Tag: Boston Celtics
I guess they owed it to their fans, particularly after the tragedy that has hit the city of Boston this month. Facing a 3-0 deficit in the series and what most probably would end up been a first round sweep, the Boston Celtics came out with all they had to defend their home court and force a game 5. Paul Pierce guided the Celtics efforts with a brilliant performance that included 27 points, 43 rebounds and 3 assists. Jeff Green chipped in with 26 points and 6 rebounds. Veteran center Kevin Garnet finished the night with a solid performance that included 13 points and 17 rebounds.
But it was Jason Terry, the Celtics shooting guard, still probably feels a bit of pain from the elbow to the face he got on game three from the Knicks own shooting guard J.R. Smith. He took it personally, and he made sure that the Knicks paid for that dirty shot. Terry finished the night with 18 points and 4 assists, including the final 9 points in overtime to give the Celtics a brilliant 97-90 win at home over the New York Knicks.
J.R Smith got a one-game suspension by the league, and the Knicks could have quite clearly used some of his shooting abilities last night. Carmelo Anthony, as usual, guided the Knicks effort with 36 points. It was up to Raymond Felton to cover up for the lack of Smith and he gave the Knicks another 27 points. It wasn’t, however, a good overall game. New York made just 28.9 percent of its shots in the first half as Boston took a 54-35 lead. They managed to come back in the later part of the third quarter. The team rallied from a complicated 20-point deficit to tie the game and force Boston into overtime. But that was exactly when Jason Terry got his groove on, and things started to happen for the veteran team. “It wasn’t really the elbow,” Terry said in the postgame press conference. “It was more (like) this is it. I mean, the season’s over. You can leave it all out here tonight and go home for a long summer or you can live to play another day.”
Game 5 will be played in the Madison Square Garden in New York. The Celtics are still alive, but it is a long shot for this squad to make it into the second round. The Celtics still have a huge deficit in trying to become the first team to win after trailing a series 3-0 in the NBA playoffs. Certainly the odds are not in their favor, but so is the New York Knicks’s most recent history in the playoffs. As a matter of fact, New York is trying to win their first playoff series in 13 years. J.R. Smith will be back for the next game, and it’s unclear whether that will make a huge difference overall. One thing is for sure: the Celtics are going to need another performance like this from Terry and Green in order to give both Pierce and Garnett the backup they need to keep this squad rolling.
There was really no surprise that the Celtics would have a very rough time dealing with Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Sure enough, because a series of injuries, the Miami Heat´s big three hadn’t been able to play together in a long while. That been said, considering that current situation for the Boston Celtics, not much else was expected from a team that was traveling to South Beach to face the defending champions without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who stayed in the bench resting their injuries. As if that was not enough, the Boston Celtics have had to do without the All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who´s been out for the better part of the second half of the season and will not return until next season. So yes, by no means was it a surprise that the Heat dominated the Celtics from the second quarter on to take a 109-101 win at Miami.
The Miami Heat started slow. It took them the whole first quarter to find their rhythm, their game. But soon enough, everything kicked in place and there was no stopping these guys. Miami scored 41 points in the second quarter, for the record: that their highest-scoring period of the season, in a phenomenal effort to erase what was an early 13-point lead by the Boston Celtics. LeBron James guided the Heat with 20 points and 9 assists. Rashard Lewis added 19 points coming off the bench. It was a phenomenal effort from the Heat reserves. As a matter of fact, the Heat´s reserves outscored Boston’s 52-14. Now, that sounds overwhelming, but one has to consider that quite frankly, the Heat shouldn’t get too cocky. After all, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford are by no means the Boston Celtics starters: the starting squad for Boston was already mostly reserves, so there’s that.
Chris Bosh had 17 points for Miami. So did Ray Allen coming off the bench, while Norris Cole chipped in with 12. Jeff Green guided the Boston Celtics efforts with 25 points and 8 rebounds. He was doing all that he could for this team, but the Heat were just too much for the shorthanded Celtics. Jordan Crawford added 20 points, Courtney Lee scored 18 and Brandon Bass had 17 for Boston. The Heat certainly dominated this season head-to-head regular season matchups against the Celtics, winning three of the four games they played this year. That’s not much of a surprise to be completely honest with you guys. After all, the Heat have dominated this season all around the clock. At 63-16 for the season, this team is looking very strong. They could easily end up with a 65-win season. Miami has three games left, two at home, and already has clinched home-court advantage for the entirety of the NBA playoffs.
James was quite thrilled to be able to play next to Bosh and Wade a couple more times before facing the postseason. “Felt good to get back in the lineup with the other ‘Big Two,’ ” James said. “It’s great. We’re just trying to get some more continuity, get our legs up under us.”
