Archive for March 18th, 2012
The Boston Celtics don’t seem to do very well in the Mile High Stadium at Denver Colorado. As a matter of fact, the Celtics have dropped 7 of the last 8 games played on the road at Colorado and overall their performance away from home has not been great. At 7-13 away for the season, things certainly move a little smoother at the Boston Garden for the Celtics but to make this even harder, the Celtics are 6-7 on the second night of back-to-back games, and after a dismal performance against the Sacramento Kings where they loss 120-95, things didn’t seem too bright for the Celtics against the Nuggets.
Perhaps that’s exactly why the Denver Nuggets were able to open up a 17-point lead early in the third quarter. Keeping up with the brilliant performances he has been able to record on his rookie season, Kenneth Faried managed to turn things around early in the game with a very solid performance that included 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to guide the Denver Nuggets on a 98-91 win over the Boston Celtics. He was brilliant in the first quarter, recording 11 rebounds and simply outplaying most every one of the Celtics. Then again, it was his fighting for the ball at the fourth quarter that made all the difference.
Even the Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers, knew well that Faried had pulled off an amazing performance. “He outworked us, getting 11 rebounds in the first half (…) He had a rebound late in the game that was just an effort rebound where we had inside position and he outran us to the ball.” Perhaps that should had been a bit of what Rivers had wanted from his players. And it’s not as if the Celtics didn’t pull off one heck of a match. It’s just that it wasn’t enough to keep them rolling towards the end. The Celtics managed to cut down a 17-point deficit into a two-point game when Boston got their engine running in the 4th quarter. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had 22 points each for Boston. Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 16 assists.
But perhaps when the Celtics needed him more, Boston lost Paul Pierce to foul trouble and they couldn’t really work it out to take the lead in the fourth quarter. But Ty Lawson came out for the Nuggets and with a well-timed 3-pointer and an eventual layup by Faried, managed to put the game away, at least momentarily taking a 94-87 early lead. But the battle wasn’t over and the Boston Celtics were ready to give it one more shot. The Celtics struggled at the start, missing nine of their first 14 shots and were down by 7 by the end of the first quarter. But the Nuggets simply played more consistently throughout the whole game.
Denver made 5 of 9, 3-pointers, two by Gallinari. Garnett made four straight free throws to cut it to 94-91, but after forcing two missed shots, Ray Allen missed a jumper with 54 seconds left, and there was nothing left for the Celtics to turn things around.
The NBA’s incumbent MVP has been struggling with a groin injury as of recently but things have been going well for the Chicago Bulls who have managed to keep on winning games despite not counting with their franchise player. So, it really helps to have a guy as talented as Derrick Rose in your squad, but perhaps it is just as helpful to count with one heck of a backup. And the Chicago Bulls have proved to have plenty of talent left in their rooster to keep the boat afloat even when they are missing their captain. Last night, the home team came out wearing St. Patrick’s day commemorative green uniforms and thanks to a brilliant performance from C.J. Watson, who was starting for Rose, the Bulls were able to overcome an early 14-point deficit, to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 89-80 at the United Center in Chicago Illinois.
C.J. Watson was starting for the third time in a row for Rose, who this season has been struggling plenty with injuries. This is the third straight game that Rose misses and the 13th so far this season. Still, the Bulls have been able to keep on winning and at 37-10 so far this year they hold the league’s best record. And it’s not as if they have been missing him too bad either. The Bulls are 9-4 without Rose. That’s certainly one heck of a performances considering how much the team’s brightest star brings into the equation. Joakim Noah chipped in with a double-double for 13 points and 11 rebounds. Still, he was proud to outline his team’s great effort. “That was a tough team we just beat so it gives us a lot of confidence, we just need to keep it going. We are playing without our MVP so we just need to keep getting better, keep improving. It was a good bounce back game from yesterday.”
The Philadelphia76ers have been struggling a bit lately. Their performance on the road has certainly hurt their overall numbers and even though at 25-20 for the season, the 76sers dropped its third straight game and have lost seven of their last nine games on what we could call a disastrous performance on the road. Jrue Holiday guided Philadelphia with 30 points, even though he attempted 27 shots in the whole game. It sounds like a bit too much, but we have to consider that offensively Holiday was the only player putting on a fight for the 76ers. Just consider for a moment that Andre Iguodala was held to seven points and Elton Brand to 2 points and 5 rebounds.
The 76ers known very well that they weren’t putting a decent fight against the Bulls. “One of the things we struggle with is our halfcourt offense. They’re a very, very good defensive team. They got us ground down to a halfcourt game. And then I thought in the second half their size and rebounding became such a factor,” 76ers coach Doug Collins said. Chicago managed to win another game after dropping their latest match against Portland and but beating their conference rivals, the Miami Heat, one game before that.