|12.19.08 at 9:09 pm ET|
The last time the Celtics lost a game, Dustin Pedroia had yet to be named MVP, John Kerry still had a shot at Secretary of State and Bernard Madoff was the king of Palm Beach. It’s been a while, in other words.
The record, for the record, is 25-2 and the winning streak is 17 in a row. It’s getting to be like a broken record with this team. They’re just taking it one game at a time, yada, yada, yada. But with each win, we learn a little bit more about the 2008-09 Celtics.
1. Perk is a beast–who also has a nice touch.
Kendrick Perkins turned in a career-best performance with 25 points on 12-for-15 shooting. Most of those shots were of the high-percentage variety, but he is doing things, like putting the ball on the floor on the perimeter, for example, that would have been unthinkable even back in November.
The key for Perkins against the Bulls wasn’t his shotmaking ability, however, it was his willingness to do the little things, specifically setting screens to get Ray Allen open that was important. Doc Rivers had a conversation with him about that very subject before Friday night’s game and when he did, and the Bulls didn’t follow him off the screen, he was wide open underneath.
“They rotated to the other guys, to the shooters, and left Perk kind of right there,” Paul Pierce said. “We put pressure on them with our penetration, and as you know when Rondo gets into the lane it just seems like everyone collapses on him. A number of times he was able to find Perk for a layup or a dunk.”
2. Rajon Rondo is not faster than Usain Bolt
But he’d probably like the chance at trying his luck against the Jamaican sprinter who was in attendance Friday. That was the joke in the locker room after Rondo dished out 15 assists (against just one turnover). As a team the Celtics had 40 assists. That’s 4 and a 0. Even if that number was slightly inflated by the hometown stat keepers it was proof that the Celtics are back to their pass-happy ways.
“I thought a couple of times we over-passed, but that’s a problem I’d like to have all the time,” Rivers said. The Celtics scored 126 points and no one took more than 18 shots. Offensive efficiency, meet your definition.
3. Kevin Garnett is not getting traded
“I got one rebound,” KG said when he walked into the post-game press conference. “On this team, with Rondo and Perkins you can’t get a rebound. They’re going to trade me.”
Not happening, of course, but even with Garnett getting just a solitary board, the Celtics still out-rebounded the Bulls, 35-31. Not only did they have more rebounds, the Celtics had a whopping 13 offensive rebounds on only 34 missed shots. That’s not an edge, that’s domination.
4. They really don’t care about the streak
They have said it so many times that it’s become Belichickian and the subject of press-room jokes, but they really, really mean it. They just don’t care.
“We know what our goal is and we just kind of go what we said last year and take it one game at a time,” Pierce said. “And not get bored by the process.”
Wait. Back it up. That’s the key phrase right there: Not get bored by the process.
It’s impossible to not get bored by the process. It’s December, there’s 55 games left in the regular season, there’s a foot of snow on the ground and there’s a trip to LA looming. And yet, the Celtics played one of their best offensive games of this season, or any other season. Maybe it’s time to start believing the locker room cliches.
|12.19.08 at 7:42 pm ET|
Chicago, one of the most important bands of the 70s once wondered, 25 or 6 to 4. Sitting here at TD Banknorth Garden watching Chicago’s NBA entry offer precious little resistance to the Celtics, your intrepid reporter was inspired to re-work the question.
Would love to hear your comments and thoughts. Just Email Trags
This reporter is on record maintaining that as the Celtics are currently constituted, they will win 73 and set the new record. As for 34 straight, with a West Coast swing on the docket starting Christmas Day, that might be too much, even for these Celtics.
One other random question… With Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, in attendance at the Garden taking in the game, who is in better shape, Bolt or Ray Allen? When the two shook hands just prior to the fourth quarter at the scorer’s table, it marked a meeting of two supremely conditioned athletes.
Then, following the game, Bolt entered the locker room for a personal chat with the team and coaching staff. There was this question posed… Who would win a race, Bolt or Rajon Rondo?
|12.19.08 at 7:24 pm ET|
After one the lead was 12. After two, it was well, two. After three, it’s 16. So now we have a bench referendum for the final 12 minutes. That’s not entirely fair, but that’s the way this works when a team is 24-2 and on a 15-game winning streak. Obviously, they’re playing great ball, but are they any cracks in the foundation?
Let’s find out… Read the rest of this entry »
|12.19.08 at 6:49 pm ET|
And we’re back for the second half. Don’t you hate it when announcers say, “welcome back” after a commercial break? You didn’t go anywhere. You were trying to drown out the Saved by Zero ad. Sorry about that. It’s been a long day.
Ok, Here we go…. Read the rest of this entry »
|12.19.08 at 6:10 pm ET|
Hey, look who’s back. Jess is out of town on business–yes we do have day jobs–so I will be your host all night. Let’s skip the formalities and get on with it, shall we? Read the rest of this entry »
|12.19.08 at 5:34 pm ET|
We are live from the snowbound Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics and Bulls. The C’s made some unusual travel plans in preparation for the snow with several of the players staying at a local hotel. Ray Allen, for one, arrived an hour and a half earlier than normal. But all are present and accounted for as they go in search of their 16th 17th win in a row.
This one has all the classic makings of a trap game. With an emotional game on Wednesday in Atlanta, what figures to be a smaller-than-normal crowd and the weather affecting the player’s routines, this one could be more dangerous than it first appears. Of course, the Celtics have seemed particularly immune to traps this season.
So, will it be Sweet 16 17 for the C’s? Will it be upset city for the Bulls? Will the crowd top 10,000? Those answers and more tonight… Read the rest of this entry »
|12.16.08 at 10:53 pm ET|
This week the Boston Celtics tied the NBA record for best start through 25 games. The mark was reached during a week rich with Celtics history:
December 17, 1996
Red Auerbach was named one of the Top Ten Coaches in NBA History as part of the league’s 50th anniversary season. Auberach was honored with Chuck Daly, Bill Fitch, Red Holzman, Phil Jackson, John Kundla, Don Nelson, Jack Ramsay, Pat Riley and Lenny Wilkens.
December 19, 1956
Bill Russell signed his first contract with the Boston Celtics. It was a one-year deal worth $19,5000.
December 22, 1949
Boston Celtic Tony Lavelli showed off his accordion skills during halftime of the Celtics-Minneapolis Lakers game. The NBA paid Lavelli $125 per performance to entertain crowds at more than 20 games around the league.
December 22, 1956
Bill Russell made his debut as a Celtic in the Boston Garden. He posted six points and 16 rebonds in the Celtics 95-93 victory over the St. Louis Hawks.
December 22, 1962
The 1,000,000th NBA point was scored during one of three games, including the Boston Celtics-New York Knicks match up.
Also on this date …
The Boston Celtics will take on the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, 12 years to the day after the Hawks set an NBA record for three-point field goals. They hit 19 treys, which has since been topped, in a convincing win over the Dallas Mavericks.
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