At 39-37 for the season, the Boston Celtics are barely holding on to the 7th place of the eastern conference. They have played all their cards and by no means is this the same team that has dominated the Atlantic Division for nearly 5 years nor is this the team that had been a force to be reckon with coming out of the East. Still, and despite losing a 97-91 game at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that is 23-52 for the season and that was coming off a 10-game losing streak, some believe that this team could actually give a surprise to one of the big teams in the postseason. But truth be said, I really don’t believe that even head coach Doc Rivers thinks that this team is going to be able to go into the Playoffs and really prove that they’ve got it.
Because quite frankly, I don’t think they´ve got it anymore. For the sake of the sport, or at least for the sake of my entertainment I hope I´m wrong and be it the Miami Heat or the New York Knicks or whoever it is they face in the first round of the NBA Playoffs this spring, they can give them a good battle, and us a good show. But going back to the Cavaliers game. It seemed as if after an awful third quarter, where Boston went 6-of-22 in the third quarter they just never got back in track. It even seemed as if they just stopped trying. As a matter of fact, they were outscored 52-38 by the Cavaliers in the paint, and to make things worse, they only completed 13 of 22 free throw attempts. “We definitely thought we had an opportunity to win the game there, but we let it slip,” Jason Terry said in the postgame press conference. Terry would finish the night with only 8 points and 4 assists. “In the second quarter, we built up momentum, and for whatever reason, we let them back in the game, sent them to the free throw line and gave them some easy baskets in transitions.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers power forward, Tristan Thompson guided the visiting team effort with 29 points and 17 rebounds. He really wanted this win. Not that it’s going to make a huge difference down the stretch. After all this team is certainly out of playoffs contention, but he just didn’t want to go down with a team that loss 11th straight, so he gave it all he’s got. He was fierce went it came down to picking up loss balls. He was a key part of the Cavaliers taking a 58-42 edge in boards, while his seven offensive rebounds was just 3 shy of the entire Celtics team effort. Alonso Glee chipped in with a double-double, ending the night 16 points and 10 rebounds. Wayne Ellington scored 12 points and Kyrie Irving added 11 points for Cleveland in his third game back since missing eight with a sprained shoulder.
The Celtics were playing without Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, both player are recovering from injuries. Jeff Green guided the Celtics with 23 points and 9 rebounds, while Shavlik Randolph had 16 points before fouling out with 6:57 left in the fourth. Brandon Bass scored 12 and Avery Bradley had 10 points for Boston.
I might be a little biased towards the Boston Celtics. I guess that I have a soft spot for the underdog and this squad’s dynamics are certainly entertaining. On the one hand, this team is guided by the experience and charisma of two veterans such as Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. It really is a shame that they couldn’t make things work and Ray Allen left for Miami Heat at the beginning of this season. Anyhow, this veteran squad was fueled by the youth and acrobatic style of the All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who had to undergo reconstructive surgery on his ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. Despite losing their point guard, the Celtics relied on a quite inexperienced and young Avery Bradley who came up to fill in Rondo’s shoes and so far has been nothing short of great. At 34-27 for the season, there is certainly plenty of space for improvement still for this squad, but I feel that despite all the hardships, this squad could very well make some noise in the postseason.
But winning this game at the Boston Garden over the Atlanta Hawks didn’t come easy. On the one hand, the Celtics were able to hold their ground for the better part of the game, yet in the last quarter, they got a bit messy, sloppy if you will, with the ball handling and the Falcons reacted and managed to open turn around a 12-point deficit with little over 6 seconds to go in the last quarter, and forced the Celtics into overtime. And it wasn’t an easy for Boston once we got there. The Celtics had to go into overdrive mode and relied heavily on their fine-tuned shooting behind the arc to take a 107-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Jason Terry would score the go-ahead three pointer in overtime while both Paul Pierce and Jeff Green all shot three-pointers in OT to take this important win at home. But ultimately it was their defense who held the ground and by keeping the Hawks scoreless from the field in the last 2:14 of the game they were able to open up the gap. Paul Pierce finshed the game with 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Kevin Garnett chipped in with 17 points and 8 assists and Jason Terry scored 19 points coming off the bench. Just to give you an idea how dominant the Celtics secondary was over the Hawks, Terry alone scored 11 more points than the rest of the Atlanta Hawks reserves alone.
“We just continue to fight. In the stretch run of the season, every game is crucial,” Pierce said in the postgame press conference. “Between the fourth and eight spot, it’s a difference between 1 or 2 games so all these games are big and we understand the sense of urgency.” It was a good game by the Hawks. Don’t get me wrong, these guys finished the nigh with good number. For instance, Josh Smith scored 32 points and Jeff Teague had 26 points and nine assists. They even managed to outscore the Celtics 48-32 in the paint. And yet, two very costly turnovers by Smith in the last 60 seconds of the game would be too much for this crew.