Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recap: The Celtics show up in the last 3 minutes to beat Detroit.

Photo jacked from Chris Forsberg's twitter page. A perfect depiction of the C's effort through 3 and 1/2 quarters.

Better late than never, because this was a pretty important win. With Miami on a 4 game slide, the Celtics really can't afford to be losing any silly games.

The C's fooled me a little bit in the beginning of the 1st- I thought maybe they came to play. They looked sharp defensively (rotated people on T-Mac, so Detroit didn't know who to send to the box) and Paul started 4 for 5 from the field. Well, everything went down hill from there. Greg Monroe started cleaning up in the paint, getting easy lay ups and cashing in on second chance points. Detroit shot 50 percent from the field for the quarter, and the Celtics exerted less and less as the quarter wore on.

The second quarter was more of the same. It started off with a stupid offensive call on Marquis, so the ball went back to Detroit. Back on the defensive end, Marquis turned his ankle and left the game. He didn't return, so hopefully he'll be okay and it's not a lingering injury. Von Wafer (ugh) came in off the bench and provided a spark, beating Austin Daye off the dribble, getting fouled, and completing the 3 point play. Detroit turned the ball over twice in the first five minutes of the second quarter, with the Celtics second unit on the floor. The second quarter also featured some major Tommy points c/o the Big Shamrock. Big BIG up's to Shaq- with 2 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, he dove for a loose ball (got helped up by teammates), made it down the floor and laid the ball in. You go Shaqtus.

The third quarter wamped the MOST. Everyone looked sluggish and uninterested. Paul Pierce picked up two fouls in the first minute. It sucked. Semih came in and gave the team a little bit of a spark, but the Pistons went in to the fourth up 3 and it wasn't looking so good for the Green guys.

And then came the 4th quarter. With the Celtics down 3 with 10:15 left in the 4th, Nate Robinson hit a 3 to tie things up. The Pistons came right back and scored, going back up 2. Nate Robinson attempted another 3, missed, but was bailed out by Big Baby, who tipped it in and tied things up again. Charlie Villanueva had a pretty unspectacular night, but with 9:12 remaining, he buried a 3 and put Detroit up by that amount. A little bit later on in the 4th, Armageddon struck and Ray Allen missed 2 free throws. Oy. It's always so unsettling when that happens. Nate generated an offensive foul with 8:18 remaining in the 4th, and it was a battle from that point on. Shaq had a big fourth quarter- 7 of his 12 points came in the final frame, and he played a big part in keeping the Celtics in the game. With 25 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter and the score tied at 82, Ray Allen connected on a long 2, giving the Celtics the lead for good (the shot was originally called a 3, but upon review, his foot was clearly on the line. Ray was 0-4 from downtown tonight, so he remains 28 3 pointers away from breaking Reggie Miller's record).

We also learned that Jermaine O'Neal is not going to be having surgery. He is going to spend the next 4 weeks rehabbing and getting his conditioning up. Danny Ainge says that there will be no restrictions on JO upon his return. It's a pretty sad situation. I don't expect to get too much more from JO this year. Perk will be coming back soon, and Delonte West soon after that. It's likely that, even if JO is physically able to contribute on a consistent basis, he'd find himself on the outs of the rotation. Sad.

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