It must get pretty windy in the Time Warner Cable Arena.
That’s the only explanation for tonight’s first half, which — rumor has it — made Michael Jordan, sitting courtside, puke. The weather conditions improved slightly in the second half, but only on the Celtics’ side of the court. The Bobcats kept trying to shoot into the tooth of an invisible hurricane, and it didn’t work out well. As it ended, the Celtics had their worst shooting night of the season… and still won by 31 points, 93-62.
In the fourth quarter, Glen Davis took a three-pointer with plenty of time left on the shot clock. That’s really all you need to know about the game, but of course I’m ready to tell you more.
I can’t properly describe how excited I was while watching the fourth quarter. The Celtics had no reason to really try. They were already ahead by 20 or so points, and the garbage-time crew was in the game. They could have turned off the jets and coasted in with an easy victory. But rather than rest on their laurels, the C’s kept right on working.
It all started with Avery Bradley, who added Shaun Livinsgton to the list of players he’s put in a phone booth, but it continued with everybody else. Marquis Daniels was flying around the court deflecting passes. Semih Erden was flying high for alley oops. Von Wafer was dishing passes that would make Rajon Rondo envious. The effort had me standing up in my basement and cheering until the final buzzer, even in a 31-point blowout.
Defense was what won tonight’s game, but I’m still not sure if the C’s played terrific defense. The Bobcats were just THAT bad. I see a lot of basketball minds (including Stephen Jackson) opining that D.J. Augustin is the problem, and he certainly didn’t help matters tonight (0 points, 0-8 shooting). But the Bobcats have a four-person big man rotation that includes SuperFat Boris Diaw, Kwame Brown, Nazr Mohammed, and Eduardo Najera. How a team is supposed to win with a frontcourt like that, I could never tell you. Red Auerbach could come back to life, coach the Bobcats, and piece together his best coaching job ever… and I STILL doubt that team would win 35 games.
Back to the Celtics, you guys probably thought Paul Pierce was awful tonight. He shot 1-9! He only scored 8 points! He hasn’t made a three-pointer since December 1st! (He’s 0-16 in that span.) But Pierce didn’t play badly tonight; he showed just how much he has matured. If he ever played that poorly offensively in his youth, Pierce would have packed it in and played zero defense. His whole game would have been affected. But not tonight. Instead, he made his presence felt in other ways. He blocked three shots. He broke up two-on-one fast breaks like it was the easiest thing in the world. He harassed Gerald Wallace into 2-15 shooting. So you say Paul Pierce played poorly tonight. I’ll just say those shots will fall soon, and I’m happy he’s on my side.
Kevin Garnett had another ho-hum double double (and unretired his “talk shit and clap in a perimeter player’s face” routine while D’ing up Stephen Jackson); Rajon Rondo finally got some rest; Kwame Brown’s still as hopeless as ever; Glen Davis continues to do his part every single night; Nate Robinson has no conscience (as if we didn’t already know that),Luke Harangody actually played in the first half (two unexciting minutes); Nazr Mohammed is quite obviously in a contract year; and Semih Erden had the most promising night of his rookie season to date (as well as a monster alley-oop dunk).
The Celtics have now won ten straight games. Recently, they’re doing it without their top three centers, and their best off-the-bench guard. That’s probably part of the reason Michael Jordan could be seen sitting courtside, shaking his head.
His Airness: if you ever wanted to suit up, the Bobcats could use you. I KNOW you’d still be better than Matt Carroll.