Friday, November 9, 2012
This was Game 7 of the NBA Finals, where amazing happens.
Chock full of unforgettable moments, the Lakers seized an early 10 point lead against the weary albeit resilient Boston Celtics in the first half, scaring every fan dressed in green. But all night, Boston wouldn't be denied, not even after Kobe Bryant lit up the arena with 24 early points.
Paul Pierce hit 3's with Eddie House, while Beasley, Jefferson, Rondo, KG & Hibbert ran down the court for innumerable jams.
With 17 turnovers by LA, Boston gathered 8 steals to their advantage. Before long, the lead belonged to the Celtics. Down by 4, Kobe Bryant looked to fire from three point land, but found defensive specialists, Shane Battier & Caron Butler, waiting for him.
The ball fumbled into Dwight Howard and trickled out of bounds. Battier was fouled and nailed both three throws. With nowhere left to turn, a confusing play by LA got Steve Nash a three-pointer in the corner, only for it to be overthrown and clang off the rim.
Rajon Rondo hit 2 more from the free throw line with finality as the crowd erupted in glee of the unthinkable. When Metta World Peace hit a baseline jumper, it didn't matter. A thorough effort had granted the Boston Celtics with a mountainous victory that was thought to never be. 118-125, Boston.
LAL - 45% | BOS - 43%
LAL - 60 | BOS - 44
LAL - 17 | BOS - 8
Bryant - 34pts | Rondo - 19pts/12asts
Gasol - 23pts/18rebs | Garnett - 17pts/11rebs
Howard - 22pts/18rebs | Beasley - 17pts/8rebs
MWP - 16pts | Pierce - 16pts
Nash - 9pts/6asts (foul trouble) | Jefferson - 16pts
Jamison - 8pts/6rebs | Hibbert - 16pts/14rebs
The green and white confetti fell, as NBA history was beautifully made.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 4:10 AM
In the 3rd quarter, the Celtics went into overdrive.
The lead grew to 20 and LA realized it was a lot cause.
Lakers, 101, Celtics, 126.
Bryant - 20pts/6asts | Rondo - 21pts/11asts
Nash - 24pts/6asts | KG - 17pts/9rebs
Howard - 19pts/18rebs | Hibbert - 18pts/14rebs
Peace - 13pts/12rebs | Jefferson - 19pts
Gasol - 11pts | House - 17pts
Jamison - 12pts | Beasley - 14pts
So, there will be a game 7. Somehow. Can LA finally win?
KG, Roy Hibbert & Michael Beasley combined for 56 points and 25 rebounds as fluent trio. LA couldn't recover, as Boston pulled away in the 4th quarter, shooting 54% all night.
Kobe Bryant had 24 points, but was blocked mid-dunk, a message by Boston's big men that they aren't going to lay down for the anxious Lakers.
If the Lakers win the title, it won't be in California, courtesy of the Celtics.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:48 AM
He meant it.
Boston returned the favor tonight, defying the odds (at least momentarily), winning 105-75 on the road in front of a very pro-Lakers crowd. Michael Beasley, Pierce, Rondo and KG united to blow out LA and extend the NBA Finals. But can they do it again in Game 5?
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:37 AM
But not tonight. The Lakers returned home and absolutely demolished the defending champions, cruising to a 76-107 victory that has a lot of people thinking "sweep."
Boston looked soulless tonight. After handing the Lakers games one and two, who could blame them? LA couldn't miss tonight, shooting 55% overall and 60% in the 3rd quarter. This heartbreaking loss for Boston means they'll have to do the unprecedented and make NBA history by winning 4 straight games to repeat as NBA Champions. And the LA Lakers love those odds.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:33 AM
Tonight? The Black Mamba redeemed himself, and Boston helped him do it.
Somehow, Kobe Bryant was left unguarded late in the final 10 seconds. LA needed a three-pointer, and #24 gave it to them, sticking it to Boston in the process.
Beforehand, Boston had climbed to a 17 point lead in the 3rd quarter. They yanked their starters out of the game to prepare for a crucial Game 3, which in hindsight might still be a forgivable decision, with Beasley, KG and Jefferson having scored 20+ points already.
But it was like blood in the water to Steve Nash, who fed the ball to LA's stars. Despite Boston's improved defense, they were abused on the boards and gave up easy points as result. Richard Jefferson missed a shot of his own to end regulation, which would've killed LA's dream of a comeback.
A gritty Overtime period proved deadly for the defending champions, as Steve Nash buried a triple of his own and Richard Jefferson failed to respond, as Boston lost 104-107. They will now have to win 2 of 3 games in LA to merely survive.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:28 AM
The ex-Sun maneuvered his way into the paint at will all night, as Boston narrowly lost, 100-101, to the bitter runner-up of yesteryear. Meanwhile, the Black Mamba poured in the points, Gasol played hard inside and Metta World Peace played with some fire tonight.
Boston perhaps relaxed too soon, after beating Miami just a couple days ago in the same arena that held Game 1 tonight. They were up by a decent margin late in the 4th quarter, but a terrible offensive rebound by Dwight Howard changed things altogether.
Not even a pair of steals by Paul Pierce and trio of tough 3's by Richard Jefferson could change that. Frankly, Boston should've never let it happen in the first place, but their rigid play all night couldn't afford a better outcome.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:21 AM
Not quite, but Boston did lead by 20 at halftime due to a scoring drought by Miami, despite contentious 1st quarter action. Boston would pay, however, as they relaxed on defense and Ray Allen heated up.
