In a possible NBA Finals preview the Celtics played just well enough to squeeze out a 91-83 victory last night in San Antonio. Anytime you can win a road game against one of the West elite teams it is a big win. Though the Celtics didn't play their best, it is the sign of a championship team when you can win ugly on the road.

Whenever KG and Duncan play against one another it always makes me think "what if." What if Garnett had the kind of supporting cast Duncan had over the last decade? Would he have had two or three more rings and Duncan two or three fewer? I think both of them are clearly two of the top 3 or 4 power forwards of all time, and it is always a joy to watch them face off against one another.

KG was the winner in this battle, continuing his torrid shooting and scoring 20 points. The Celtics were passing the ball well for the most part, but only Garnett was able to get in any kind of shooting rhythm. Rasheed had a couple of big threes, and actually got to the free throw line three times in the first half. However, he followed that up with a couple of ill advised threes that made me cringe. Rondo played outstanding defense on Tony Parker and racked up another double-double with 12 points and 12 assists. Ray Allen had a pretty solid game, but continues to struggle from the 3 point line. Perk also had a good game, but I thought he needed more touches inside. The guy is shooting over 80% during this win streak, and deserves more than 7 shots.
There were several negatives I took out of this game. The Celtics continue to struggle on the boards and did a terrible job of boxing out. Dajuan Blair is a great young player, but he is not Moses Malone. He has no business dominating down low like he did.
In addition, Doc continues to confuse me with his substitutions. As much as I love Scal, he has no business playing over Sheldon Williams in a game where rebounds are at a premium. The Captain's continued struggles concern me a little bit as well. On one hand, it is great to know the Celtics can win without Pierce playing at his best, but on the other hand, we need him to step up and be our superstar in games like this.

I think the Celtics got lucky that the Spurs were so porous from both the three point and free throw line. The turnovers also cost the Spurs, but I think that was also a product of a much improved Celtics defense. All in all it was a solid win for the Celtics, but they still have a lot to improve on. Tonight's game against the Thunder could be dangerous for them. We have seen how Boston can be vulnerable to young athletic teams, and it is the second night of a back to back. Let's hope they can close out this road trip undefeated!

Karl Dillinger 12/04/2009 10:30:00 AM Edit
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5 Responses so far.

  1. tb727 says:

    If there were 5 more minutes in this game, I think the Celts would've lost.

    Garnett's looking EXCELLENT- if he plays this way for the rest of the season I don't think the Celtics can be beat in a 7 game series.

  2. Three Toe says:

    These type of games, against formidable opponents create big problems when they are the first in a back-to-back. Like you said, the thunder may be a serious threat when our starters had to play a lot of minutes last night.

    or we might destroy them.

  3. tb727 says:

    Wait wasn't Blair drafted this past season? Boston only had the Hudson pick right?

  4. ya you are right TB, I just edited that part out. I wonder if the Celtics would've taken him if they had an early second round pick.

  5. ThomasJ says:

    Karl great points on KG/Duncan. Being in Minnesota through Garnett's time here I have always argued the same points. Not taking anything away from TD but if he played his career in Minny with same rosters KG did, he would have exactly 0 championships and would he still be the greatest PF in alot of peoples minds?

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