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Celtics-Jazz Game Blog: First Quarter

We are live at the Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics [1] and the Utah Jazz [2]. Some pregame drama surrounded the C’s as traffic delayed several players arrival. At last check Rajon Rondo [3] was the last one to to make it in, but he is here and on the court warming up. That’s good news for the C’s because Eddie House [4] is not here. He is with his family after his aunt died, and is expected to be back on Wednesday in Atlanta.

That means Gabe Pruitt [5] will be first off the bench behind Rondo and Tony Allen [6] may see some time as well. Sam Cassell is also in uniform and according to Doc Rivers [7] “might play.” Might being a particularly strong word.

Regardless, we’re ready to go. Will it be 15 in a row for the C’s? Will the Jazz repeat last year’s blowout? Will another coach get fired between now and then? Let’s find out…

FIRST QUARTER WRAP: Great start for the C’s who are up 28-16. Kendrick Perkins [8] and Kevin Garnett [9] combined to go 7-for-8 with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the quarter. Think the Jazz miss Carlos Boozer a little? Rajon Rondo wasn’t bad either with seven points and three assists, although he had a couple of totally unnecessary turnovers.

Let’s see how the bench does without Eddie House tonight. Take it away Jess [10]

First Quarter Observations (In chronological order)

— KG is on Memo Okur tonight. Not the matchup I would have expected, to be honest, but Okur tends to play outside, which is not exactly where Kendrick Perkins likes to roam.

— I’ll be watching Deron Williams a lot tonight, who has not played up to his usual standards after coming back from an ankle injury. He’s been better lately, but this is Rondo Week with Rajon going against Chris Paul [11] last Friday, Williams tonight, Mike Bibby [12] Wednesday and Derrick Rose [13] on Friday.

Paul Pierce [14] just finished a layup on break to make it 12-9. Doc was talking before the game about how tough it is to run on Utah since the Jazz A) Get back on defense and B) Don’t turn it over. That break, plus one that Perkins finished off while I was typing were both related to Utah turnovers. The Jazz have been turning it over at a rate of 16 per game, which is Celtics territory (i.e. not very good).

— There’s thing they do on the JumboTron for a brand of grape jelly that shall remain nameless. How do I say this? It’s bizarre and I wish they’d stop RIGHT NOW. That dancing jar of peanut butter freaks me out.

— We’ve played seven minutes and Perkins has not been called for a foul. Someone call Harvey Pollack because I think that’s a new NBA record for Perk. Actually no Celtics have been called for fouls.

— Now KG is on Kirilenko. That’s a tough cover even for the best defensive player on the planet. Note the word ‘tough,’ not impossible, obviously.

— Nine turnovers in nine minutes. The Celtics are used to playing through turnovers, the Jazz are not, which probably explains their relatively slow start this year. Can’t imagine a Jerry Sloan [15] team will have that continue.

–Perkins was Bob McAdoo-like on that spin move. Perkins is flat killing it right now.