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.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 3:57 AM
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
For the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant, the 2nd game of the season couldn't have been heartwarming. It was as if Game 4 of the NBA Finals had been given an encore presentation, because the Boston Celtics looked better in every way tonight, winning by 10 as the final buzzer sounded.
Steve Nash had 24 points, Kobe had 22, and big men, Gasol and D-Howard, had strong numbers. But once again, it wasn't enough to beat the Celtics. New backup point guard, Jordan Farmar, had 15 points, Josh Howard had 13 and Paul Pierce poured in 19. Even new backup-backup Center, Ben Wallace, scored!
Boston simply played harder, proving that a new lineup can still repeat the past, besting a Lakers team that in comparison hasn't changed. The only remarkable quality tonight was a mirror play of the Finals: Steve Nash darted the ball into Kobe Bryant's hand, as he was left wide open in the corner, nailing a 3 that he barely missed in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
While it was a hopeful sign, the Lakers still can't overcome the Celtics.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 12:26 AM
Ultimately, the Celtics proved they were the better team tonight and skated to an easy victory, despite revealing the challenge of forming chemistry on the court as a new group.
Posted by The Dreamer. at 12:14 AM