Friday, January 21, 2011

Recap: The Celtics cruise by the Jazz.

From the get-go, the Jazz never looked particularly interested in winning this game. The Celtics came out of the gate aggressive and kept their foot on the gas for pretty much the whole game.

The Jazz were whistled for fouls on the Celtics first two offensive possessions. Within the first 4 minutes of the first quarter, Deron Williams was whistled for 2 personal fouls, and the Jazz found themselves over the limit. Paul Pierce scored 9 of the Celtics first 11 points, also within the 4 minute mark. Rondo attempted a pull up jumper at the elbow at around the halfway mark of the first. He missed... but I'm glad that he's started to take those shots. He is actively working on strengthening that aspect of his game, and these past couple of games have been the only stretch of time that I can think of where he's consistently put up them up. They will start to fall more consistently. Why? Because he's Rondo.

Speaking of him, he came up limping and appeared to have tweaked something. Nate Robinson subbed in for him, but not before Rondo came flying in from out of nowhere and tipped an offensive rebound to Paul Pierce, who buried a three, making the score 24-12. Once Nate was in the game, he connected on his first field goal attempt of the night, a three. We learned that Tommy is not a fan of "the bird thing" that Nate does after making a three. I read that it's not actually "a bird thing," but rather Nate "letting the three's fly." I'm pretty sure Tommy doesn't care either way. Anyway, at the end of the first quarter, the Celtics were up 30-19, pretty much setting the mood for the rest of the game. Shaq tweaked his right hip and left 6 minutes in, not to return.
Get better soon, Shaq-tus!! I'd like it if the photographers didn't sit right on the baseline. It's way too easy for guys to run in to them and get hurt tripping over them, or getting banged by a camera. Not at all a good look. 

Utah came out with a little fire at the start of the 2nd quarter, while Boston came out a little lethargic. The Jazz cut the Celtic lead to 5. Marquis, playing on that sore ankle, smoothly maneuvered his way to the basket and connected, getting fouled in the process. He completed the 3 point play. Back on the defensive end, Marquis and Semih came together to play some good defense, generating a Utah turnover. Ray connected on a 3 (watch out Reggie Miller), and just like that, the Celtic lead was back to 11. CJ Miles attempted to get the 3 back on the other end, missed, and Glen Davis hit a 10 footer on the other end, extending the Boston lead to 13. Utah came up empty offensively, and Marquis hit one of his signature floaters, putting the Celtics up by 15. Oooh, and also during the 3rd quarter, Ray Allen drew contact, threw up a three to get the foul to be called while he was shooting- and hit nothing but net. He successfully completed the 4 point play. I love 4 point plays. Glen Davis was extremely effective all game, but during the 2nd quarter, he took a charge, and then on the offensive end picked up 2 offensive rebounds on the same trip. The Celtics ended the quarter shooting 59 percent from the field. The only downside is that the Celtics had already committed 11 turnovers... At least the Jazz had 12 turnovers and were losing by 18 points, 59-41. 

The Celtics didn't let up in the third quarter. Semih Erden showed us how athletic he is, making some hustle plays defensively and scoring in the paint effectively. He ended up with 14 points. Just as Tommy started to complain that the Celtics weren't taking the ball to the basket enough, Paul Pierce took us to church, and laid the ball in nicely. In one sequence, Semih took down a nice defensive rebound, made the nice outlet pass to Rondo, who then awed us all with one of his signature "I'm bringing the ball behind my back, and then I'm going to whip it back around and pass it before you know what hit you" passes, swang the ball to Paul, who buried a 3. After that, the score was 70-48. I think Utah was ready for the game to end at that point. 

 Nate Robinson played almost the entire 4th quarter and did a pretty good job. He's just not a true point guard, so the offense tends to be more stagnant when he's in there. When he tries to do too much, he gets in to trouble and starts making silly plays. His stat line is far from spectacular (16 minutes, 8 points, 0 assists, 2 turnovers, 6 personal fouls), but I thought tonight he did a pretty good job of staying controlled and levelheaded. The highlight of the 4th quarter? Well... For the Jazz, it was when the buzzer ended and they could leave. For the Celtics, I'd say it was Von Wafer (ugh), who, admittedly is freakishly athletic and nearly jumped out of the building on a put back dunk. 

Let's talk Celtic efficiency: KG scored 21 points on 7-10 shooting in 26 minutes of play. In the same amount of time, Paul Pierce was 5-8 from the field (3-3 from downtown) and had 20 points. Shout out to Semih and Glen Davis for solid efforts as well.  

I know that in my earlier post, I made a big point of talking up Paul Millsap and how good he is... Let's just chalk tonight up as a bad night (for the whole Jazz team. There was no showdown between D. Will and Rondo. Utah was just all around despondent). My faith in him remains. 

P.P.S: Why does Ken Mauer hate Marquis Daniels so much?

P.P.P.S: Kyrylo Fesenko is the biggest person ever. This picture doesn't even do the justice, because Jerry Sloan is 6'5. And while I'm at it- shout out to Jerry Sloan for being 68 years old and 6'5" tall. I love him. But Fesenko is just one massive, massive Ukrainian. 

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