|Sounds of the game… Celtics 94, Raptors 87||11.10.08 at 9:34 pm ET|
Monday night had all the makings of a back-to-back letdown. And for all the world in the first half, it looked like an emotional and dominant win in Detroit 24 hours earlier had taken its toll, as the C’s trailed by as many as 16 in the second quarter and 48-36 at halftime. Then the Celtics woke up in the third before Paul Pierce took over in the final 15 minutes, scoring 25 of his game-high 36, including 22 in the final quarter to match the ENTIRE Raptors team.
The end result was a stunning win for the Green and a demoralizing, head-scratcher for Toronto.
What they said about it…
Jason Kapono: ‘We felt we could have had them down a tad bit further, especially at the end of the second quarter. They made a couple of shots there and they got to the free throw line. It’s our job to keep it going and build a lead, but obviously they are a quality team, a world championship team, and you know that their best run (of the game) is still coming.’
Jermaine O’Neal: ‘Those guys in the third quarter shot a lot of free throws. In the fourth quarter, they did a good job of making shots. Ray (Allen), Paul and the others have an incredible comfort level with each other. We’ve got to figure a way to keep those guys down, especially when we’re up 15 or 16 points in a game, especially in the second half.’
|Celtics-Raptors Game Blog Second Quarter||at 6:15 pm ET|
Ok so that wasn’t pretty. The Celtics are down 48-36 at the end of the first half and are basically getting beat by one player … Jermaine O’Neal. JO has 19 points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes. Next in line is Joey Graham with eight points and Chris Bosh has six. The Celtics have not had an answer for JO on either end of the court. Kevin Garnett has 11 points and 4 defensive rebounds while Perk is scoreless with one board. If the Celtics are going to get back into this game, they are going to have to step up their low post game to counter JO’s assault. Adding insult to injury, the Celtics are shooting 32%.
|Pregame: Celtics vs. Raptors||at 5:17 pm ET|
The Raptors wasted no time getting ready for the game as nearly every player except for Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh were warming up when I scoped out the court around 5:30. Leon Powe, Kendrick Perkins, and Brian Scalabrine were practicing on the Celtics end.
The Cs were loose in the locker room, with Powe, House, and Rajon Rondo crowded near Perkins’ locker. Perk turns 24 today and the big man is trying to downplay his birthday even though he is receiving some extra attention from his teammates.
Chris Bosh received treatment on the trainers table in the Raptors quarters while a handful of players wandered in and out of the locker room. Jamario Moon said the Raptors are a brand new team with O’Neal’s veteran leadership this season. They are also a better offensive team, ranking second in the league in both three-point shooting and free throws.
Tonight it was the bench who was receiving praise from Doc Rivers. The Celtics head coach said the starters have not been consistent with their offense and defense. He would not go as far to say the bench has exceeded his expectations but they are “playing well.”
The game will get underway shortly. Check back soon for more …
|Celtics-Bucks Game Blog Second Quarter||11.07.08 at 6:20 pm ET|
|Sunday Celtics Thoughts||11.02.08 at 1:41 pm ET|
Just passing along a few Celtics-related items…
It’s not that the C’s blowout loss in Indiana was completely unexpected. (The NBA: Where sleep-deprived blowouts happen). What is disconcerting is that this sort of thing never happened last year.
The Celtics were 8-0 in road games the night after home games last season, which reveals something about their A) Preparedness, B) Professionalism and C) Mental toughness. I’ll be curious to see what happens Tuesday against Houston, but if getting run off the floor against a mediocre Indiana squad doesn’t get their attention, nothing will.
After the jump, three more things while trying to figure out what to do if a Cheetah gets loose on your plane.
|Destination: Enemy Territory||11.01.08 at 2:46 pm ET|
Before even winning a championship last season, the Boston Celtics were targets every time they hit the road. The hype surrounding the Big Three was enough to make every game significant for their opponent and one in which they amped up their intensity.
After spending last week in the comforts of the TD BankNorth Garden, the Celtics are shipping out for their first road trip of the regular season. The three-stop tour will take them from Indiana to Houston and end in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
The defending champs don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms and explain why:
Kendrick Perkins: ‘This first game (of road trip) is key. I think we need to go out there and establish ourselves early and don’t give a chance for the fans to get involved and just go out there and play Celtics ball and we’ll be alright.’
Glen Davis: “My guess is that we’re the champs. We’re last year’s champs. We have a reputation to hold on to and the odds are going to be against us but hey, what do you expect?”
Leon Powe: ‘We’re just going to go out and play well and set the tone early. We are just going to stay within our rules and hopefully we can pull the game out. But we’ll come out with the same intensity we came out with tonight (Friday against the Chicago Bulls) and get the win.’
Eddie House: “I expect the same thing we’ve been expecting since last year. Everybody was gunning for us last year because people pretty much crowned us the champions before we actually went out and did it. People were gunning for us because we had the Big Three and stuff like that so I think that by us winning it, people are going to come out a little bit harder and I think we’re ready for that. One thing about that is they’re going to come harder but we’re going to come even harder.”
Tony Allen: “I ain’t really worried about that. We’ve got to go out there any play any how. They were tough last year, they were gunning for us last year so it’s going to be times two.’
Head Coach Doc Rivers: ‘Not very well, I would say (of the expected reception). But that’s fine. That makes the games better. I didn’t think we were received well last year in retrospect. Teams wanted to beat you and they should. That’s what it’s all about and that’ll be nice, that’ll be fun. It’ll be a new experience for our guys and it’ll be a challenging experience for our guys.”
|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.