Before long, Miami had cut the lead to 8 by the 4th quarter. To start it, a 7-0 run made the crowd in Beantown gasp in fear of their team choking against adversity. Yet Miami would never take the lead, remaining deadlocked with Boston until a shot by LeBron James from deep inside the lane rattled out to Miami's chagrin.
Afterward, Boston regained their footing and it was cemented once D-Wade missed a wide open 3 pointer-- something Eddie House never did all night, nailing 6 long balls for Boston -- a shot by Ray Allen did the same on the Heat's next possession and even a late jumper by "the King" missed.
Boston dribbled out the ball, outlasting the improved Miami Heat, 115-123. Last year, they were outed in 5 games, but this year they came to win. But so did Boston, who have an NBA Finals rematch with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:12 AM
Despite Paul Pierce nailing a layup for one of those tie-making plays, "The Truth" failed to do it again in response to Wade's shot. Boston was forced to foul the Miami star, who made one of two free throws, leaving a three-pointer for Rajon Rondo to miss.
The Heat win Game 6, 108-111, much to the pleasure of south beach, as they turned in a retaliatory effort after being crushed in Game 5. They were faster, hungrier than Boston tonight, dominating them on the boards and scoring highly with second chance opportunities because of it.
In the loss, Richard Jefferson had 23 points; KG had 22pts/12rebs; Eddie House had 20pts on 6 three pointers; Paul Pierce had 14pts; Rondo had another modest game with 12pts/9asts and so did Michael Beasley with just 11pts.
D-Wade abused Boston's defense the most, surging his way to 39 points (much like Rondo did in Game 4) along with dishing out 8 assists, altogether to LBJ (14pts/8rebs/7asts, poor shooting), Chris Bosh (22pts/20rebs), Rashard Lewis (14pts), Udonis Haslem (8pts/12rebs) and Ray Allen (12pts, also on poor shooting).
Early on, it seemed like Boston would be celebrating a return to the NBA Finals, but Miami clearly thought otherwise. Game 7 will be in Boston. If memory serves, Miami will remember to play harder than in Game 5.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:05 AM
The defending champions shot above 50% for most of the game, performed much better at the free throw line, missing only 3 attempts, were extremely active on defense, swatting away 13 shots by Miami, ripping away 9 steals and stressing the Heat into committing 22 turnovers.
Off his huge night, Rajon Rondo didn't have much of a task tonight once the lead got rolling, as the star finished with just 10 points & 4 assists. Meanwhile, Michael Beasley had 23 points, KG had 19pts/15rebs, Shane Battier gave 18pts/8rebs, along with Roy Hibbert (17pts/9rebs) and Richard Jefferson's 15pts/7rebs.
Eddie House made it rain from three-point land for 12 points, Jordan Farmar had 7pts/4asts, two better than Caron Butler's 6pts/3asts as Boston routed Miami in this dominant showcase.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 2:56 AM
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Tonight, Rajon Rondo provided (at least) a temporary cure. The fierce point guard came out with one mission: Beat Miami, or die trying. Countless times, Boston's wily leader collided into the paint against Miami's defense that brutalized him throughout the game.
But by the 3rd quarter, Rajon Rondo had 40 points, drawing plenty of fouls which prevented Miami from sizzling to a 3-1 series lead while the rest of the Celtics continued to struggle to make baskets.
Along with scoring, Rondo passed the ball off to his teammates, most notably Eddie House, Michael Beasley and Kevin Garnett-- all three of them hitting huge shots that were equally miraculous, including a 3 by House and a put-back by KG to somehow take the lead in the 4th, after falling down by 14 due to a plethora of dunks by LeBron James, effortless shots by Ray Allen and fast-break throwdowns by D-Wade.
A victory seemed unlikely, and had those precious shots missed, Miami would be dancing with a 3-1 lead, having forced Rajon Rondo's Celtics to win three straight games in response. Luckily, a huge 3 by Rondo in the final minute capped off a 5 point swing.
To their credit, Boston cracked down on defense and simply prayed that each shot Miami fired would miss. Most of them did, and with Rondo's passion, Boston clawed their way to a 2-2 split, winning 121-118, despite Rondo missing two clutch free throws with less than 3 seconds left in the game. A full-court heave by Miami wasn't answered, and the anxiousness of the crowd for their team to beat Boston died away.
Rajon Rondo peaked at 53 points, and Boston will somehow return home.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 4:48 PM
That roaring crowd eventually roared even louder at Boston's sluggish defense and dreary offense, as the Miami Heat advanced to 2-1 against the defending champions, making shots while Boston couldn't, winning 104-111.
Chris Bosh scored 30+ and Miami's speed sapped the scarce hope Boston had for a comeback after surviving until the 3rd quarter on their meager shooting percentage. Most of the Celtics finished with 10 points and change, but Paul Pierce and Richard Jefferson were especially atrocious tonight, shooting the ball into a deep abyss instead of the basket.
When Michael Beasley fouled out, the gig was up for Boston.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 4:35 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2012
They double teamed Dwayne Wade early, limiting his ability to create plays for Miami. He battled his way to 22 points, and so did LeBron James, but the rest of the Heat were left out of the mix, especially Ray Allen who had anything but 26 points tonight like he did in game one.
In game one, Miami was more energetic than Boston but the Celtics repaired their focus and shot better than their bitter enemies tonight. Roy Hibbert powered his way to 16 points and 12 rebounds while Michael Beasley (25 points, 11 rebounds) challenged Boston's leader for the high score.
Tonight was a major win for Boston as the series shifts to south beach.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 9:45 PM
They were slow to get the rebound, terrible at finishing easy shots, and even more terrible at making an easier shot after they managed to get the rebound again!
