wanted to intentionally foul to stop the clock the refs ignored it, allowing seconds to tick off the clock. When Jeff Green was knocked to the floor by Ilyasova's elbow and lay there bleeding, no foul was called. The Bucks shot 36 free throws to 20 for the Celtics.
The Celtics now have off until Tuesday when they play the Nets on Christmas Day in Brooklyn. They have some serious work to do. As I said earlier, I wouldn't be surprised to see Avery Bradley make a surprise appearance on Christmas. That sure would be a nice gift for Celtics fans. He won't be a cure all but his on the ball pressure sure will help the defense. Hopefully by Tuesday Jeff Green will be healed, Chris Wilcox's thumb will be healed as well. What I want for Christmas is some decent referees.