We’re back for the second half, with the Celtics  down 48-36. They shot an ugly 12-for-37 from the floor (32.4 percent) in the first half and 1-for-10 from 3-point range. The good news is that Kevin Garnett  got it together in the second quarter after starting 1-for-5, but someone (anyone?) had better stop Jermaine O’Neal .
O’Neal lit the Celtics up for 19 points in the first half. For the first time this season he is resembling the guy from Indiana–before the injuries hit.
That much vaunted point guard battle between Rondo and Calderon that I’ve been touting since training camp? Uh, not so much. Rondo has two points and one assist and Jose has two and three assists. On with the show…
THIRD QUARTER WRAP: For 32 minutes or so, the Celtics were a step slow. Make that two steps slow. But ever since Chris Bosh went flying in for an alley-oop they have completely turned the energy around. That was all Garnett. I’m not sure if manic is the right word to describe him, but it is incredibly real. That’s the thing most people don’t get when they see him pounding his chest. It may come across as contrived, but it’s not to him.
It’s a six-point game, and something tells me the Celtics have made it personal. Take it away Jess.
— That Kapono 3 was a killer. Garnett and Calderon are still jawing, by the way.
— I’ll say this for Garnett: I have never seen an athlete who responded to the crowd like he does. It’s almost cliche to say he feeds off the energy, but he really does. He is hounding Calderon. It’s remarkable, really.
— KG is working the crowd. If Rondo had made that the roof would have blown off.
— Just like that… it’s down to an eight-point game again. The defense is there for the C’s tonight. The Raptors shoot almost 47 percent as a team and they are in the 43 percent range this evening. Offensively, the Celtics haven’t been able to finish, but if the D is sound, one or two good plays like that can make a double-digit lead disappear quickly.
Oh, and it’s Jungle time in the arena now.
— KG just raised his arm to indicate that he lost sight of Chris Bosh who just went in for that alley-oop dunk. Hate to beat a dead horse, but they are tired.
— If the Celtics hang around, say within 10 points or so, how much does Doc ride the starters? He has done, I believe, a very good job managing minutes to far this season. Of course it’s easier to manage minutes when you’re playing with a lead. Before the game Doc said this was the toughest stretch–8 games in 13 days–that he can remember to start a season.
That’s a pretty big statement considering the amount of time he has in the league. Safe to say his biggest issue with the amount of games is the lack of practice time, as in there’s none.
— The crowd is trying to give the Celtics a lift, but they’re not giving them much to get excited about. The NBA: Where back-to-backs happen.
Sam MItchell is one nattily-dressed dude, by the way.
— Quick timeout by Doc. Toronto is really bringing the energy tonight.
— The Celtics are scrambling on defense again. That might leave the 3-point line open if the Raptors can reverse the ball, a la Jamario Moon’s 3.
— Ball movement! And Rondo is picking up full-court. I think we’ll see a better effort in the second half.