Focus was not part of Boston's strategy tonight. Somehow, they miraculously caught up in the 4th quarter, despite a 12 point lead by Miami and repetitive failures to tie the game by Boston. Eventually, a crazy scramble for the ball led to Michael Beasley (25 points, on 50% shooting) hammering the ball through the net, giving Boston the lead for the first time in quite a while.
But Boston couldn't save the deal. A confused play with 8.8 seconds left in the 4th quarter led to a rushed shot by Richard Jefferson (17 points/9 rebounds) and a dreaded OVERTIME period against a Miami Heat team that Boston wanted no part of tonight.
Despite Miami breaking out to a 5 point lead, Boston called a timeout and turned to Paul Pierce, who had been cold all night on 1-11 shooting. Despite the hit/miss ratio, "The Truth" nailed a 3 pointer and a stop by Boston on the other end led to a second shot dropping courtesy of Pierce as the pro-Celtics crowd cheered, a momentary break from the hervous silence that had overtaken the TD Garden.
But Chris Bosh (24 points/18 rebounds) nailed a tough shot over Kevin Garnett, who made a myriad of mistakes all night, giving Miami a 2 point lead all over again. With only 4 seconds to get the ball up the court and fire a reasonable shot, the Celtics only achieved half to the challenge. Rajon Rondo (17 points/11 assists), who had been brutalized all night by Miami's defense, wasn't able to wow his way into the paint, getting blocked before the crowd could hold their breath and pray that a shot (had there been one) gone up in the air in hope of the ball falling into the basket.
The clock expired after Roy Hibbert fumbled the loose ball and Boston's ineptitude was finalized, losing 117-115 in OT on their own court. Not even the hit-and-miss three pointer show by Eddie House (5-11 from downtown) could change that. Boston shot 36% in the 1st quarter, 34% in the 3rd and missed 8 free throws. While Miami missed 9 of their own, coming up short at the line of mercy is unacceptable for Boston.
To make matters worse, Miami's x-factor, Ray Allen, splashed his way to 26 points against his former team, who would've killed to score some easy shots of their own. LeBron James had 23 points and 11 assists, tying Rondo, Udonis Haslem had 12 points & 19 rebounds and D-Wade had the same as LBJ plus a point. Clearly, Boston should've double-teamed him sooner. The Celtics will have to improve and quit making mindless mistakes if they stand a chance in winning Game 2.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 8:31 PM
A sloppy game that included 31 total turnovers, the New York Knicks had little going for them, having just lost both games on their home court, forcing themselves to win 3 straight against a tough Boston squad. They shot just 34% which stuck NY in an early hole.
Boston didn't do much better with 44%, but it was enough to close out this series. Their defense held NY to just 83 points with 15 blocks overall. Paul Pierce cooled off for half of his count in Game 4, scoring 18. Michael Beasley had 15 points & 10 rebounds, Richard Jefferson had 12 & 6, while Rip Hamilton & Eddie House combined for 22. The big men, KG & Roy Hibbert, also combined for 20 points and 11 rebounds. Rajon Rondo dished out 5 assists, but scored just 4 points.
Bowing out with an 83-95 defeat, the New York Knicks were led with 40 from Melo & Stoudemire. Raymond Felton had 16 but once again struggled to shoot wisely on 5-21 shooting. But Jason Kidd shot the worst, failing to be the x-factor, as he made only 3 of 15 shots. Baron Davis was scoreless on 4 shot attempts and not even Michael Redd could make a layup inside.
Paul Pierce knocked down a 3 in the final minute, ending NY's feeble attempt to steal the game after cutting Boston's lead to 7. The green and white confetti fell shortly thereafter, and Boston's consistent hunger to win should ensure that it will rain down in the garden once again against Miami.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 8:25 PM
A mini-duel with Carmelo Anthony after the tip-off confirmed a showdown in Madison Square Garden, and Melo was the first to miss a shot, an omen of things to come by the time the buzzer sounded despite Melo's 56% shooting. The star of the Knicks would finish with 40 points of his own, but Boston scored more through more coherent team play for a 115-108 victory.
Raymond Felton made things ugly for New York, firing up bad shots, finding his way to 18 points and 6 assists at the expense of his teammates. Baron Davis put in 6, Marcus Camby had 6 points/9 rebounds and Jason Kidd chipped in 9 off the bench. But it was the turnovers department that cost NY the game, fumbling the ball 21 times compared to 8 by Boston.
This clumsy play by NY drowned out a quiet night by Rajon Rondo (9 points, 8 assists). Michael Beasley continued to play well, scoring 12 & 12, with KG not far behind at 10 & 10. Rip Hamilton splashed in 25 points, complimenting Paul Pierce well for this victory that puts the Knicks in a terrible position, with the Celtics leading 3-1 and a return trip to Boston.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 7:48 PM
Jefferson made the effort all night to find open shot opportunities and buried clutch shots in the 4th quarter, neutralizing strong play by Carmelo Anthony by comparison. Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo came out with a lot of energy, using his quickness to score despite contact, finishing with 18 points and 10 assists on 8-12 shooting, keeping himself in line as he dished the ball to his teammates instead.
Michael Beasley put in 16 points and 10 rebounds, Paul Pierce had 15 and Kevin Garnett (despite stellar shooting) had just 13 points & 6 rebounds. Off the bench, Eddie House nailed 4 long balls, Roy Hibbert had some nice put-back shots for 7 points & 5 boards and struggling guard Caron Butler combined with Rip Hamilton for 13 points.
