Celtics Central

Boston Celtics

Celtics Carve Up Mavericks: 124-100

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The Celtics are making it look too simple. Those who say that you only have to watch the last four minutes of an NBA game to see the important part, hasn’t seen a recent Celtic game.

Maybe ‘stunning’ in the true sense of the word is the best description of what the Celtics have been doing lately. Teams are stunned by the total defensive effort and give up somewhere shortly after.

Erik Dampier of the Mavericks….

We missed rebounds, missed a lot of shots. They turned them into easy baskets. Open three pointers. When you go out and play a good team like that, you have to be solid defensively.

Have you experienced this kind of defense before this year?

They’re just a team that’s been together for awhile. They know how to play the game. They capitalize on every mistake we make. When they were scoring baskets, some our guys were getting down on ourselves defensively because we were not getting stops. They played well.

The Celtics have been getting a lot of teams down on themselves in this new eight game winning streak.

They are knocking teams out by half time. There is no “mercy rule” in the NBA, but second halves have largely been spent watching stunned teams remain neutralized against what appears to be unsolvable defense.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle…

We haven’t really come across a team that plays at this level defensively.

They threw a game of shot making at us. You’re not going to see many nights like this out of NBA teams.

And don’t blink. It can happen quickly. The Celtics were up by one (15-14) with 4:44 left in the first quarter. 4:44 minutes later they were up fifteen points at 38-23. Kevin Garnett had 7 of those points and Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo all contributed. They barraged Dallas with 23 points in that short stretch.

When Brian Scalabrine made a three pointer to make the score 31-17 it was ‘time out time’ for the Mavericks. They came back in to score 6 points to the Celtics 7 to finish the quarter. Rondo ended the quarter with a 16′ jumpshot.

The Celtics continued to increased the lead in the second quarter as Eddie House joined Ray Allen in long range bombing with 11 points, on 4 of 5 shooting, including 3 of 4 from distance. The Celtics added 36 more points in the second quarter to essentially decide the game.

As opponents try to mount an attack, the Celtics are happy to trade baskets with them the rest of the way. 4th quarters are for the reserves.

“Tardy tuners-in” will be missing some tremendous team defense and team basketball in general. Surprisingly, today’s nationally televised game was more about offense for the defensive minded Men In Green.

The Celtics shot 59% from beyond the arc on 16 of 27 attempts and 53.8% from the field on 50 of 93 attempts. The ball was moving all day for 34 assists. Rajon Rondo led with 14 hand outs.

But Doc Rivers says that even the bench was moving the ball well…

I think our bench over this streak has played the best they’ve played all year. And I just think because there is no ball stoppage. The ball’s moving on offense. They are sharing the ball and cheering for each other.

Winning their 8th straight game, the Beantown Ballers went up by as many as 31 points in the first half and entered the break at 74-47.

Remember the Denver Blow Out?
The last time the Celtics scored 74 points by half time was November 11, 2007 against Denver. It was also the last time the Celtics scored 100 points by the end of the 3rd period. It was 103 both times.

Ray Allen had 20 points by half time on near perfect 8 of 9 shooting, with 3 for 3 from the arc. He was joined in long distance devastation by Eddie House. Eddie was 7 of 9 from three point land at one time and finished with 23 points in 27 minutes on 8 of 14 shooting.

Though the Celtics had 28 personal fouls called against them to only 14 for Dallas, the Mavericks were so frustrated by the Celtic onslaught, they were called for three technical fouls, two by Dallas assistant coaches (Dwayne Casey, Mario Elie).

The Celtic bench played extremely well when it counted. They were led by House, but had strong contributions by Glen Davis (7 points, 4 rebounds) and Brian Scalabrine (6 points and solid defense).

The Numbers
Ray Allen finished with 23 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds, a steal, a block and zero turnovers.
Kevin Garnett added 23 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds in just under 25 minutes.
Eddie House also had 23 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals
Rajon Rondo had a stellar game with 13 points, 14 assist, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and just 2 turnovers.
Paul Pierce played only 22 minutes, adding 8 points, 5 rebounds, and one assist.
Kendrick Perkins played 24 minutes contributing 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Unusual Stat of the Night
Paul Pierce’s 22 minutes, and took only two shots in the second half without scoring.
Dirk Nowitzki’s 4 for 17 shooting was his worst shooting pct. of the year and 3rd lowest field goals made.

Summary
The Celtics continued the recent pattern of starting fast and crushing their opponents’ will by half time. They have performed remarkably well as this streak has gathered speed. Ray Allen is 13 of 18 from the three point line over the last four games.

As mentioned before, when this team plays their best defense, they are impossible to stop. Giving up 100 points wasn’t their best defensive showing, but this was a very strong game offensively for the Green Machine, and the game was never in doubt.

Sidenotes: Former Red Sox player Nomar Garciaparra and WNBA Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault were seen courtside.

Next up: Sacramento, Wednesday night in Boston

Thomas Halzack