Tag: Paul Pierce
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.
I have to confess that I’m a big fan of the Boston Celtics. I don’t know if it’s just a matter of holding a soft spot for the underdog, or if over the last 5 years I’ve grown fond of this group of aging veterans who keep on fighting even when everybody else says they don’t have a chance. And yet, this guys keep on going, and they’ve shown that they can still deliver. Every season, the media, other teams, even some fans say they are certainly too old to keep on going strong, to actually be a force to be reckon with in the Eastern Conference.
Well, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce refuse to believe that. And with the help of a young and very talented point guard named Rajon Rondo, and under the direction of a seasoned coach, Doc Rivers, these guys want to prove they’ve still got it. And even though, at 11-9 for the season, things are not as swell as the Celtics fans would have liked, they are still there, fighting, working their way around the season.
After losing to the 76ers at Philadelphia, the Boston Celtics took on the second part of a head-to-head series when they returned last night to the Garden. Kevin Garnett guided the Celtics with 19 points and 2 assists, including 9-of-11 shooting from the floor. Jeff Green chipped in with 16 points to lead the Celtics in a 92-79 win over Philadelphia. On his pregame briefing to the press, the 76ers head coach, Doug Collins said that there was no way this veteran squad could go out to the court feeling stronger than his young players.
He went on to the trouble of making the math to estimate that Garnett had played over 50,000 minutes and Paul Pierce 48,000. He added that veteran Jason Terry had also played a large amount of minutes in his career as well. I didn’t bother to check the accuracy of Collins calculations: for all I care, the Boston Celtics went out there and proved one again that it’s not always about having the freshest legs but playing with the sharpest minds.
Rajon Rondo finished the game with only 7 points, but he had 11 assists and 9 rebounds. Certainly not the sort of performance we would expect from Rondo to follow up his first triple-double of the season. Even though he didn’t play well, he was a brilliant playmaker and that help the Celtics secure a win. The other veteran, Paul Pierce, finished the game with 13 points and 9 assists. “I love the way we responded tonight,” Pierce said. “A lot of the guys were mad for the fact we lost yesterday and we wanted to take it out on them today. We felt that was a winnable game last night and we wanted to do something about it.”
And they did. The Celtics opened up a big gap early in the game and were up by 20 points by halftime. Sure things got a bit close down in the third quarter but with a couple of uncontested scores to open up the 4th quarter, the Celtics put it away to take their 11th win of the season.
It’s a bit funny how some things work out at the end of the day. The Orlando Magic were playing at home against the veteran Boston Celtics. They were coming off a two game winning streak that was promising to turn their 5-8 season around. They were well aware of the fact that their turnovers were ultimately costing them wins and that it could be the reason why their season had been filled with rough patches. Even more, the Orlando Magic had been able to take advantage of the Celtics underperforming defense and had built up a 7-point lead halfway into the fourth quarter. The Boston Celtics defense for this game was so weak that it actually made an offensive minded player like Leandro Barbosa look as if he were a phenomenal defender.
At the end it really didn’t matter much. What the Celtics lacked in defensive prowess they made up with offensive experience, talent and down right clutch time brilliance. Rajon Rondo was just one rebound shy of recording yet another triple double in his career while Kevin Garnett finished off the match with 24 points and 10 rebounds while Paul Pierce Chipped in with 23 points to lead the Celtics into a 116-110 win in overtime over the Orlando Magic. For the better part of the fourth quarter it seemed as if the Orlando Magic would take this one. On the one hand, Jameer Nelson was putting on one heck of a show in the second half. Just for the sake of story let’s take into account that he had 17 points after the halftime break. Nelson scored the Magic’s final eight points of the third quarter, including a fade away jumper to end the period to give the Magic a two-point edge entering the fourth quarter.
And yet they gave the game away with their poor ball handling. As a matter of fact, Orlando had 19 turnovers that led to 23 Celtics’ points. That alone could had been enough to close on the gap. Paul Pierce had 14 points after halftime and had a chance to win the game with the last shot, a step back jumper as the fourth quarter expired but his shot barely missed the basket. Still, he made up for it in overtime. For a while there in OT it seemed as if the game would remain close till the last second. But the momentum went to the Celtics took a 113-108 lead on a 3-pointer by Pierce, and layup by Rondo with 1:37 left. Truth is, Rajon Rondo had a phenomenal game. He finished off the night with 15 points, 16 assists and 9 rebounds. On a personal note, this is the 37th consecutive game in which he has had 10+ assists, matching a record held by John Stockton.
J.J. Redick scored 21 points and had 2 assist for the Orlando Magic, but very little help came from the rest of his friends. He knew they blew that game up, and wasn’t apologetic about it. “We had our chances. We definitely had our chances in overtime,” Redick said in the postgame press conference. “We had a couple of bad possessions offensively. We’ll learn from that. … You can talk about experience or execution. They just executed better than us in the end.”
The Miami Heat opened up their current season playing against their conference rivals, the Boston Celtics. And this time, the whole thing had a little twist. On the one hand, the Heat were going to put op their championship banner (second for the franchise) and LeBron James would receive his first and long coveted championship ring. On the other, the Heat would come out to the court with their latest acquisitions wich included Ray Allen, the ex-Celtic and member of the Championship winning big three.
Allen spent 5 years with the Celtics. He used to be head coach’s Doc Rivers golfing partner. But the relationship went cold and considering that he had some issues in and out of the field with Rajon Rondo, he opted to leave for Miami for far less money. And the uproar has just been out of this world. Some call it treason and unprofessional. After all, he went on to play with the Celtics archrival, the team that have sent them home in the last two playoffs.
So taking this first game was of vital importance for the Miami Heat. After all, they were playing at home against a revamped Boston Celtics that included Jeff Green, who’s playing for the first time in a game that counts since January 2011 and sharp shooter Jason Terry. Sure enough Green only scored 3 points in 23 minutes and he is still far from been the productive player the Celtics need. But he’s going to get there, all he need is a little more time. Boston once again relied their play on their point guard Rajon Rondo and on the talent of veterans Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
The squad really never dominated against Miami but they managed to cut down the gap late in the third quarter. It was clear that after suffering from cramps, LeBron James wasn’t going to come back for much of the second half and the Celtics tried to build up some momentum to get back in the game. But just as they were starting to close down the gap, Chris Bosh took over and with a couple of baskets and a nice three-pointer in the last 4 minutes of the 4th quarter, he just closed the deal to guide the Heat to a 120-107 win over the Celtics.
The Heat were guided by James who, despite leaving the game early, finished his season opener with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and two steals. “It was good to cap this night off with a win,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said in the press conference. “It was an emotional time for all of us in our organization.” Ray Allen, who spent five years with the Celtics, had a brilliant night with the Heat. He finished off with 19 points and 2 rebounds. Chris Bosh, on the other hand, close his opening night with 19 points and 10 rebounds for a decent double-double. For the Celtics, Paul Pierce chipped in with 23 points, while Leandro Barbosa gave them 16. Kevin Garnett had 9 points and 12 rebounds but he made the highlights when he refused to acknowledge Ray Allen’s pregame handshake. It was classic KG! Expect big things for the rest of this series.