This was not the return visit to MSG that the Knicks were hoping for. Despite outscoring Boston in fast break and second chance points, NY couldn't win this one, not even with 29 by Carmelo Anthony, 22 & 17 by STAT, 12 by Jason Kidd and 27 by Raymond Felton (on icky 10-29 shots). They kept within reach, seeming to be perpetually down by 10 because Boston was simply more efficient tonight.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 7:40 PM
Saturday, November 3, 2012
As the final minute started to tick down, Marcus Camby missed a contested dunk and then Amar'e Stoudemire was blocked on a put-back attempt after a three-pointer splashed in for Boston on the middle possession.
Those two precious misses, despite a clutch 3 by Jason Kidd in the corner, would prove to be the undoing of the Knicks, a debacle that wasn't helped by a turnover off the inbound pass late in the game that led to a layup by Rajon Rondo, who commanded his team to a morale-boosting victory tonight with 21 points and 10 assists.
Paul Pierce had 19 points, hitting vital shots to keep Boston alive amidst 27 points from Carmelo Anthony and 20 by Jason Kidd. Kevin Garnett powered his way to 21 points and 8 rebounds, embittered by being subdued in Game 1. Michael Beasley had 15 points and 6 rebounds and Rip Hamilton ran off screens for 15 helpful points. Eddie House, despite not shooting the lights out, hit 3 huge long balls for the defending champions.
In the loss, Raymond Felton had 13 points, Marcus Camby had 10 points and 11 rebounds, but most noticeably, Amar'e Stoudemire was more of a distraction on offense rather than the unstoppable force he was in Game 1, finishing with just 10 points and 17 rebounds on 5-14 shooting.
Boston's defense, despite some lapses in a dour first half that made the crowd anxious as New York pulled out to an early lead, was efficient when it mattered. The Celtics blocked 9 Knicks shots and caused 16 turnovers compared to their 7. Remarkably, despite New York blazing up the court in the first half, Boston led the fast break department 27-8 overall, holding the Knicks to under 100 points.
The green and white confetti falls tonight, but what awaits Boston in NYC?
Posted by The Dreamer. at 2:02 AM
Thursday, November 1, 2012
STAT had 33 points and 16 rebounds, hitting incredible shots in the paint practically at will, including a flattening 6th foul for Kevin Garnett at the start of the final quarter. Carmelo Anthony, despite being pressured early on by Shane Battier, was not far behind his teammate, scoring 28 points and making clutch free throws in the final nail-biting minute that sealed Game 1 for New York.
The Knicks blitzed out to an 8-0 run toward the end of the 3rd quarter, chilling the fans in Boston, but the Celtics strangely fought back, scoring 8 of their own, as a three pointer by Paul Pierce rattled in at the buzzer, with both teams deadlocked at 88.
Despite the high score, the Celtics played in slow motion all night and each one of them shot poorly, or not well enough to battle New York's onslaught. It was a gritty affair indeed and ties were the most common thing all night.
After calling a timeout, Jordan Farmar missed a 3 that would've tied the lackadaisical contest and Paul Pierce did the same to concede a disappointing start to this series. Boston fell 117-112, despite good play by Rajon Rondo & Michael Beasley. They'll have to look alive in Game 2, or Spike Lee will excitedly start rubbing his chin about a sweep by the Knicks.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 9:02 PM
After a rim-crushing dunk by Jason Richardson tied the game at 103, Paul Pierce got the ball from Rajon Rondo (who just missed his 4th double double of the series).
After a crossover that belied Paul Pierce's longevity in the NBA, he used a dazzling first step to inch past his defender. But the recognition that Andrew Bynum was waiting for him at the basket activated the veteran forward's brilliance.
Paul Pierce dropped the bottom out for his defender by pulling back, fading, and knocking down a crippling shot, lifting Boston's score to 105 and leaving only .6 milliseconds for Philadelphia to respond. Without any timeouts, a full-court prayer was't answered and the series was abruptly over, despite Philadelphia's resilient energy.
Although they lost, Philadelphia outscored Boston considerably in the 1st quarter and forced the champions on their heels, trying to catch up against the much more fluent and sped up offense. Despite the added speed, and a plethora of three point shots, the 76ers weren't shooting the lights out like the Phoenix Suns would. But Andrew Bynum still dominated the paint, outmaneuvering Roy Hibbert and KG, finishing with 26 points and 17 rebounds, only to come up short.
The 76ers would've loved nothing more than to flip the pressure back onto the defending champions by stealing a win tonight. They certainly had enough to tie the game, but not enough time to extend this series to a Game 6, which would've saw them return to a stoked Philadelphia crowd. With enough energy and hunger, the underdogs might've blown the Celtics away, forcing a do-or-die Game 7 back in Boston.
It wasn't to be. The Celtics move on, 105-103, winning 4-1.
But the New York Knicks are waiting for them after knocking out the Bulls.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 8:47 PM
Unlike in Games 2 and 3, Philadelphia's shooting took a hit tonight and they were unable to respond to Boston's steady and efficient performance. With two losses on their own court, Philadelphia is forced to stave off elimination in Game 5. They must count on yet again big and powerful performances by Holiday, Bynum, Hawes (who struggled tonight) and Young. Evan Turner chipped in, but came nowhere near to making a similar impact he made in Game 2.
Tonight, the defending champions proved they're in to win it, 102-97.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 8:37 PM
Andrew Bynum, Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday continued to play hard, scoring highly, much to the approval of the Philadelphia crowd. Having been stung in Game 2, Boston was forced to respond and they did, even if it was through desperation.
Down by 2 with only 2.2 seconds left on the clock, the ball was inbounded to Paul Pierce as he broke free from the defender out to the wing. "The Truth" wasted no time on anxiety and fired away for 3, sealing a much needed win for the defending champions, who had their spirits shaken in Game 2.
