|03.10.10 at 9:28 pm ET|
The best thing the Celtics can say about the third quarter is they scored 30 points after scoring just 33 the previous 24 minutes. The problem is they’re not stopping Memphis, who maintained their comfortable lead at 82-63 heading into the fourth.
Earlier in the quarter, the Celtics went on a 9-0 run to cut the Memphis lead from 21 to 12 but the Celtics could get no closer.
The Celtics are still getting hammered on the glass (40-23) while shooting only marginally better in the third quarter, raising their percentage to 42 for the game.
Rondo had seven points in the quarter and leads the Green with 16. A pair of former UConn Huskies are making their presence known. Rudy Gay has a game-high 17 after three and Marcus Williams hit a key 3-pointer and leads the Grizzlies bench with 10.
|03.10.10 at 8:45 pm ET|
The Celtics continued to play like a team that was exhausted from playing halfway across the country 24 hours earlier. The TD Garden didn’t take any sympathy on them, as they showered them with boos coming off the court.
Memphis took a 55-33 lead to the locker room, matching their largest advantage of the game. One fan even urged Kevin Garnett to “Wake up!” as Garnett missed all three shots and finished with no points in 16 minutes. But that plea could go for the entire team, which allowed Memphis to make 53.3 percent of their shots while shooting just 39 percent themselves.
But in a game where the younger Grizzlies are clearly showing their superior energy, the biggest margin is on the glass where Memphis is doubling up Boston, 28-14.
The 33 points is a low for the Celtics in the first half this season and the 22-point hole is their biggest at halftime this season.
As the Celtics continued to struggle, looking for any spark at all, coach Doc Rivers stayed with his second unit for the first six minutes of the second quarter.
|03.10.10 at 8:10 pm ET|
The Celtics scored 12 points in the first quarter … the entire first quarter.
The C’s shot a meager 25 percent from the floor and were outscored 27-12 by the Grizzlies, who are shooting a comfortable 55 percent from the field. It is the least amount of points the Celtics have scored in the first quarter all season.
Sam Young leads all players with nine points off the Grizzlies bench. Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph have combined for another 14. Ray Allen leads the Celtics with six points, but was sidelined early with foul trouble. Michael Finley made his home debut after Allen picked up his second.
|03.10.10 at 7:15 pm ET|
Prior to Wednesday’s game with Memphis, many of the Celtics had a special motivational gift waiting for them in their lockers.
Manny Pacquiao, widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, sent several red autographed boxing gloves to the Celtics as a measure of gratitude for being bestowed an honorary member of the Celtics, according to Phillipines news report.
“There’s no message, no message,” insisted Celtics coach Doc Rivers before Wednesday’s game.
“It honestly wasn’t from me,” Rivers added. “Pacquiao is obviously a huge Celtics fan and he tried to get to our walk-through in the hotel ballroom before we played the Lakers [in Los Angeles] so he just sent that to us. That’s nice. It’s a good gesture.”
Asked if he hopes his players make use of the gloves, Rivers quipped, “No, not on each other.”
The relationship between Pacquiao and the Celtics grew closer in 2008 when Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo watched him capture the World Boxing Council lightweight title from David Diaz and then congratulated him afterward.
|03.10.10 at 6:15 pm ET|
On Sunday, Glen Davis shared his story of auditioning for ‘The Blind Side’ and finishing in the top three for the lead role of Michael Oher.
Another connection to the movie was made on Wednesday when the real-life Sean Tuohy, now a television broadcaster for the Grizzlies, came to Boston to call the Celtics-Grizzlies game. He smiled as he recalled meeting Davis during the player’s rookie season.
‘He got casted for it and we just happened to be here the next day, so I sought him out and talked to him about it,’ Tuohy said. ‘He was so funny. He said, ‘You need to get me that part!’ Then a few months later they came to Memphis and Michael was there. So he met Michael and it was funny. He said, ‘I almost played you!’ Michael said, ‘No, you’re too big time to play me.’ He said, ‘No you’re too big time!’ ”
The role ultimately went to Quinton Aaron, but that wasn’t any knock on Davis.
