Fast Break: Back to back blues continue
|01.14.12 at 9:33 pm ET|
It wasn’t like anyone expected the Celtics to fly out of Indiana on the second night of a back-to-back with a victory, if you needed any more evidence that they have a long way to go, it was provided in a 97-83 loss. It’s also worth noting that the Pacers were also on the second end of a back-to-back.
The starters got off to a much better offensive start, but it was the second unit that couldn’t keep the momentum going and they had nothing left in the second half. Defensively, they let the Pacers control the paint (they allowed 20 offensive rebounds) and they couldn’t keep them off the free throw line.
The one bright spot was Kevin Garnett who had a bounceback game with 21 points and six rebounds and was much more aggressive offensively. Paul Pierce also scored 21 points by getting to the free throw line and knocking down a couple of 3-pointers.
WHAT WENT WRONG
– The bench didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Brandon Bass and Mickael Pietrus combined to shoot 3-for-10 in the first half and that was the only offense they received from the second unit. Avery Bradley was replaced by rookie E’Twaun Moore after badly bricking a jumpshot.
– Paul George is an impossible cover for Ray Allen. At 6-foot-8, there’s little that Allen can do with him and the Pacers smartly took advantage of that as George went to the free throw line six times in the first half. Pietrus came in and did a solid job defensively.
– Danny Granger is the latest small forward to have a big game on Pierce. He went for 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting in the first half and finished with 21.
– Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen combined to shoot 6-for-17 and finished with just 13 points. Rondo did have nine assists and Allen contributed six rebounds, but Darren Collison and George put up 34 points.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– The Celtics got off to a much-better start, scoring 24 points in the first quarter. They did it by getting the ball inside and getting to the free throw line for 10 attempts. It was a much different offensive team than the one that struggled for points the last four games. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep up the pace.
– Garnett had a monster first half with 13 points and four rebounds, scoring on the post as well as the perimeter and shutdown David West.
– Pierce had a much better game statistically, but he still has a long way to go to get back in game shape. Pierce went back to basics and got to the free throw line for eight first half attempts. He also made a couple of 3-pointers in the third quarter, all of which gave him 21 points, but he also had six turnovers.
– Moore gave the Celtics solid minutes. He knocked down a 3 off a down-screen and looked much more comfortable running the offense than Bradley has.