Another day, another heart attack.
This time, the Boston Celtics didn’t have enough to come from behind after spotting the Milwaukee Bucks a 7-point lead. Paul Pierce’s jumper to tie the game rimmed out as the buzzer sounded, and the Celtics ended the night losers of a playoff-caliber game.
Even in the loss, both teams exemplified the gritty play you’d expect from two of the NBA’s premier defensive outfits. And no, I don’t mean Glen Davis’ head-butting grit. I mean real, team-oriented toughness. Both teams left not even an ounce of energy unused, and while the offensive execution was at times spotty, the effort never wavered one bit.
Still, the Celtics will take home the “L,” and have to be a little wary of losing such a well-played game to a potential first-round playoff opponent. Andrew Bogut again got the better of Kendrick Perkins (not to mention the better of Glen Davis), finishing with a resounding 25 points and 17 rebounds. Perkins can bully Dwight Howard like taking candy from a baby, but — for whatever reason (maybe the presence of a couple real post moves?) — Bogut never seems to post anything less than enormous numbers against the Celtics’ center.
For the Celtics, Kevin Garnett posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, looking especially nimble in a first half during which he posted 9 points and 8 rebounds. Rajon Rondo carried the scoring load, with 20 points, but had only 6 assists to go along with 4 turnovers. Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Ray Allen floundered, shooting a combined 6-25 in compiling only 21 points between the three.
- Michael Finley’s debut was good, albeit short. He finished 2-3 from the field for 5 points in only 8 minutes.
- Glen Davis received a technical foul after head-butting Brandon Jennings. Some may say it was unintentional, but — in my eyes — Davis certainly had every intention to create contact with Jennings. Jennings had taken offense to a hard Davis foul, and was standing over Davis in anger when Davis “attacked.”
- Jennings, meanwhile, shot 5-10 from the floor. That marks only the second time since Dec. 28 he shot at least 50% in a game. Of course, he did so after I called him out on his bad shooting.
- Nate Robinson had a nice stint in the first half, but forced the issue while overdribbling in the second half and wound up turning the ball over a couple times.
- John Salmons continued his annual masquerade as a good player following midseason trades. Last season, he looked good for the Bulls, and now he is pretending to be a legitimate player for the Bucks.
- Rasheed Wallace did a great job when Perkins sat due to foul trouble/ineffectiveness. He finished with 7 points, 4 boards, and a team-high +11.