Their hopes of stunning the champions were immediately deflated and Philadelphia desperately called a timeout of their own with only .2 seconds to spare, but Andrew Bynum simply wasn't fast enough to get a shot off.
The Celtics win 102-101, showing Philadelphia that they're in for a battle.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 8:29 PM
Boston had no answer for Turner, because they were busy containing Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and Andrew Bynum, all of which played extremely well, stretching the floor.
Philadelphia shot 60% in the second half, and Boston simply couldn't match such efficiency, missing shots down the stretch that would've kept the difference within reach.
Richard Jefferson and Michael Beasley scored well, but Rajon Rondo's stellar impact from Game 1 was absent, along with any coherent play by Boston. The defending champions must've still been basking in the satisfaction of crushing the underdogs in Game 1, but tonight Philadelphia made them pay for it, proving they won't just lay down for the champs.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 8:19 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Led by the brilliance of Rajon Rondo (25pts/10assists), Kevin Garnett (13pts/11rebs) and Michael Beasley (22pts), Boston obliterated the 76ers and made everything they did, including 24pts/15rebs by Andrew Bynum, seem inconsequential.
The only "bad" thing Boston did was play too much defense, fouling the hopeless 76ers, a mistake that had Beasley foul out late in the 4th quarter despite inspired effort. But everything else was working, and working well! Paul Pierce was hitting 3's and fade-aways, Eddie House was lighting up the 3 point line, Roy Hibbert was pulling down 14 rebounds and even Allen Iverson was making half-court passes for breakaway jams.
Boston could not have asked for a better inception to this series, shooting 49/99 from the floor, just shy of 50%. They dominantly take a 1-0 lead and return to the same ecstatic arena for Game 2, hoping to outplay Philadelphia on the boards, in the fast break and most importantly, on the scoreboard. But Philadelphia has to be licking their wounds after tonight and can't be too anxious to let it happen again, at least not so emphatically.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:53 AM
For the 2nd year in a row, the Boston Celtics (64-18) have earned the #1 spot in the Eastern Conference Standings with strong wins against the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls. Unlike last year, the reigning NBA Champions have also claimed the best record in the entire league, which would give them home court advantage, something they narrowly avoided as an obstacle against the Los Angeles Lakers, who held the better record then.
The Boston Celtics tore through last year's post-season, stifling the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat in just 9 games before sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers. To some fans and critics, Boston was the underdog in the last two of those matches, but the results spoke for themselves.
In the regular season, the LA Lakers split two games with the team that took their title away from them last year and the Miami Heat lost 2 of 3. However, the New York Knicks have drawn the Chicago Bulls in the 1st round. Unless history repeats itself, the Celtics may be faced with overcoming Spike Lee's favorite team, a squad led by Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, who have stung Boston in the past.
But Andrew Bynum and Jrue Holiday are up first. It's time to see if they can change Boston Celtics' plans to "repeat" as the coveted NBA champions.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 1:49 AM
Boston may be reeling in a win after most games they play, but that doesn't mean every player is consistently contributing to the team's breezy success. The defending champions parted ways with Channing Frye, who was acquired in the off-season. Frye and former slam dunk contest winner, Gerald Green, were exchanged for bench booster, Caron Butler.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 1:42 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The hometown Grizzlies leaped to a 15-32 lead in the 1st quarter, forcing the Boston Celtics to do what they do best, defy the odds and storm back. Their storm was without the usual proficiency of Paul Pierce, who went cold, only 4-10 from the field and 0-2 from downtown. He was followed by Rip Hamilton, who chilled for 1-6 shooting, outdone by Rajon Rondo who was 1/7 and spent most of the game on the bench out of respect for Jordan Farmar's gutsy eruption, leading the Celtics in scoring for 32 points on 12/23 shooting, including 6 shots from beyond the three-point line.
Aside from Farmar's folly heroics, Kevin Garnett soldiered his way to 15 points and 10 rebounds, along with 14 boards by Roy Hibbert and 13 points by Michael Beasley, but Boston's defense was far too porous to secure a comeback. They allowed too many dunks in the fast break, and it showed Boston's incoherence and exhaustion after several tough road games. 12 turnovers didn't help their hopes for a comeback, either.
Mike Conley had 24 points and 10 assists, Rudy Gay crashed his way for 23 points, Mareese Speights had 14pts/15rebs, but Marc Gasol outdid him with 18pts/15rebs. The Celtics will simply have to refuel now and strike back.
Brandon Jennings (15pts/16asts), Monta Ellis (16pts), ex-Kings forward, Marcus Thorton (25pts), and big men, Ilyasova (16pts/11rebs) and Samuel Dalembert (14pts/18rebs).
After nearly breaking even in the 1st quarter, Boston broke away and outscored the Bucks 34-27. They would continue to hold Milwaukee at bay, outscoring them by 2 in the next two quarters. Boston ensured Milwaukee's comeback attempts would fall short, containing them in the half-court setting and causing 18 turnovers for the Bucks.
Down the stretch, Milwaukee failed to hit shots, while Michael Beasley (18pts) slammed the ball down on the other end over Dalembert. Allen Iverson came in off the bench and chipped in 7 points and 4 assists, scoring more than Rajon Rondo who had an off night, but helped Rip Hamilton reach 16 points by dishing 4 assists of his own.
Boston prevailed, 106-96, extending their win streak to 16 games.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:45 AM
Faced with a huge deficit, Boston relied on the heroes that had silenced Atlanta the night before, as Kevin Garnett (23pts/13rebs) and Paul Pierce (22pts/7rebs) somehow lived to defy the Indiana Pacers, with a miraculous Eddie House (24pts on 8 three-pointers) hitting a huge shot from beyond the arc that gave Boston a one-point lead in the final seconds that Indiana failed to answer, forced to put the Celtics at the foul line in surrender, 104-101.
