|Irish Coffee: Philly Fat Albert, the truffle shuffle and five Celtics statistics you didn’t know||05.17.12 at 11:03 am ET|
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Celtics’ Game 3 dismantling of the Sixers was their ability to make 22-of-28 free throws — including 11-of-14 from a Paul Pierce determined to get his points any way possible — in the face of true adversity: Philly Fat Albert doing the truffle shuffle (h/t @GethinCoolbaugh).
“Paul is just a grinder,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters in Philadelphia after his team’s most complete performance of the playoffs, a 107-91 victory that gave his team a 2-1 Eastern Conference semifinals lead. “He really is. You look at him at times and you wonder, ‘How is this guy getting open?’ He just has great fundamentals. He never does it with speed. He just knows how to play basketball.
“He’s a throwback guy,” added Rivers. “He just knows how to play basketball. We jokingly call him our ‘professional scorer,’ and that’s what he is in a lot of ways. … I think guys like Paul and the Kobe [Bryants], they have something in their minds that just makes them who they are.”
Even if it means staring at 400 pounds of Philly flesh full of cheesesteaks and pretzels. (Well, there is a lot of culture there.) In all seriousness, here’s five stats that make the C’s performance that much more remarkable.
- In their first three seasons together, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce never all had double-doubles in the same game, even in their two runs to the NBA finals. Last season, they did it four times (all wins and all 100-point games), but still not once after April 8. On Wednesday, they each had double-doubles in a playoff game for the first time — by the end of the third quarter.
- During the new Big Three era, in the three seasons that didn’t end in an NBA title, the Celtics owned a .500 record each year when they had a chance to break a series tie (9-9 overall). In the 2008 championship run, they were 10-0 with a chance to take a series lead. And they’re now 5-1 this season in those opportunities.
- In a Celtics uniform, Garnett has exceeded 27 points and 11 rebounds in a playoff game four times, and three of them have come in the first two series this season. The last time Garnett had those numbers in at least three playoff games was 2004, when he did it seven times in the season he won MVP honors.
- Ray Allen has played 1,148 regular-season games and another 117 playoff games in his career, and he’s attempted only one field goal in just two of them. One of those was Wednesday night, when he hit his only 3-point attempt in 25 minutes. The other time? On Jan. 11, 2006, when he finished 0-for-1 and played just 8:01 as the result of an ejection for getting into a scuffle with … wait for it … Keyon Dooling.
- Rondo has 103 assists in eight playoff games this season, an average of 12.9 per contest. No other player this postseason has more than 60, and that’s Chris Paul, who’s averaging 7.5 assists per game.
“I pretty much know that this group probably won’t be together next year,” Pierce said in an interview aired during the Game 3 national broadcast. “It was almost not together in the middle of this year. Definitely management is looking toward the future. Maybe I have one or two good years left — same with Ray, same with KG — so this is a real sense of urgency right now to get this done one last time.”
Heck, they’ve even brought back Brian Scalabrine as a mascot to come full circle.
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