The Celtics defense was on full display tonight as they used their strength to break out a come from behind victory over the Orlando Magic 91-83. Boston over came a 27 point deficit in the second half led by Paul Pierce and rookie E’Twaun Moore whose three point shooting helped propel the Celtics.
This is the second game in as many games against the Orlando Magic for the Boston Celtics. Coming off their best defensive performance, which speaks volumes because Rajon Rondo was not playing, the Celtics will be without Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen again. Rajon Rondo is resting that sore right wrist and Ray Allen is home expecting a newborn with his wife in Boston.
Going back to Rajon, the amount of games he has missed due to a sore wrist is bringing up thoughts of Kevin Garnett in 2009. The medical staff kept saying that he would be back any time soon. Well KG didn’t come back for a while but when he did, he got hurt again. We later found out it was a serious injury that needed surgery. Could there be something more serious with Rondo’s wrist? Or are they just being cautious?
This was not the start the Celtics wanted. The first quarter was a miserable one with seven turnovers and a 16 point deficit. They do not appear to be coming off three days rest as they look sluggish and slow. Marquis Daniels has been awful off the bench with two turnovers. Pierce and Brandon Bass combine for 1-8 in shooting settling for contested jump shots. The Celtics need to start moving the basketball and attacking the basket, especially since Dwight Howard has been on the bench with two early fouls.
The Celtics struggle early on in this game being out rebounded by Orlando so far 23 to 10. Doc Rivers has picked up a technical as this game has been poorly officiated with Dwight getting two early fouls and not calling easy calls such as traveling and offensive goaltending. The Celtics seem to be throwing in the white flag already as they seem both physically and mentally beat. Paul Pierce has not got into his rhythm yet.
Uninspired first half basketball is what we received tonight. Boston only had one steal and three fast break points. Laziness on defense was their Achilles heel in this game, which put the team in foul trouble on a night they are short on the bench with three starters out. Orlando has been the exact opposite of the Celtics as they are revenging the embarrassing loss in Boston.
Avery Bradley has picked up the effort in the third quarter both offensively and defensively. This is when coaching is evident as Doc must have given the kid some advice to help him be more effective in the second half. Bradley’s defense has frustrated Jameer enough to pull himself from the remaining of the third quarter with a big lead.
Boston’s 17-7 run in the last five minutes of the game has cut the lead to 11 points heading into the final quarter. The effort increased resulted in defensive stops. The ball movement was on display in the third quarter with more action on the offensive end with cutters and slashes moving vigorously.
The run hasn’t stopped as Boston now has 32-8 run and have taken the lead for the first time in this game. Boston has been phenomenal defensively forcing turnovers, diving for loose balls and blocking shots. Their 15 -3 run in the fourth quarter has highlighted their defense, with Orlando unable to make their first basket until 5:56 left in the quarter, a whole 6:02 without a made field goal. They have been the beneficiaries of calls, as the Celtics are now in the penalty the rest of the game.
Orlando was unable to gain any momentum back as they argue with the officials resulting in numerous technical fouls. Boston continues to fight to hold this lead as they have snuck out a win after being down 27 points at one point. E’Twaun Moore had his break out game going 4-4 from three point range with 16 total points. Fantastic win for the Celtics as they battle the Indiana Pacers in Boston tomorrow night.
Jacob Noble 1/26/2012 10:53:00 PM Tweet