|The Initiation of Derrick Rose||10.31.08 at 11:41 pm ET|
Derrick Rose, welcome to the NBA.
In just the second regular season game of his career, Rose had to run the floor in the Garden against the defending world champion Boston Celtics. It was a tall order for the rookie point guard and he was up for the challenge.
Rose made his presence known by driving on Kendrick Perkins early in the first quarter and drawing the foul. Perkins has more than seven inches and 90 pounds on Rose and still the rook attacked the hoop as if he had a clear lane.
“I’m kind of used to it now,” Rose, 20, said after the game. “I’m the type of guard where I’m kind of athletic, so when I go to the hole I’m used to getting body contact and I’m used to finishing on people. He’s big but I’m practicing those shots all the time.”
Battling the bigs wasn’t Rose’s only concern. He also had to defend the fiesty Rajon Rondo.
“Rondo was good,” he said. “He knows his role on the team. He’s a good, improving point guard. He’s just going to make you better.”
Rose was one of the few highlights in the Bulls 96-80 loss. He tied Kevin Garnett for most points with 18 and scored all of his field goals in the paint. This was a completely different player than the one who raised red flags during an injury-ridden summer league showing.
“I didn’t want to lose,” Rose said of his improved performance. “I was steady driving, trying to get people open, shooting. I just know now that I can’t waste my time when we get out there. The Celtics, they mean business when they get out there. They try to get the game over with quick and we’ve just got to learn that and we’ll be fine.”
Just one game against the Celtics was all it took for a crash course in NBA competition.
“It’s just going to help me,” Rose said. “I’m happy that I had the opportunity to have this game early in the season so that later on in the season I can get better.”
Expect him to do just that.
|Postgame Notes and Numbers||10.31.08 at 8:28 pm ET|
After beating the Chicago Bulls by 16 points, the Celtics are departing tonight for a three-game road trip that will take them from Indiana to Houston to Okalahoma City. The general consensus is they have to bring 100% and then some since the home teams will be gunning for the defending world champs. Here is the postgame wrap up:
- Kevin Garnett and Derrick Rose each scored 18 points. Both shot 100% from the free throw line.
- Rose was impressive in his debut in Boston and showed fearlessness at the basket. After the game he said that while this match up was tough, it was good to get it under his belt this early in his rookie season.
- Joakim Noah grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds off the bench. KG and Kendrick Perkins each nabbed 10.
- Doc Rivers was happy with his team’s energy from the very start — “Great execution, great intensity. That was just perfect for us early on.”
- Garnett said he was more “poised” tonight than on Opening Night, saying he “put a lot of burden on [Pierce] and Ray the first game.”
- The Celtics biggest lead of the game was 28 points.
|Gino’s Back||10.31.08 at 7:39 pm ET|
It’s the moment Celtics fans have been waiting for …
Gino returned to the Jumbotron tonight.
KG waved his fist in the air as the Celtics eagerly looked up at the screen for their beloved dancer. Later he raised two hands, one shaking his sneaker over his head. Not sure if rookies J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker understood what the fuss was all about but when KG is actully loose during a game, you go with it.
|KG Youngest to Play 1,000 Games||10.31.08 at 7:04 pm ET|
Near the end of the third quarter the PA announcer told the crowd Kevin Garnett, 32, is the youngest player to play 1,000 NBA Games. He has started in all but 37 of them.
The previous record was held by Shawn Kemp, who broke the mark in December of 2002. Paul Pierce was the first Celtic to stand up and cheer and KG received a standing O from the crowd.
|Halloween at the Garden||10.31.08 at 6:55 pm ET|
Fans are showing their creative side on Halloween at the Garden. Although there aren’t as many out in costume as I anticipated, those who did dress up have been hamming it up on the Jumbotron. There are the run-of-the-mill cowboys, scarecrows, and prisoners. There are also a few political impersonators. My vote for best costume was going to go to the Jackie Moon look-alike from “Semi Pro,” who sported an uncomfortably tight t-shirt and matching wig. But I changed my mind I saw the tribute to Gino in the balcony. Not only were they rocking the infamous shirt and beard, the also had the slow hip shimmy down to a science.
|Halftime Notes and Numbers||10.31.08 at 6:17 pm ET|
At the half … Celtics 49, Bulls 31
- Kevin Garnett leads all scorers with 16 points. Derrick Rose leads the Bulls with 10.
- The Celtics outscored the Bulls 30-12 in the paint.
- The Celtics also outrebounded the Bulls 27-23. KG pulled down seven boards.
- Tyrus Thomas and Luol Deng shot a combined 2-for-17.
- Leon Powe scored seven points in seven minutes off the bench. Ben Gordon was scoreless in nearly 12 minutes as a reserve.
|Pierce and the Second Unit||10.31.08 at 6:04 pm ET|
Paul Pierce spent some quality time with the second unit tonight. The captain played alongside Eddie House, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, and Leon Powe for 3:30 in the second quarter. It was Powe, not Pierce, who led this unit with four points. They outscored the Bulls 7-6 and pushed the lead up to 31-19 before every starter but Ray Allen subbed back in with seven minutes left. Pierce had also been scrimmaging with the second unit in practice.
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