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Backcourt steps up

Posted By Jessica Camerato On February 22, 2009 @ 6:57 pm In General | 1 Comment

Shaquille O’Neal [1] was supposed to be a problem for the Boston Celtics [2]. He was supposed to push around their little big men and have the Celtics counting down the days until Kevin Garnett [3] returned from his knee injury. But it was one of the smallest guys on the court who caused the biggest problems. Led by Rajon Rondo [4], the Celtics backcourt dominated the Phoenix Suns [5]. (RECAP HERE [6])

Rajon Rondo
32 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 13-18 FG, 1-1 3PG, 5-9 FT, 3 STL

On his 23rd birthday, Rondo made 35-year-old Steve Nash [7] look about ten years older. The Suns had no way of stopping Rondo, not even O’Neal’s presence made a difference — Rondo scored however and from wherever he pleased. The absence of Garnett creates more opportunities for him to take his jumpshot, and judging by his shot chart, there is little need to question whether or not he has developed one.

Ray Allen [8]
31 points, 4 rebounds, 10-15 FG, 4-8 3PG, 7-8 FT

It’s no secret that Allen can’t be left alone on the arc. On Sunday he couldn’t be left alone, period. Allen spread the Suns defense with a balanced attack of long and mid-range shots. Allen was on his mark, hitting 10 field goals and scoring 30 points for the first time since January 11 against the Toronto Raptors [9]. He also set a new franchise record with 72 consecutive free throws made, passing Larry Bird’s previous mark of 71.

Paul Pierce [10]
26 points, 6 rebounds, 8-17 FG, 10-10 FT

The Celtics couldn’t score 128 points without Pierce making an impact. Pierce struggled in the first half (1-8 FG), so when his shot didn’t fall he got to the line (6-6 FT). Then he turned it on in the second half to score 18 points in 22 minutes. The captain played a team-high 44 minutes and by the end of the game had gone to the line 10 times. The Celtics improved to 12-3 when Pierce attempts at least 10 free throws.

The Celtics will travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets on Monday night.


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URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2009/02/22/celtics-13646/

URLs in this post:

[1] Shaquille O’Neal: http://media.weei.com/basketball/shaquille-oneal.htm

[2] Boston Celtics: http://media.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm

[3] Kevin Garnett: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kevin-garnett.htm

[4] Rajon Rondo: http://media.weei.com/basketball/rajon-rondo.htm

[5] Phoenix Suns: http://media.weei.com/basketball/phoenix-suns.htm

[6] RECAP HERE: http://weei.stats.com/nba/recap.asp?g=2009022221&home=21&vis=2

[7] Steve Nash: http://media.weei.com/basketball/steve-nash.htm

[8] Ray Allen: http://media.weei.com/basketball/ray-allen-celtics.htm

[9] Toronto Raptors: http://media.weei.com/basketball/toronto-raptors.htm

[10] Paul Pierce: http://media.weei.com/basketball/paul-pierce.htm

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