K. Irving, M. Harris, J. Graham, A. Jamison, A. Varejao
R. Rondo, R. Allen, P. Pierce, K. Garnett, J. O'Neal
Well here it is everybody, the home opener. After last season's heart wrenching defeat to The Heat it's was exciting to get out to Boston and see the squad go at it again. As much as I wanted him gone, It was wierd not seeing Glen Davis with this Celtic team... but sometimes you get what you ask for.
Right out of the gate Cleveland threw out surprises. Young Kyrie Irving got the start over veteran PG Baron Davis, this team will be Kyrie's so I understand giving the keys to the youngster, but there's no way throwing the kid out there against Rondo is a good idea. Let's get right to the game.
The Celtics start off the season with a nice defensive possession. On the other end of the floor Rondo isolates against Joey Graham but RR can't get buy him, Pierce gets the ball with 5 seconds left, isolates, scores. Decent start to the season.
The Cavaliers relied heavily on isolation, Irving seems to struggle with the team offense but got off to a nice shooting night individually on 2-3 shooting. Antawn Jamison was just the opposite, Cleveland looked to get him involved early but the veteran PF just couldn't get it going.
First substitutions were made with 5:00 remaining. Rookie Jajuan Johnson replaces Jermaine O'Neal for Boston. Baron Davis and Tristan Thompson replace Manny Harris and Anderson Varejao for Cleveland.
Cavs go small with Baron Davis at the shooting guard, Baron nails his first shot. In response rookie Jajuan Johnson hits a nice 18 baseline jumper to beat the shot clock.
Nice sign from KG with an offensive rebound and lay in off the missed Paul Pierce three pointer in transition. Celtics lead 16-11 with 10 minutes down. Cavalier timeout.
Manny Harris and Anderson Varejao come in for the rookies, Baron moves to point guard. Jermaine O'Neal, Jeff Green, and Delonte sub out Jajuan Johnson, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce for the Celtics. Jajuan looked nice out there for his first NBA action, the veterans seemed to be crashing the boards while he was out there but he did hit go 1 for 1 from the field.
Jermaine O'Neal with a nice block in transition, Rondo throws it long for West who scores in traffic. Cleveland comes back and posts Jamison on Jeff Green (both apparently playing SF), Antawn gets his first 2 points on a nice up and under.
End of the 1st Quarter. 20-15 Boston.
Kevin Garnett is leading the way for Boston with 8pts, 3reb going 4-4 from the field in the first half. Pierce is strugging offensive going only 1-5 but seems to be ultra aggressive on the boards (5 reb) to make up for it. Rajon had 4 assist in the 1st quarter.
Despite only playing 6 minutes Baron Davis scored 5 points on 5 shots. Celtics are shooting 56% compared to Cleveland's 35% but have kept The Cavaliers in it because of offensive rebounds and turnovers.
Start of the 2nd Quarter.
Celtics come out with West, Allen, Green, Johnson, and O'Neal. Ray Allen misses a midrange jumper but the rookie comes down with the off. rebound, he goes right back up only to get blocked Glen Davis style (by the whole team).
The pace quickened with Delonte and Baron running the show, Cleveland scores 2 straight buckets to put the score at 20-19.
Jajuan Johnson looses the ball on a jab step, steals it back in transition and throws it to Delonte for the 2 points. Celtics get lucky there, but nothing is going right in this 2nd quarter. Timeout Doc Rivers.
Rondo, Pierce, and Allen come in for West, Johnson, and O'Neal. Celtics now have that James Posey type small lineup with Green at the 4 and KG at the 5. Lot of scoring right now.
Cleveland responds by subbing in Irving, Thompson, and Graham.
KG immediately posts up Varejao for 2 points. Irving tries to isolate against Pierce but jacks up a brick. Rajon Rondo get's some cheers from the fans when he the corner off a KG pick and pulls up in the bigs' face... that was new.
Halfway through the 2nd Quarter and these teams look like polar opposites. The Cavs have had 2 straight possessions where the ball never moves and Irving gets forced into a panicked three pointer. On the other side Rondo is running the offense like a machine, looks like he's showing the young 1st overall pick that he's still got a bit to learn. Timeout Cleveland.
Celtics sub in O'Neal for Ray Allen, Pierce is now at the 2 with Green at the 3. Cleveland bring in Sessions and Jamison for Varejao and Manny Harris. Session s immediately takes over the show, he misses the jumper buck the rookie Thompson is there for the monster putback.
Boston is starting to dominate the boards, Rondo hits a wide open elbow jumper as the shot clock expires to give them a 32-23 lead. Timeout Cleveland.
Paul Pierce is looking pretty back right now, he is just 1-8 from the floor with 3 turnovers, he's starting to look really frustrated. Boston subs out KG, Green, and O'Neal with Ray Allen, Jajuan Johnson, and Sasha Pavlovic.