Tonight's remarkable outcome proves yet again why the Indiana Pacers still fail to defeat the resilient Boston Celtics, despite 24 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists by Danny Granger, 20 points and 9 assists by Rodney Stuckey, 18 points and 9 rebounds by Paul George, and 19 points by DJ Augustin.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:34 AM
Lou Williams dissected the Celtics defense for 29 points, Josh Smith had 22pts/18rbs, Devin Harris put in 19pts/9asts, and Matt Barnes gave a surprising 18 points.
Despite being dominated on rebounds (67 to 42), the Celtics surged in the 4th quarter, outscoring the fierce Hawks 42-33 to a 109-102 road victory supported by 14 blocks.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:27 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2012
LeBron James got a taste of Shane Battier on defense, his former teammate, and struggled to be effective until Boston's lead had grew too far out of reach, despite shooting an adequate 9-15 from the field for 21 points. D-Wade tried to play hero for 25 points and 9 assists, but the score was 74-47 at one point. In the loss, Chris Bosh had 22pts/20rebs.
Eddie House splashed in 19 points, Gerald Green had 10 off the bench, Paul Pierce had a double-double (14pts/10rebs), Rondo had a dime, and Roy Hibbert just missed a double-double of his own (9pts/10rebs).
After winning 118-107, the Celtics elevate to a 13 game win streak as the defending champions travel to the ATL for their next game.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 8:16 AM
Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 13 rebounds, but what mattered most tonight was the last of his 3 blocks. As the Knicks rallied back on the road, Jason Kidd and Carmelo Anthony knocked down a pair of three-pointers to narrow Boston's lead. With defensive specialist, Shane Battier, in his face, 'Melo pump faked his way to the rim, only to be rejected by "The Big Ticket", who blocked the superstar at the basket. Boston corralled the rebound and the exciting showdown soon belonged to the Celtics, 106-113 at home.
In the loss, Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 7 assists, fueled in the paint by Amar'e Stoudemire (23 points, 18 rebounds), and hit some clutch shots despite the odds and several Celtics contesting them. Jason Kidd had 14 points, Raymond Felton had 21, and Marcus Camby pulled down 13 rebounds.
On the winning end, Paul Pierce had 21 points and 7 rebounds, Rajon Rondo had 20, Roy Hibbert had 10 points and 7 rebounds as well, and Shane Battier had 10 points and 2 crucial blocks. Gerald Green, Jordan Farmar, Allen Iverson and Eddie House combined for 21 points off the bench.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 8:07 AM
The only opponent that stands out is the Toronto Raptors, who played a hard gritty game, but ultimately lost due to 29 by Rajon Rondo in a high-scoring affair across the northern US border. They were succeeded by the Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets, all of which failed to stop the steamrolling engine now known as the Boston Celtics.
Paul Pierce has a lot to be happy about. After a sluggish start, he's lit fire as of late, and even had a 35 point game against the Nets, while Shane Battier was busy containing Joe Johnson on the other end.
Free agency acquisition, Eddie House, has honed in his long ball as of late, scoring big and far above efficient from beyond the 3 point line. Added strong play by Kevin Garnett, Roy Hibbert and Hedo Turkoglu have made this quite the convincing run for Boston, as they improve to 19-2.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 7:56 AM
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Eddie House nailed 5 long balls, and Paul Pierce let it rain a couple of times, hitting his trademark fade-away for the heck of it, because New York couldn't get any shots to fall. They trailed by 29 at halftime, and ultimately lost 102-76 to the defending champions.
This is a disappointing effort by the Knicks because many fans inside of Madison Square Garden had to be expecting another instant classic between these two teams after they exchanged competitive superiority back and forth last season.
Raymond Felton, bless his heart for trying to score on a lackadaisical Knicks squad, shot a horrifying 8-27 from the field, clanging his way to 21 points (and just 3 assists as a point guard). Jason Kidd had 13 points, but shot so poorly that on one possession, the ball gave up on the relatively new Knick member by falling out of bounds off an ugly shot attempt.
On the plus side, Roy Hibbert dominated inside and on the boards for 16 points & 18 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had 13, Battier had 10, Rip Hamilton chipped in 11, "The Truth" had 8 and Eddie House splashed in 17 points.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 5:51 AM
They looked flat (without Ray Allen in uniform) as if they were still in collective shock after being bested by Boston in a contentious war all throughout last season and in the playoffs. When LeBron James eventually woke up for 21 points, he was reminded that Shane Battier now plays for the green team and Battier's stingy defense frustrated the former MVP.
Meanwhile, Hedo Turkoglu had 12 points, Battier had 13 on the other end, and Eddie House had 10. The Celtics comfortably took this one, despite Miami snapping out of it momentarily and cutting the lead to 10 in the 3rd quarter.
While Boston didn't shoot the ball "that well", they certainly outplayed a lazy Miami Heat squad, controlling them in the half-court style for a 89-78 victory. In the loss, Chris Bosh had 13 points and 17 rebounds. All this being said, Boston still has 3 more play dates with the former NBA Champions throughout the duration of the season. But tonight was certainly a breeze.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 5:42 AM
Hedo Turkoglu had a pleasant showing with 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo dazzled the home crowd with 18 points and 6 assists. Off the bench, Paul Pierce (who has been struggling all season thus far) chipped in 10 points, possibly a sign of eventual reversed fortune.
