Let's start with bad news. The first quarter was a fluke. Randy Wittman and his assistants still have to gel together as a coaching staff and they take a little longer to get into the game. They did so in second quarter and outscored the Celts 30-23. Most damage was done inside the paint. Celtics did better job defending the three point line in the first half but Bass and Sullinger weren't able to slow down the lowly, lowly Wizards' post players (resulting in 19 pts between Booker and Seraphin). Celtics bench went AWOL in the season opener and hasn't really came back yet. Jeff Green managed stacking up second worst +/- on the team, -6, second only to Leandro Barbosa with -8. Rondo gave the rest of the league a reason to have a stroke by hitting back to back threes. Good news from the first half is Big 3 finally playing like the Big 3 they are, splitting 30 of 49 pts among themselves and Sullinger, who was a factor on offense and rebounded well, even though his D needs a lot of work with KG. Tommy Heinsohn had a thing or two to say about the fouls called on the rookie from Ohio state but the truth is he needs to do more preventive work on defense.
Impressive start to the second half with Brandon Bass replacing Sullinger on the floor with the starters, Bass had a solo fast break dunk over three Wizards. Celtics hit a couple of mid to long range shots, holding the lead just above double digit margin. Still the defense doesn't look like one that would withstand a better offensive team than Washington is without it's two biggest stars in Wall and Nene. By the end of the 3rd Celtics starters seemed to lose their legs underneath them, missing a bunch of open jumpers. Rondo got some fresh players from the bench in Wilcox, Green and Terry. That opened a big hole in the paint for the Celtics and Wizards used it to get the lead back down to 7. Wizards get the game to 2 points against a funny lineup with Sully, Bass, Green, Terry and Rondo but the third ends with Green hitting Duncan's patented bank shot.
Terry seems unable to hit a barn door with a banana so far with Lee not shooting much better. Jeff Green fouls Crawford in a way you just have to love, even though Crawford seems to twist an ankle and hobbles out of the arena. Again the Celts are able to get the margin up to double digits with KG on the floor, playing a bigger lineup. The team shows that if locked in, Wizards would have no business keeping close. Celtics are just too good, even if they don't feel the necessity to show us. Celtics offense loses breath again by the end of the quarter. With one and a half minute to go, The Truth captured the lead with what turned out to be the game winning three pointer. Ugly ending to an ugly game, but a win is a win, no matter what the whiners will tell you.
Paul Pierce was the best scorer with 27, followed by KG, Rondo and Green with 15/12/11 points. Wizards have been held in the game by Seraphin and Crawford, who scored 19 and 21 points respectively. More amazingly, those guys managed to have the best +/- in the game with +17. No Celtic had a better result.
(Thanks Jenda for the recap) JR 11/03/2012 09:38:00 PM Tweet Edit