Ray Allen immediately gets a steal in transition, nobody stops the ball so he backs down Irving and gets the easy lay in. Cleveland brings it down for the last shot of the quarter, they miss it. Halftime.
Garnett is having one of those games, he nowhas 12pts, 5reb, 2stl, and hasn't missed a single shot. Paul Pierce on the other hand needs to get it going offensively. Varejao is easily Cleveland's best player right now, but he can't do it all... still he has 6reb, 1stl, and 2 blocks. Cleveland is once again lucky to only be down by 7. Boston's FG% has fallen down to 43% and The Cavs are up to 36%. If Boston can get the ball down low and take care of the ball they have this game.
Start of the third Quarter.
Pierce starts off the 2nd half right with a three pointer off the Rondo assist, Celtics lead by 10. The Cavs show they still have some fight with two straight baskets from Irving and Jamison. Boston needs to buckle down on defense. Rivers calls a timeout to fix things.
Just like that Ray Allen hits a three, Cavs call a timeout down 46-36.
Jamison scores off a broken play but Rondo gets the inbound and throws it over the top to Garnett... dunk and the foul, three point play. Boston is up by 11 but it's still a back and forth game, ANY defense would turn this into a blowout.
Paul Pierce lowers his head to draw the foul, makes two free throws. Baron Davis checks in for CLE, Jajuan Johnson replaces J.O. for Boston.
The Cavs look so much better with Davis in the game, i wouldn't be surprised if a he's put into the starting lineup, Irving has played okay but the team offense struggles with the rookie running it.
With 1:46 left in the quarter both teams insert the benches. With the game still close the starters will have to close out this game. Boston is up 58-49 but should be up by double.
Paul Pierce works off the Jeff Green pick and finds Delonte West WIDE open in the corner for three. The Captain really does give the game what it needs. Manny Harris comes back with an impressive contact layup. Delonte closes the quarter by blowing right by Baron Davis. Celtics up 63-52.
Start of the 4th Quarter.
Celtics rolling with Rondo, West, Green, Garnett, and O'Neal. Jeff Green comes on the screen mean and makes it a 13 point game. Jeff has been quiet, he needs to be much more aggressive with Glen Davis gone.
Tristan Thompson is fouled but misses both at the stripe. Rondo is blocked on the drive but gets it right back, posts up Boon Dizzle and hits a pretty lefty hook.
Avery Bradley in for Rajon Rondo after Jermaine O'Neal is hit with the offensive 3 seconds. The 2nd year PG is immediately caught in a mismatch by Joe Graham in the post, Avery forces a miss but Varejao gets the rebound and dunks it... and 1. Looks like a sign of life with the lead down to 10. Pierce stomps the throat with 7 straight points.
After a moving pick by Jamison The Celtics put back in Rondo and KG. With The Celtics already up by 12 this good be the end for Cleveland. 5 minutes left. Paul Pierce hits and Antoine Walker deep three to beat the buzzer and Boston is up 77-62.
The Celtics allow a wide open three after a few bad shots from Rondo. Timeout Doc Rivers. This is what a coach could do in this situation, but there is not threat with Boston up 77-65.
Baron Davis is taking hero shots on one end while Pierce works off screens for open looks. The Captain's rough start is a distant memory. Rondo holds the ball with 9 seconds left. Boston wins 79-69.
Paul Pierce wins the player of the game, with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Few players are better when it comes to making second half adjustments.
Here's The Celtics' Boxscore:
Pierce- 40min, 19pts, 10reb, 3ast, 1stl, 1blk, 3to, 7-16(fg), 3-6(3pt), 2-2(ft)
Garnett- 38min,17pts, 14reb, 0ast, 2stl, 0blk, 1to, 8-13(fg), 0-0(3pt), 1-1(ft)
Allen- 36min, 16pts, 3reb, 3ast, 1stl, 0blk, 0to, 6-15(fg), 2-6(3pt), 2-2(ft)
Rondo- 40min, 10pts, 4reb, 9ast, 0stl, 1blk, 3to, 5-14(fg), 0-0(3pt), 0-0(ft)
West- 15min, 9pts, 1reb, 1ast, 1stl, 0blk, 1to, 4-4(fg), 1-1(3pt), 0-0(ft)
Johnson- 12min, 4pts, 3reb, 1ast, 0stl, 1blk, 1to, 2-5(fg), 0-0(3pt), 0-0(ft)
Green- 24min, 2pts, 3reb, 0ast, 0stl, 0blk, 0to, 1-5(fg), 0-2(3pt), 0-0(ft)
O'Neal- 34min, 2pts, 7reb, 1ast, 1stl, 2blk, 2to, 0-0(fg), 0-0(3pt), 2-2(ft)
Bradley- 3min, 0pts, 0reb, 1ast, 0stl, 0blk, 0to, 0-0(fg), 0-0(3pt), 0-0(ft) Jesse Dampolo 11/02/2011 11:00:00 PM Tweet