Former Pacer, Roy Hibbert, gave a worthy effort with 8 points and 9 rebounds.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 5:36 AM
Former Celtic, Jason Terry, struggled at shooting, but finished with 17 points, as did Ramon Sessions, who was aggressive but deficient due to the ball not falling into the basket during several layup attempts. Second year prodigy Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 17 points, as well, but shot poorly like Terry.
In the 110-91 loss, Charlotte's Jamario Moon (15 points, 15 rebounds) and Brendan Haywood (15 points, 17 rebounds) finished with solid double-doubles, but the Bobcats were annihilated in the fast break by Boston, whose fans were pleased to see return home for a dominant victory after a grueling trip on the road.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 5:31 AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Channing Frye (16 points, 9 rebounds) & Michael Beasley (9 points) once again played well and hit shots in the 4th that put the game out of Brooklyn's reach, powering the Celtics to a 102-86 victory that finally brings a close to a rigorous 8 game road trip.
This win is even more remarkable because Rajon Rondo never suited up and left the task of ball distribution to Jordan Farmar (11 points, 10 assists) and Allen Iverson (6 points, 2 assists). Paul Pierce, struggling still, nailed a 3 but left the duties of forward to Hedo Turkoglu (9 points) and newcomer, Shane Battier (14 points), the latter serving well as a defensive counterpart to Joe Johnson's offensive firepower on key possessions late in the game, including one of 8 blocks from Boston compared to just a single rejection for Brooklyn. Eddie House dazzled the Brooklyn crowd with a few long balls for 9 points, as well.
Boston played hard tonight, and it certainly showed, despite a 25 point, 10 assist showing by D-Will and a huge double-double by Brook Lopez (17 points, 21 rebounds).
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:35 AM
Channing Frye, the former Sun, dipped in 19 points and so did Michael Beasley, leading a cooperative effort by Boston, by which every Celtic scored. The former Celtic, Kevin Martin, however, gritted his way to 24 points on icky 9-25 shooting that allowed scarce flow for the Suns on the court.
New arrival, Shane Battier, hit a corner 3 pointer in Boston's victory, 104-94.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 1:52 AM
Despite a contentious Eastern Conference Finals with Boston, the Miami Heat agreed to trade sixth man Shane Battier in exchange for Josh Howard, as the former is best known for his defense while also being an efficient sharpshooter.
Instead of guarding Paul Pierce, Battier will now be coming off the Celtics bench to support the struggling star forward and quite possibly guarding LeBron James later this year if these two teams meet again in the Playoffs.
The swap also included Ben Wallace (who has seen little playing time so far in Boston along with Hibbert & KG) for ex-Celtic, Marquis Daniels.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 1:36 AM
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
After clawing tooth and nail in the 1st half, the Lakers erupted in the 3rd quarter, outscoring Boston 38-25, seemingly leaving the Celtics in the dust as the STAPLES center crowd went nuts, rallying loudly with their team.
But a tremendous 4th quarter by the Celtics silenced the crowd and nearly put them into a coma several times. Boston went on a 12-2 run and before long enough, there was an instant classic being decided, a chilling reminder of the NBA Finals that earned Boston the title of defending champions. Eddie House (20 points) and Rip Hamilton (25 points) aided Rondo in the comeback, but cooled down afterward.
As noted, Rajon Rondo commanded the valiant Celtics with 30 points and 9 assists, swerving wickedly into the paint around Dwight Howard (20 points/19 rebounds) and Pau Gasol (16 points/25 rebounds), who helped LA crush Boston on the boards, 63-36, earning LA second chance points that ultimately lost this game for Boston.
Kobe Bryant looked to turn in a modest showing with 18 points, but exploded in the 3rd quarter and never quit, surging as the top scorer for LA with 37 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Steve Nash made some gnarly passes but also hit threes and made layups for 22 points and 6 assists.
In highly dramatic fashion, Kobe Bryant tied the game at 99 all, forcing Boston to call a timeout, but to no avail as Boston responded with a scatterbrained play, culminating in a desperate shot by Kevin Garnett. With only 5.6 seconds to operate, Boston clearly overestimated the game clock.
Overtime called, and before long, Metta World Peace starting hitting shots after a cold showing in the 1st half for 15 points total. Antawn Jamison chipped in 7 from the bench, but the story here was false security. Several times, Boston appeared to have a comfortable lead, snapping to an early lead in the extra period, with Rondo drawing fouls in the paint, only for LA to slowly but surely ebb away at the deficit.
A few tough defensive stands by LA kept Boston from extending their lead in the final minute that completely belonged to the Lakers. Boston's fire had started to die out. As Paul Pierce bit on a pump fake, Kobe Bryant drove to the rim and twisted his way past the arm of a rotating Kevin Garnett, finally giving LA the lead with just under 10 seconds to spare in Overtime.
Boston was out of timeouts, due to using them up as cautionary measures to stave off LA's comeback and plot out a couple of successful plays, including a splendid shot by Kevin Garnett (12 points, 15 rebounds) that had momentarily held off last year's runner-up.
As KG came out to set a pick for Rondo, the gutsy 6'1 point guard zoomed into the lane, as those precious 10 seconds slowly ticked down to zero, crashing into the Lakers' defensive epicenter, drawing a mountainous amount of contact, somehow getting the ball up into the air, only for it to rattle off the rim and for the referees to neglect their whistles, shattering Rondo's hopes of lifting Boston back up over the 1 point deficit.
Furious, Rajon Rondo stormed off the court once the final score was officially approved. The Celtics fall 116-117 in the STAPLES Center. The intensity of this game surely affected Rondo's reaction, as did the no-call by the officials, but the Celtics need to move past this loss and remember they are still the defending champions, not the vengeful and bitter Lakers.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:03 AM
Monday, October 8, 2012
Mo Williams was unstoppable and scorched the Celtics' defense for 39 points and 10 assists, a monster performance that knocked Boston on its heel with little wherewithal to respond.
