|Posted by paul on January 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM|
Well, I can't say that the Celtics followed my advice tonight about featuring Rondo more in the offense! Even so, tonight's game brought tears to my eyes.
I think that Bradley made a statement about statistics tonight, dominating the game with suffocating full court defense on his opposite number, inspiring his team to a record-tying defensive performance, the best basketball the Celtics have played all year, and all of this without much to show in his stat-line. And this wasn't against a weak team. The Magic are one of the best teams in the league, and for much of the game this was a very intense defensive struggle. But the Celtics seemed to break through at the end of the second quarter, piling up a ten point lead all of a sudden. In the third quarter, the Cs broke the Magic's will and then just kept the pressure on the rest of the way.
And all this was done with Rondo, Allen, Pietrus, Dooling and Wilcox out!!!
Pierce was a warrior again tonight, even though he didn't shoot well, playing an all around brilliant game. JO, Garnett and Stiemsma frustrated Howard after he had a hot start in the first quarter. Bass almost had a double double and outplayed his counterpart, Big Baby, who got a nice hand from the crowd on his return, and a nice tribute video.
Defense is the one area where the Celtics have really managed to hold it together all season, but I didn't expect this. This was championship defense! Was it the turning point or an aberration? One thing is for sure: Rondo, when you come back, be aggressive on offense, BUT NO MORE MATADOR DEFENSE!!! If Rondo would play defense more like Bradley does, I think he could do a lot of damage.
Nice interview with Bradley about the decision to pick up the Magic full court, and he also gives props to Rondo for coaching him on the bench...