Boston started off slow, scoring only scored 15 points in the 1st quarter, but still managed to only be down 1 at the end of the quarter. They stayed in the game with outstanding rebounding and old school Celtic defense which has been few and far between lately.
Both teams continued to struggle in the 2nd quarter until the Celtics started rolling on the heels of a Paul Pierce's 4 point play. The roll continued with some of the best defense the Celtics have played all year.
Rondo and Pierce were hitting, finishing with 12 and 10 respectively in the half. Left off in the less than stellar start for the Celtics this year is the improvement of Rondo's jumper. He needs to shoot more and be more aggressive for us to have a shot this year.
This was the best first half the Celtics have played in awhile, and certainly since Christmas. Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett all played well per usual, but they also got good contributions from Sullinger, Lee, and Bradley. For the Pacers, only Hansborough did anything of note. The Celtics played lock down defense and the Pacers helped by playing like the NBA players from Space Jam.
In the second half the Celtics started off hot pushing the lead to 16. Rondo was driving to the basket at will. The Pacers missed just about every 15-18 footer they took, but it was also the aggressive Celtics defense that caused it. DJ Augustine might be the worst player in the league that gets serious minutes. Avery Bradley made him his bitch. That behind the back pass directly to Bradley was a thing of horror, or beauty if you are a Celtics fan. At the end of the 3rd the Celtics had an 18 point lead.
The 4th quarter was much of the same. The flagrant 2 on KG was questionable, but probably the right call though Tommy sure didn't think so(shocker). Hansborough was a Tarheel which means I'll always love the guy, but I'd hate playing against him. I can only imagine what KG says to him during the game.
This was the best defensive or at least one of the best defensive efforts of the year for the Celtics. Granted the Pacers are not an offensive juggernaut, but they are a solid playoff team, and this was a really solid win. The stars of the game were Rondo with 18 points and 7 assists and Garnett with 18 and 7 rebounds. Pierce also had a nice, efficient evening with 13 points and 6 rebounds. More importantly, Sullinger, Bradley, Bass and Lee played well, especially on the defensive side. I liked Lee and Bradley on the court at the same time. Just incredible quickness and defensive pressure.
Overall a good win for the Celtics, but it is all about the consistency with this team. We will see if they can keep it up. Next game tomorrow night in Atlanta. Also, look out for my audition video for the Scallenge. I'm the 17,000th best basketball player that will submit a video, but no one has red hair and likes Scal more than me.
Karl Dillinger 1/04/2013 10:32:00 PM Tweet