The Truth, Paul Pierce, had a poor shooting night along with Hedo Turkoglu and Rip Hamilton. So, when the Jazz started to pull away due to strong showings by Al Jefferson (23 points, 21 rebounds) and Gordon Hayward (14 points), the raucous Utah crowd had to be thinking victory for their team.
The Jazz definitely poured an unexpected onslaught on the defending champions, but Rajon Rondo (18 points, 9 assists), Kevin Garnett (25 points) and unlikely streaky shooter, Eddie House (27 points on 7 three-pointers), fiercely retaliated and ultimately won, 116-114 after a scary final two minutes.
In the closing moments, Kevin Garnett got his 6th foul and was forced to leave the game. Rajon Rondo aggressively drove to the rim, got emphatically blocked by Al Jefferson, but scrambled for the loose ball, elevated, twisted in mid-air, and somehow tossed the ball into the basket, stretching Boston's lead to 4 after a resilient 10-0 run.
But the craziness wasn't complete just yet. A missed 3 by Utah followed, but another by Marvin Williams crashed in from the corner on the next possession. Rajon Rondo was immediately fouled, but missed the 1st of two free throws. At court-side, Marv Albert warily said, "That first missed free throw could prove crucial for the Celtics."
Trailing by only 2 with no timeouts and 2 seconds to spare, Utah's Mo Williams raced up the court, stopped just past the halfcourt line, and let the ball fly. As the ball fell just short, clanging off the front of the rim, the anxiety of the crowd deflated as Boston's gritty comeback was sealed.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 10:57 PM
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Kevin Garnett (18 points) breezily scored the most for Boston, but Channing Frye (16 points/12 rebounds) and Hedo Turkoglu (who had his best performance since becoming a Celtic) weren't far behind. Rajon Rondo gave a sensational effort as well, drawing the foul and scoring against contact in the paint.
Big man, Kevin Love, had a modest showing with 14 points and 12 rebounds, but Minnesota was simply outplayed tonight. Michael Beasley played with high energy, and veteran pickup, Rasheed Wallace, returned as a member of the Boston Celtics, giving the usual strong effort on the glass and knocking down a three pointer. Eddie House also splashed in his trademark long ball.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 12:47 AM
Despite only winning by 5 points, 102-97, Boston had little to worry about due to a flat start by the Wizards. By the end of the game, the crowd had some reason to be proud of their home team's effort, but aside from John Wall's usual heroic efforts, Boston won without much difficulty at all.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 12:40 AM
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Led by Rondo, a solid team effort majored by Channing Frye, Michael Beasley, Rip Hamilton and Kevin Garnett broke Boston out to 2 different "seemingly insurmountable" leads in tonight's game. However, Indiana's raw passion wasn't to be denied for long as they remarkably kept fighting back. 8 point swerves throughout, this game was unpredictably enjoyable.
Mehmet Okur had an opportunity to nail a 2nd straight shot (the first had brought the Pacers within 2 points) to tie the contest, but missed due to having KG's long arms up in his face. Boston corralled the rebound and Rajon Rondo nailed two final free throws to end the pandemonium. Boston wins, 105-101 on the road for their 5th straight win against Indianapolis.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 11:50 PM
In a slow burn affair, these two teams calmly took each other on, and it was a solid team effort that once again proved successful for Boston. Kevin Garnett had 14 points; Roy Hibbert made his presence known on the boards with 7 rebounds; Michael Beasley hit some gutsy shots down the stretch for 17 points; Paul Pierce chipped in 10 to spite early foul trouble; Hedo Turkoglu delivered 12 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds and backup point guard Jordan Farmar had a modest showing with 6 points and 5 assists.
Boston didn't play spectacularly, but they certainly outplayed Milwaukee and controlled them in the 4th quarter, after breaking out to a considerable lead in the 3rd quarter. In the loss, big men Ilyasova (18 points, 14 rebounds) and Samuel Dalembert (8 points, 12 rebounds) tried to aid Jennings in a late comeback attempt that ultimately proved to be futile.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 1:47 AM
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
A sluggish first half was saved by Rip Hamilton and Rajon Rondo (19 points) as Boston kept a small lead over the surging Nets, but the 3rd quarter spelled disaster for the defending champions, who shot terribly compared to amazing 70% shooting by the Nets.
Discouraged, Boston never got rolling, despite a good game by Rondo, and their defense allowed for far too many points from Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. Sometimes, winning is impossible.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 11:08 PM
A tale of two halves, the game resumed in the 3rd quarter and culminated in a shootout between Rip Hamilton (who had 20+) and Michael Beasley, whose crushing defense kept Memphis on the outside looking in.
To end the game, Paul Pierce nailed a 3 at the buzzer, breaking the 100 point mark for the 3-0 defending champions.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 11:03 PM
Monday, October 1, 2012
Hedo Turkoglu won't have to contend against Paul Pierce anymore because he'll be coming off the bench in his place.
Boston has agreed to trade forward Charlie Villanueva to the Orlando Magic in exchange for the star forward from Orlando who led them to the NBA Finals in 2010. Villanueva had his moments, but lacked consistency in Boston. With the addition of Channing Frye and backup center Roy Hibbert who occasionally plays forward along with KG in the front court, Turkoglu will help balance the SF position while Michael Beasley moves up to the 4 spot.
Boston's GM revealed that the Celtics have been trying to acquire Turkoglu since last season, and finally worked out a deal to Orlando's liking.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 9:44 PM