‘He was too good, that’s what it was,’ Tuohy explained. ‘They were looking for somebody that when they walked in the room, you immediately were attracted to, but you were immediately attracted to in a way that you’d want to help. And Glen, he’s bigger than life so he doesn’t exude anything about need. He exudes a lot of confidence. They said he was almost too pretty and also wasn’t big enough.’
Big Baby wasn’t big enough? Davis is listed at 289 pounds, nearly 200 pounds less than Aaron when he was cast for the role. Oher himself weighs in at over 300 pounds.
Even though Davis did not land the role in ‘The Blind Side,’ Tuohy says it is hard not to like his outgoing personality.
‘He smiles all the time. As soon as he walks in he’s got this smile,’ he said. ‘He’s the guy you should hate on the other team. Especially in college, I was an Ole Miss guy, but it was hard to hate him because you knew he was out there having fun. He hardly has a look of need. He has a look of, ‘I’ve got things going in the right direction.’ ‘
|03.10.10 at 10:32 am ET|
One game removed from scoring 25 points and knocking down a dramatic game-winner, Ray Allen was a total afterthought in the Celtics offensive attack against the Bucks Tuesday night. Allen had only three shots, and he missed them all.
More than almost every other player on the roster, Allen relies on his teammates to set him up. According to the numbers on Hoop Data, more than 72 percent of Allen’s made shots come off assists. (Kevin Garnett actually has a higher percentage). This is the second time in the past week that Allen has had so few looks. Against the Bobcats he had only two shots, but because that was a blowout it went relatively unnoticed.
The key to the Celtics offense is balance and they can’t afford to go away from Allen like that in the future.
GRIZZLIES (33-31, 6-4 last 10)
Points Per Game: 102.0
Points Allowed: 102.8
Differential: -.8 (17th)
Offensive Efficiency: 108.5 (12th)
Defensive Efficiency: 109.3 (23rd)
Pace: 93.0 (13th)
Injuries: Darrell Arthur (Torn pec muscle), Randolph (Back, questionable)
CELTICS (40-22, 6-4 last 10)
Points Per Game: 98.2
Points Allowed: 93.7
Differential: +4.5 (6th)
Offensive Efficiency: 106.8 (14th)
Defensive Efficiency: 101.8 (1st)
Pace: 91.5 (23rd)
Injuries: None. Read the rest of this entry »
|03.09.10 at 10:28 pm ET|
It’s been a while since the Celtics played a tough, competitive game against a solid opponent. They’ve had close games, but hardly well-played close games.
That wasn’t the case Tuesday night in Milwaukee as the Celtics and Bucks played a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to grab much of an advantage. The Bucks escaped with an 86-84 win, but for the first time in a while, it wasn’t because of lack of effort or focus on the part of the Celtics. Milwaukee just made one more play than the Celtics did.
With Andrew Bogut dominating the paint for the Bucks and the Celtics curiously going away from Ray Allen (only three shot attempts), the burden fell on Rajon Rondo. The guard continued to attack the paint, and got knocked down more than a few times for his efforts.
Rondo finished with 20 points and six assists, but he needed help and there wasn’t much to be found. Down by two points on the final possession, Paul Pierce shot a contested jumper that hit iron. The four-game winning streak is over and the Celtics have another game Wednesday night back home in Boston against Memphis.
They still have not atoned for the New Jersey loss, but the signs of progress are still there.
Turning Point: There really wasn’t one. The Bucks made a few more plays than the Celtics, including a back-tap offensive rebound that allowed them to run more clock in the final minute. But there was no definitive point when either team grabbed control of the game.
Player of the Game: There’s probably no bigger fan of Andrew Bogut’s game than Doc Rivers. The Celtics coach has gone out of his way to praise the big man for his ability to shoot with both hands and use his body to create angles. Rivers may be a fan, but he couldn’t have liked what he saw Tuesday night as Bogut killed the Celtics with 25 points and 17 rebounds.
* Nate Robinson buried two timely 3-pointers at the end of the first quarter. Robinson’s shot-making was just about the only bright spot for the Celtics in the quarter and helped slice a Buck lead from eight to two.
* The Celtics bench outscored Milwaukee’s 29-9, but didn’t see much time in the second half.
* Carlos Delfino’s 3-point shooting kept the Bucks in the game early, but he he almost shot them out of it late.
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