|Posted by paul on January 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM|
What a game today. The Wizards are a young and talented team, and for much of the second and third quarters, the game was nip and tuck, with John Wall and Paul Pierce both having monster games, both scoring a lot of points and coming close to triple doubles. But Bradley seemed to put the defensive clamps on Wall in the fourth, and Pierce kept beasting, and the result was a big win for us! Gold plated game ball to PP, with an assist to Bradley!
The Celtics had good ball movement all game long, and ended up with 22 assts. Ten of those came from Pierce, and seven came from Avery, who lost his shooting touch, but found his passing touch. When the Cs play like that, it seems to pick up the energy in all aspects of their game. Though the defense was not as good today, we barely lost the rebounding battle, 35-37, and we even had one more offensive rebound than the Wizards! Both teams had 17 turnovers. Bradley had six turnovers, and lost control of Wall for much of the game, but he had Wall pretty well under wraps for the parts of the game that counted the most, the first and second quarters, so I think he should continue as our backup to Rondo.
Ray Ray was went out early with a jammed ankle and didn't return. Pietrus played brilliantly in his stead, which seems to give us two really solid players off the bench, in Bass and Pietrus. Bass didn't shoot well, but had 9 rebounds. Ray started off shooting well, so it was very frustrating that he got hurt. Winning this game with our two best players out was really something.
Pierce's game was just brilliant. KG came alive with a power dunk late. There may have been a positive side to Rondo being out; some of the other guys may have taken big steps forwards in their games today. Pierce, KG and Bradley all stepped up.
But I worry how all this will shake out when Rondo returns. This team needs to begin to redesign the offense to feature Rondo more, but the success today will almost certainly harden the Big Three - (and particularly Paul Pierce) - centered rut that we have been in for so long. If the guys find the synergy that one feels they could find, we could have a devastating offense going forward. With Pietrus and Bass playing consistently well, we have an awful lot of firepower. But it has to start with Rondo, and it just seems that that will never happen. It just seems that the Big Three, and Pierce especially, are unwilling to ease up on their grip, so that the young man can explode.
I was watching the Celtics chat over at Celtics.com during the game today, and I was fascinated to see one of the GTL guys comment, towards the end of the game, that this was the first time all season a Celtic had broken 30 points. Ok, how can one forget Rondo playing that amazing game against the Knicks on the very first day of the season on national tv, where he scored 31 points?! I just thought it was very revealing. When Paul Pierce has a monster game, everyone rightfully says THE TRUTH IS HERE!! But whenever Rondo has a big game, it's viewed as an aberration.
So as encouraging as this game is, I wonder; how will things play out? I love it that Paul Pierce can still beast, big time, possibly playing the best game anyone on the Cs has played this season, but Rondo is our best player now, and this reawakening of Paul Pierce only bodes well IF Paul and Rondo find synergy together. I'm sorry for using that word over and over, but I think it is the word that best describes what we need to make this a memorably successful year. Synergy. With it, we can be a powerful team again. Without it, I believe we will continue to struggle.