All I need to do to explain to you how badly the Bobcats were outclassed is to tell you one thing: Nazr Mohammed (yes, THAT Nazr Mohammed) was arguably their best player. From my experience following the NBA, let me share some valuable knowledge with you: When Nazr Mohammed is your team’s best player on any given night, you are going to lose on that night.
The player who’s supposed to be their best player, Gerald Wallace, was completely non-existent. Greg Payne from CelticsBlog wrote an article titled “Paul Pierce Will Have His Hands Full With Gerald Wallace”, but Pierce remained empty-handed the whole game, as Wallace more or less entirely disappeared. Mike Gorman noted, “Wallace wishes he didn’t get up this morning,” but his play was even worse than that. He probably wishes he doesn’t get up tomorrow morning, either.
The Celtics, much like they’ve done recently, played great team basketball. They moved the ball terrifically, at times looking like a well-oiled machine. Playing against a Charlotte Bobcats team with an old, slow, and weak frontline, the C’s did just what they should do; pound the ball inside. (Note: What the hell happened to Tyson Chandler? A few years ago, he was on the National Team. Yes, the USA National Team. And yes, for basketball. Now, he looks like Space Jam’s Monstars took over every skill he ever had, as well as all of his athletic ability.)
Kendrick Perkins was dominant. He rebounded, he blocked shots, he scored, and he even threw in a between-the-legs crossover move to blow by Mohammed for good measure. (Okay, maybe “blow by” isn’t the right phrase. How does “rumble by” sound? A little more accurate? Good.)
But you know what? That crossover, as nice and unexpected as it was, wasn’t even my favorite part of Perk’s game. So what was my favorite part, you ask? When he fouled a Charlotte player and, instead of sending a menacing scowl in the direction of Mr. Referee, he simply raised his hand and admitted the foul. It wasn’t a nice play, and it wasn’t positive for either Perk or the C’s, but Damn! did it make me chuckle. Since when does Perk politely raise his arm after getting whistled for a foul? Seeing him do that proves true the old adage: There’s a first time for everything.
Besides Perk, Ray Allen was Boston’s other stud. After a prolonged slump left Ray shooting only 30% from behind the arc, it was nice to see the classy star break out for 27 points, including 5-6 shooting from three-point land. He drained a couple threes to start off the first quarter and, by that point, had already matched the total number of three-pointers the Bobcats would hit in the entire game. (Which, coincidentally, is also the number of threes they’ve drained against the Celtics ALL SEASON — two.)
While just about everybody for the C’s played well, one thing people might complain about is Doc’s decision to put the starters back into a 20-point blowout with six minutes remaining. I see why you would complain; after all, who needs KG getting hurt playing useless garbage time? Still, I don’t think it was all that bad. Even with those minutes, Ray Allen was the only starter above 33 minutes. (36 for Ray, 33 for Pierce, 31 for Rondo, 29 for Perk, and 26 for Garnett.) Maybe Doc shouldn’t have put those guys back in — and, really, I still don’t get why he did. It was still a 20-point lead! — but, with those minutes, nobody should be too worn out for Thursday night’s game in San Antonio.
Anything else worth noting? Ummm… Garnett got into a little scuffle with Mohammed in the first half. Rasheed got another weak tech. (This time, he was walking off the floor when the whistle was blown. His reputation really kills him when it comes to techs.) Rondo was decent, Pierce had his first single-digit scoring output of the season, and Garnett continued his efficient play. D.J. Augustin barely played any minutes, Flip Murray was horrendous, and Boris Diaw is kind of chunky.
After winning in such convincing fashion, on the road — again — I want to say the Celtics are road warriors, but I think it has a lot more to do with who they played in their losses, rather than where they played those games. Had the Celtics played Atlanta, Phoenix and Orlando on the road rather than at home, they probably still would have lost all those games. Being on the road shouldn’t help win games… right? Right?
Anyways, on a completely unrelated note, it sure is fun, ain’t it?
Beating up on mediocre teams, that is.