This game was not pretty. Nor did it convince anyone that they are on track to turn it around. Or maybe it’s just me. The Celtics won this game barely in Cleveland 86-83. They lacked aggression and let an early double digit evaporate into a struggle. However, as Boston fans remind people, a win is a win.
Boston was able to allow my law of basketball to stay true. The law is that the team who makes more baskets will win the game. Sometimes this doesn’t happen and we can look at free throw attempts. Once in a while it can be because of a three-point craze, but very rarely. Tonight the Cavaliers got to the free throw line enough to keep them in this game. The points off turnovers were another factor.
Rajon Rondo returned to the line up but had a dismal game with zero points, 11 assists and five turnovers. The team had a total of 18 turnovers. Those turnovers turned into twenty points for the home team. Cleveland was able to win the battle on the glass but more importantly they had double digit steals and five blocks.
The Celtics are no better or worse off then before the break where they lost 5 of their last 6. Outside of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnet, the Celtics had a forgettable performance. Brandon Bass returned from resting a sore knee to start in place of Jermaine O’Neal. All this game did in my opinion was confirm that they do not stand a chance against the top teams in the league for seven games.
Watching this offense stand around tonight was hard to swallow. Too many possessions resulted in no passes, which was never an issue with the Celtics. Rajon did not assert himself well and had no confidence in his shot. Paul Pierce continues to play below average. This offense needs a new playmaker to be effective.
Outside of winning the game, the next best thing tonight for the Celtics was Garnett’s continuing embarrassing of Antawn Jamison. Kevin held Jamison to 4 of 15 shooting while putting 18 points on him on the other end. It is a shame that this good season of Garnett is being wasted by the inconsistency of Pierce, the injuries to the bench and bigs, the suspension and the lack of an identity so far.
As we mentioned early, a win is a win is a win. On to the next one.