Hard to tell what has happened to the Celtics this post-season. The regular season juggernaut pretty much ground to a halt on the road and after the loss to the Pistons in Game 2 it looked bad for the Green Machine. Although the game got a little tight in the 4th quarter the reality is that the Cs closed out this game in the 1st quarter and always had it in their keeping. Staring out the game you would have thought the Celtics were playing at home as they showed a decisiveness and ability sadly lacking in road games so far this post-season. Even though I would love to get carried away, proclaim that the beast has been slain, the monkey removed and the Cs on their way to a championship, but there were worrying signs in this game.
- Rajon Rondo never looked comfortable running the game from the point (5 turnovers, 0 steals) and a number of players seemed to catch his sloppiness, including….
- Paul Pierce who matched the 5 turnovers. Pierce had a quiet night all round taking just 6 shots for the game.
- In all, the turnover/steal ratio was 2.5-1 which in most games against the Pistons would be fatal. The Pistons, however, must have gotten lost on the way to the stadium because they looked strangely out of sorts for the most part.
- Ray Ray hit 5/16 from the field keeping his playoff average at 13.3ppg at just 38.9%.
- Not a lot off the bench, with the exception of James Posey. Doc basically played with a 7-man rotation with a few minutes thrown at Davis and Cassell. The naysayers have been naysaying all season that the Boston bench isn’t long enough… they might just be right.
- Rondo needs to find his mojo. He has to slow down a step, look after the ball, set the tempo and keep it cool. He has to stop looking like a middle- schooler running with the varsity and get back to where he was in the regular season.
- As great a season as KG has had, and as great a player as he is, he isn’t Kobe. He isn’t going to get this done by himself, and he needs some of the other guys to step it up a notch. Paul Pierce must be raring to go after a very quiet night by his standards. Look for Pierce to get more looks and get closer to the 20ppg he is averaging throughout the playoffs which KG and the Cs need to see.
- Take care of the rock dammit!
- Will the real Ray Allen please stand up! Who do you go to in the final second of a game when you need a basket to win it? Ray Allen because Ray Allen is clutch. Or at least he was….. Ray Ray has to come to play, has to start hitting over 40% and has to be in the high teens, low 20s. If you get a chance have a look at the shot Ray Ray put in with around 4 ticks left in the 4th qtr. He might not be at his best at the moment, but this is an instance of pure shooters ability. The Cs need to see that when it counts.
- Play the bench Doc, and then the bench has to play.
Both teams now know that they can win on the other team’s floor, but I think we’re going to see the Roger Ramjet (how many of you identified him?) version of the Celtics tonight (rather than the Slimers) and I see them going back to Beantown up 3 – 1.
No secret to anyone who’s spent any time here that sometime-commenter/writer Rob is a big fan of the Boston Celtics. This piece was his offering on Boston…