On Monday night the Celtics were in Charlotte for their second of back-to-back games. The Celtics extended their win streak to 7 on Sunday in a triple overtime victory against the Nuggets. Looking ahead many saw this game as an easy win but that changed drastically after the three overtime game Sunday. The Celtics ran out of gas in the fourth and fell victim to the trap game 94-91.
The Bobcats came into the night on a seven game losing streak with a record of just 12-39 this season. This was certainly a game the team should have won. You could even say the Bobcats stole this victory as the Celtics led the entire night. Surprisingly the Celtics came out of the game hard and didn't look too fatigued from their triple overtime victory. However, in the final two minutes of the game the Celtics clung to a four point lead but went 0-6 and remained scoreless in the final 2:10 of the game.
Boston Celtics' Jeff Green (8) dunks over Charlotte Bobcats' Jeff Adrien (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
On Sunday the Celtics were led by their core veterans in Pierce, Garnett, and Jason Terry off the bench. Tonight the team was once again was led by their veterans but got a huge contribution from Jeff Green. Kevin Garnett looked good coming off a tough night consistently hitting his trademark fade away jumpers when it mattered most. He scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 29 minutes of play.
Paul Pierce continues to play well in his new role as a facilitator in the offensive. He had a rough shooting night going just 4-12 but finished with a stat line of 13 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds. An interesting side note to keep in mind is Pierce's All-Star snub. Paul was not voted into this years All-Star game but since then has elevated his game to another level. In a recent development Joakim Noah may miss the All-Star game due to injury which would likely open a chance for Pierce to take his spot. There's certainly no guarantee and I'm sure Noah would like to partake in the festivities as it is his first appearance. However if the opportunity does present itself you can bet Pierce will be considered as one of the top replacements.
The biggest contribution tonight came from Jeff Green. Jeff has really been in a groove lately, finally looking like he found comfort and a role on this team. In the month of February he has seen increased time to 30 MPG and is backing it up with a stat-line of 15 points, 3.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.8 BPG. This was nothing but the same consistency as Green scored 18 points on 5-8 shooting, 7-7 from the line with 4 rebounds.
Charlotte Bobcats' Kemba Walker, front, drives past Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett, rear, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
While we started with the good news on the night there is also very bad news. The Celtics may have lost more than just the game as Leandro Barbosa went down with what initial reports say is a knee injury that Doc said was "not good". Barbosa drove to the rim hard attempted to stop short and looked to strain his leg or knee muscle. At this point we can only hope that it's nothing serious but Barbosa did have to be carried off the court and back to the locker room.
Then, in the post game interviews KG also said "We're dropping like flies. We heard it when we came in." Put in context it seems as if they speculate it may be another season ending injury but the Celtics haven't released any official statements. Barbosa was seen leaving the locker room walking under his own will and will undergo an MRI on Tuesday. Since Rondo's season ending injury Barbosa has made a huge contribution, especially with the ball handling responsibility. This is another huge blow to an already depleted roster and may force Danny Ainge to seek a trade to gain depth or pick up a veteran off free agency.
The Celtics will return home tonight and face the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at the TD Garden. This will be the final game for the team before going into the All-Star break. Keep it with Celtics Green as we'll have any new reports of Barbosa's injury status.