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Talk about a "tale of two halfs". The first half of tonight's game between the Celtics and Cavaliers was a polar opposite from the second half. The energy displayed by the team right out of the gate was just so good to watch, especially playing against the number one team in the Eastern Conference. We haven't seen too much of that kind of confident play since the beginning of the season. The first quarter was all about Rondo, as he scored 8 of the first 10 points for the C's in just the first four minutes. For the first half of that quarter, every bucket had been touched by Rondo either by sinking it himself, or with an assist. Boston came out on all cylinders tonight, and it certainly seemed they were headed for a win. They were up by ten at the end of the first quarter, Celtics 31, Cleveland 21.

Yes, no lead is a comfortable one, but this felt different...

Second quarter, the C's came out still on fire, with Rasheed, Nate Robinson, and Ray all sinking three's within the first two minutes. Not that Cleveland didn't have some great possessions of their own, especially for Anderson Varejao who was consistent all night and came up big for the Cavs when they needed it. By the end of the first half, Boston was up by eight, 56-48. The Boston fans showed their appreciation for the excellent effort the Celtics were putting forth with a standing ovation nearing the end of the half.


Now for some random thoughts on the rest of the game and a few other things:

  • Ray Allen offered another stellar performance, sinking four from downtown and contributing consistently yet again.
  • Cleveland managed to eek out this win despite Shaq's "significant, severe sprain" to his right thumb. I repeat, he suffered a "significant, severe, sprain" to his thumb.
  • Glen Davis - if he wants the "BIG BABY" moniker to go away, I suggest he leave his pacifier in during play, and remove it when the whistle blows like the other professionals do.
  • Third quarter: Celtics lead is now down to one point, 74-73.
  • During a time out in the fourth quarter, Doc speaks the truth: "we need a lift/we're flat/we need to get our pace back"... it didn't happen.
  • Why was Rondo shooting from downtown when we really needed each bucket to count?
  • Cleveland sinks a lot of threes. Mo Williams was HOT as far as that goes.
  • Perk - what a class act - he takes the high road and doesn't get into a scuffle when LeBron James gives him a shove after Perk barely touched his arm, followed by a bigger shove from Varejao. James was given a personal foul for that, and Varejao a technichal, called just as it should have been.
  • The energy that belonged to Boston and Rajon in particular was passed on to JJ Hickson of Cleveland in the final quarter. He was everywhere.
  • Rajon Rondo slowed down the play to a near stop at the end of both the first and second quarter, and we were unable to score either time. He really has to stop that...
  • As for Rondo's scoring tonight: 12 points at the end of 1st quarter. 14 points end of 2nd. Add 5 more for the rest of the game.
So Boston loses at home, by twenty points. We really could have had this game. Especially with the previously mentioned significant, severe, sprain.


Margaret 2/25/2010 10:50:00 PM Edit
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9 Responses so far.

  1. tb727 says:

    Anyone who thinks there's a shot in hell of the Celtics winning it this year is sadly mistaken. I wisely shut this off going into the 4th quarter. That's right, I didn't watch one second of the 4th quarter. You see I didn't need to. Boston had their double digit lead which is the kiss of death this season. As soon as it was trimmed to 1 going into the 4th it was game over.

    They should've been up WAY more when they were shooting 60% from the field instead of the 8-10 that they lead by throughout.

    Rondo turned into Isaiah Thomas in the first half (which he needs to for the Celtics to hang with the big boys anymore). It's unfortunate he's playing alongside PJ Brown and Sam Perkins (you may know them as Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace). He doesn't have enough help now. Kudos to Marquis for giving it a go.

    If the Celtics had acquired Butler and Haywood for Ray Allen (not picking on Ray at all as he's actually playing well but his contract was the only practical one to deal) and then Eddie House and Shelden Williams (or a similar combination) for Tyrus Thomas then the Celtics may have had a chance this year. Their lack of athleticism is glaring. Ray getting bought out would've been the icing on the cake.

    But none of that happened. And now we can all expect the Celtics at the best to make the Eastern Conference Finals. Here's hoping Cleveland will have enough to beat the Flakers. I'm confident Jamison is the guy talent-wise that can do that for them. Maybe even the Mavericks can knock off the Flakers first. I'm cheering for Dallas to win it all because they have a better shot than our beloved Celtics at this point.

    Another great recap btw Margaret.

  2. JR says:

    Really like your recaps Margaret.

    Most troubling thing of the night was Reggie commenting on KG's knee and guys blowing by him.

    Cavs looked much better with Hickson and without Shaq. Made them more athletic and harder for the C's to guard.

    p.s. Sam Perkins hit his 3's ;)

  3. ACF says:

    Good work, Margaret.

    How can a group of players play this well in the first half and then so sh*tty in the second?! It really is beyond me. We need to add some kind of mental toughness coach to get us through the second half of games or we should call Stern and ask him if we can change the game, so that the first half of a b-ball game will consist of three quarters instead of two. Maybe then the leads we've been building throughout will be big enough for us to hold on in the final period. I still believe we have a shot at # 18 but we have to have our health and then play for FOUR quarters. End of story, really.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It was really the best first quarter o half I´ve seen a long time of the Celtics. They were great, full of energy, focus and precision. But what was the rest of the game? Mental/physicaly illness. A lot of shots from distance, a lot of points not made in the paint. Where was the hunger of our Celtics team? I still keep the faith but I would´nt bet a lot of money that they got it this year (less of the next years).

    Seba from Chile

  5. Margaret says:

    Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it. I woke up this morning STILL annoyed with the game...

  6. Bohemian says:

    I was thinking that maybe Doc could shake the lineups a little. I think the problem with Sheed must be that he's never been a backup in his entire life, maybe he is not adjusting well to his role as bench player. Think about it, when KG was out he played really consistent basketball for 30 min or so and we won games. What if we put Sheed+Perk or Sheed+KG? Davis and Sheed coming off the bench are not working well together.

    KG and Sheed are vets that could motivate each other when playing together and Perk could motivate Davis coming off the bench. Last year they did a pretty good job in the playoffs...thoughts?

  7. Bohemian says:

    And please, enough with the Rondo+Nate experiment, Doc! We signed Nate to back up Rajon, remember?? Give Rajon some rest when he needs it and let Nate play the PG for 12-15 min

  8. Bohemian says:

    Also (sorry for the multiple posts) I think that Tony and Marquis shouldn't be playing together for long stretches. In a sense, they do similar things, and none of them are shooters. I think it's better to play any of them with Scal (that at least can eventually score from the 3 point line) than letting both step on each other's feet.

    I still believe this team needs another shooter and some upgrade over Davis (by the way, WTHHT Shelden Willims, Doc????)

  9. Bohemian says:

    And also Danny should work on something on Monday with the players waived such as Ilgauskas, Battie for a little big man help Simmons and Hughes as a forward from the bench who can score and defend. Danny, you missed at the trade deadline, now get some help for this team, please

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