It was supposed to be another scrappy game against the Bobcats. For most of one half it was.
A reloaded Boston Celtic team has begun its march in impressive fashion towards what it hopes is another NBA title. According to Larry Brown, the Celtics were scary good.
Ray Allen led a balanced scoring attack with 18 points. Paul Pierce was second with 15. Rajon Rondo had 11 assists, and Shelden Williams led the Celtics with 9 rebounds. Garnett slipped in the third quarter, without injury. But Doc Rivers took him out anyway.
On the opening night of the World Series, the Celtics came as close as you can to pitching a shut out of their own. The Celtics held the Bobcats to their lowest point total ever.
In truth, the Bobcats played a big part in their own demise. They had 21 turnovers and missed most of the open shots they did manage to get. Intimidated? You bet.
Scary Celtics? Halloween Came Early for the Bobcats.
Coach Larry Brown…
We (had) a lot of guys scared to death and that’s tough.
After suffocating Charlotte with a 13 point first quarter (3 for 15 shooting), Boston stopped Charlotte cold in the second half, allowing just 28 points more.
The Cs pitched a shut out for the first 6 minutes of the second half, stretching an 11 point half time lead to 26 points at 57-31 before Charlotte scored its first points of the quarter on Gerald Henderson’s (former Celtic Gerald Henderson’s son) first NBA jump shot. Gerald’s father was in attendance.
The game was over for all intents and purposes.
Perkins on the 3rd quarter knock out…
Very Important. That’s something that we try to do through the course of the season where.. if we (have) someone on the ropes, we gonna take them out.
The Beantown Ballers decked the Bobcats coming out of the gate with an 8-0 run that was aided by Bobcat turnovers. Charlotte had 9 in the first quarter alone. But the Cs had a hand in those turnovers as well.
(We had) tons of deflections. We keep that number and it was extremely high – as high as you can possibly get it at halftime.
Starting with Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace, this team communicates on defense as well as any in the league.
When we’re talking on defense, it starts with Rondo at the top, with Kevin in the back, guys helping each other. And we always stress hot hands, and when we’re able to get in passing lanes, force turnovers, get out on the break – it makes things easier when you are doing those things.
With six points each from Rondo, Garnett, Wallace, and Ray Allen, the Celtics stretched the first half lead to 13 points at 28-15, before the Bobcats regrouped. They fought back to within 3 points (32-29) on a Boris Diaw lay-up with 4:19 left in the first half.
From there, the Celtics went on a 10-2 run to end the half at 42-31, fueled by two Ray Allen three pointers and baskets by Pierce, Perkins and Rondo.
Rasheed Wallace got a warm Boston welcome on a wet, cold Boston night. They lit the place up when he hit his first two three pointers.
Boston used the three point shot to good avail with 7 in the first half.
We’re taking good threes. I’m a fan of the three if the ball starts from the inside and works its way out. And I thought that’s what we did, especially in the second half. You know, most of them came on drives to the basket and out, and posts and out. I thought in the first half we went in that little stretch where we were searching for the three point line instead of….we had a size advantage. I thought, in the second half, we did that.
The Celtics’ defense was very good, but honestly, the ‘Cats were missing open shots all night. If they swung the ball to the weakside they usually had open looks. They were just missing them.
Tyson Chandler played poorly, especially offensively. He is healthy but not in game form yet. He is recovering from off season ankle surgery. But really, how much is there to Chandler’s offensive game?
Kendrick Perkins and Chandler had a running dialogue going all game. They both received technicals at different points.
Rasheed Wallace on Perkins technical…
(incredulous) The ref gave him a technical for a look that he said was ‘taunting’. I asked him if he’s going to call it like that all year. Just for a look. (paraphrase)
The fourth quarter was mostly second string time and Shelden Williams made the most of it with 11 points and 4 rebounds. Eddie House found the range with 7 points, and for the first time all game, the Celtics out rebounded the Cats,14-9. The Bobcats did mange to win the rebound battle for the game 46-44. It was the only thing they beat Boston at.
We did? I didn’t know that. At least we can take that from this game.
That and a memory eraser. This was a game between a prepared and focused team against an unprepared and unfocused team – unusual for a Larry Brown team. He took all the blame…
I did a hell of a coaching job. That’s my first thought. Our team wasn’t prepared, weren’t ready to go. That’s nobody’s fault but the coach.
But Doc’s done a great job with them. Danny’s done a great job of getting the right guys. He’s just a heck of a lot better coach and better prepared than we are.
Prepared? They are just starting out themselves. But they look good and seem to have added Wallace seamlessly. 2-0. So far, so good.
Next up: Chicago on Friday night.