Boston throws its usual three point party
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 19, 2008
(Memo to Ed Stefanski: we all got that the Korver trade was made in order to create cap space, and you even stated that publicly to our friend Brian/Depressed fan in a famous interview, but please sign a three point shooter next summer, besides the PF that we desperately need. Well, a couple of them, while you are at it. You saw it last night, it’s nice to have shooters !
Memo to Mo Cheeks: we got that this team hasn’t much talent, after all we appreciate what you are doing with a roster where two stiffs like Evans and Green “must” start, we give you credit for the fact that these guys play hard every night, but please… fix that f’n perimeter defense !!! It’s not funny to watch all other teams raining threes on us on a daily basis, I swear)
If you didn’t watch the game, don’t let the final 89-116 score fool you (15-25, .375). Celtics didn’t have any fun for 43 minutes. They more than made up for it in the final five.
Here is the story of another early lead that turns into a loss (remember the Bulls game), and of another, merciless three point barrage (remember the three Raptors games, or also the first one vs Boston).
But I am not disappointed, at the end of the day. Low standards, maybe. Or maybe long term view. I just try to see the half full (ok, 1/3 full) part of the glass.
When you will read this post, you will perhaps already know what the boxscore and the main reports clearly tell you: the low percentage from the line, the stunning difference from downtown (2 vs 14 three pointers made, with one of our two coming from a desperation shot by Reggie Evans, the first trey of his career !!!). So let’s focus on other aspects, as usual.
FIRST QUARTER: Focused and pumped Sixers shot 6/9 to start the game, including their only two threes of the night (Evans + Green). We built a nice 23-15 lead despite Ray Allen scoring 10 on 5/5, but then Boston went on a 9-0 run to go up one. We dumbly left Eddie House wide open at the last second at he tied the game at 29. Sixers shot 12/19 from the field but had 6 turnovers, including a lane violation by Reggie Evans that made a (hit) free throw by Dalembert canceled (…). We were 3/7 from the line.
SECOND QUARTER: Sixers played perhaps their best basketball of the season for a long stretch, with all our young guys shining. Jason Smith (in the picture, my MVP) scored 8 points in the period, including three smart “and one” plays, Rodney Carney gave signs of life beating Ray Allen twice off the dribble, blocking him once and scoring 6 points, Thaddeus Young had an impressive dunk on a fastbreak, Lou Williams assisted all of them for most of these plays and scored as well. We were literally DOMINATING under the boards, especially at the offensive end (11 at the break).
Definitely a nice show, that put us up 12 (51-39, 5.30 left) and left Celtics clearly surprised. The lead that was trimmed to only 3 at the half, and Eddie House scored again with one second left (this had me screaming at my desk, but I’m digressing). I immediately had the feeling that we missed a unique chance.
Now please take a look at the HALF TIME STATS: Sixers were 24/42 from the field (57 % !!) but 7/13 from the line and grabbed 23 rebounds (11 off) vs Boston’s 12 (!!). Jason Smith and Sam were our best scorer at 10 (now this is nice), Iguodala had 9 (4/9), Lou Williams 7 (3/4) + 3 assists.
For Boston (19/34, 55%, with 6/9 from downtown) Ray Allen had 13 (5/6, including 3 threes), Tony Allen 10 (…) while Garnett was held to a quiet 5 (2/6) to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists, and Pierce 8 (2/3).
The THIRD QUARTER was played in a playoffs atmosphere, definitely cool. Celtics realized that Sixers were for real and that in order to to shake us off they had to step up. They did it, playing terrific defense, supported by a wild crowd, Sixers took the challenge: we were surely struggling offensively but we didn’t give up anything easy on our half court.
Pierce tied the game at 61 with a three (how about the seventh out of ten attempts?) and then gave the Celtics the lead on the second of his three point plays of the quarter: 68-69, 3.15 left. We stayed in the game though, and the quarter ended at 73-78. Imagine what could have been if we only could make better than 11/21 from the line… that’s how we were waisting an unbelievable 34-16 rebounding edge !!!
Ok, here comes the FOURTH QUARTER. Yes, it ended 16-38, that means -22. But follow me: Carney started it with a brick from behind the arc, Ray Allen showed him how to knock one down (74-83), than, in case somebody didn’t see well, made another in the following possession (76-86). Over? Not exactly. Make it 81-86 with a fantastic half court dish from Lou Williams to a running/flying Thad, “Young vet”. Best Sixers play of the night to me.
Boston again up 9, Sixers reply and it’s a 5 point deficit again (85-90, 7 minutes left). See? We didn’t give up, once more. It took Garnett’s multiple assists (mainly to Powe) and a layup drive by Ray Allen to close the game at 85-94, with 5.24 at the final buzzer. Then the embarassment began (LOL), the rain of threes became a storm and the final score was set. Whatever.
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND “OUT OF MY ASS” THOUGHTS:
In the fourth Sixers shot 4/15 and got outrebounded 5-14, Boston was 16/23 including 6/9 from three point land — Boston’s 14 threes, Sixers’ 23 turnovers and Powe 10 points are all season highs. You pick which is the worst one — Celtics players and fans celebrated the win as if it was a game 7, someone please tell them that it’s not even half of the season and they actually struggled to beat a sorry ass team — You random boxscore reader could think that Pierce was Boston’s best player, but that’s exactly why you are a boxscore reader: Garnett led them when it counted, assisting stiffs like Powe for easy baskets — Paul Pierce, in fact, didn’t play a single minute in the fourth (!!!), he was pulled out at the end of the third, with Celtics up 3.
Eddie House is taking Rick Fox’s place at#1 of my “Most hated” ranking. I didn’t think that was possible, congratulations Eddie — Celtics are 24/44 from behind the arc in the two games vs Sixers, that’s 54%… — Andre Iguodala played a sub par game, not bad but not good either: I expect more from him in games like this — It’s nice to hate the Celtics, I think I will go on — Speaking of hatred, how come that I like most of their players (Paul Pierce & Ray Allen mainly, but also Posey) but I hate them as a team ???
Few ones to end:
“At one point, the Sixers had a lineup of Lou Williams, Jason Smith, Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Rodney Carney. Everybody in that lineup was 23 or younger” underlines fellow guido Marc Narducci — Guess what, they all played well — Instead of giving me much needed support, my buddy Sixerdave was checking his stupid bets while chatting with me on Yahoo Messenger during the game — If you want some nice Celtics coverage check Green Bandwagon or Celtics blog. Well, if you really have to :-)