In typical Celtics fashion a great game was almost thrown away and the offense looked both dominate and sporadic. People in Boston were already having a terrible morning since the Patriots weren't in the Super Bowl and if the Celtics had blown a lead of over 15 points it would have really stung. The game was a tale of three quarters and the all dreaded fourth one. The reserves had 50 points leading into the last frame and managed 2 the rest of the way while the offense as a whole only scored 1 point for a stretch in the fourth quarter. I don't know if this a mental issue with players losing sight of the game or maybe the offense becoming too predictable and defenses picking up on the Celtics' options. Whatever the case, the Celtics pulled out a thriller making all the disappointment of the SuperBowl become forgotten news... or maybe just most of it.
Barbosa might need to ice his elbow after all the
shooting he's been doing recently
Barbosa's play as of late has been nothing short of spectacular. He's provided the spark the C's need at times while also adding a scoring dimension to the bench. His offense is contagious as he always sparks an offensive outburst from the team whenever he hits one of his patented layups. He might or might not have complained about minutes before Rondo went down, but so far he's showing he deserves the minutes he's been getting. His partner Jason Terry was no slouch either as he put together a 13 point 6 assist game. He hit a clutch jumper near the end to help keep the Clippers at bay while also hitting a couple three pointers throughout the game. The final part of the bench's version of the big three, Jeff Green, scored 14 points while also playing aggressive defense on Odom and Griffin at times. His rebounding wasn't that great and his presence could have been better felt but it's a win so we'll let it slide.
Paul Pierce finally is showing signs of life and putting together some good games since his horrific stretch a couple of weeks ago. He hit the game sealing three pointer right in Matt Barnes' face which couldn't have been better for Celtics nation. All day Barnes was being a pest and throwing around some elbows and shoves so the Truth definitely sent him home with a nice little gift.
Chris Paul did sit out the game and most people might run to that excuse but the Celtics are one of those teams that you just can't use that card against. Their offense was still successful at times though, and was filled with a bunch of dunks and off balance isolation shots. The one reason I have trouble appreciating the Clippers is just that they show at times the capacity to run an offense in the half court but then always go back to the gimmick run and gun style when things go sour. It's just in their system to go for lob dunks and step back three pointers and that type of play never goes far when it counts.
The front court of Jason Collins, Kevin Gannett and Brandon Bass deserve credit for battling with the Clippers' bigs. Though they got out rebounded, the rotations were great and showed their toughness whenever the team needed a jolt. It's up to the guards to help out with the rebounding once the bigs help out with the penetration and get the stop.
The Celtics have been able to pull out a couple of wins since Rondo's injury but this week we finally get to renew basketball's greatest rivalry. People have put so much hatred into the Heat games that we might have forgotten how much we hate the Lakers as well. Kobe's going to be in town which means it's a great time for the Celtics to show the country how lethal this defense can actually be.