At hafltime at the
Boston Garden, Boston was experiencing on one of the chilliest days of this young winter and the Celtics somehow found a way to make their shooting percentage lower than that of the temperature outside the arena.
Mike Breen made a comment about cold it was inside the building but I couldn’t
figure out if that was because of an open back door letting a draft in or the
Celtics woeful shot attempts. (Don’t judge me for choosing ESPN’s broadcast I
have a soft spot for Mike Breen) 1-6 from behind the arc and a combined 3-14
between the Ticket and the Truth was no way to come out the gates against this
energized Bulls club and made the offense as a whole look sluggish.The Celtics defense was able to force 11
first half turnovers but yet allowed Chicago to shoot nearly 50%, 47.4, while
hitting almost half their three point attempts.
Rip hamilton getting the ball ripped away from him
Courtney Lee and
Rondo were the two bright spots however and both dominated on different sides
of the ball. Lee was grabbing rebounds and playing aggressive defense while
Rondo was pushing the ball and dominating for stretches offensively. There were
times when both were whistled for some ridiculous fouls while pressuring the
ball but both continued their assertive approach. Rondo fouling out clearly hurt the team but with the shots some of the Bulls were hitting it seemed like the Celtics defense was just unlucky.
For Chicago Boozer enlightened and reminded everyone of the Celtics biggest issue, which of
course is limiting the paint for opponents. Whether it was timely rebounds or
an array of post moves Boozer played like he was still in Utah, something the
Bulls are finally starting to get. Their rebounds were what eventually led to them winning the game as they came upon an assortment of second chance points keeping them in the game even though they struggled with their shooting for long stretches.
I'm surprised we didn't see a repeat of this considering the type of officiating we saw tonight from Davis.
quarter brought out the physicality and rivalry between these two teams, with Garnett
and Boozer/ Noah and Rondo and Hamilton getting tangled up and exchanging
pleasantries. Rondo’s “ Come check me” to Hamilton was one of my favorite lines
from the star point guard and he definitely had the right to be saying it as he
tore apart the Bulls defense all night. He had an array of layups or drives to
the lane while also getting to the free throw line 9 times and making 6 of
caught fire late in the game after starting out 1-10 and struggling mightily
with his post moves. He missed a couple free throws near the end of the fourth
quarter and was visibly frustrated with himself, maybe a prelude to the desperate heave at the end of regulation.
Pierce struggled throughout the game, though he hit a big shot in OT, while Terry was effective in the few shots he took. The only thing I could harp on Terry is that he needs to find a way to put up more shots and have a greater impact on the game. The shot he made in OT was great even though Belinelli had to one up him.
For the team moving forward this was a game they should quickly forget. Trying to build and learn off the loss to the Hornets the Celtics didn't really change their approach and didn't play championship caliber offense. This is two straight losses and the team needs to gather itself together and get back to the way they were playing a week ago so they can continue to climb the standings.
Sully was a
beast on the boards, especially considering he was in foul trouble and didn’t get
the opportunity to play consistent minutes until the second half (because of
terrible officiating). The defensive effort we saw tonight was marvelous and I hope
the team can build on it going forward, just like I hope David Stern doesn’t
fine me for putting his refs on the spot.