|Posted by paul on November 30, 2012 at 9:55 PM|
This was an exciting game! One hoped that the Cs would rise to the occasion without Rondo, and boy did they! They nearly outrebounded Portland! It's sad that that is something to get excited over, but it is. The defense was stout for most of the night, except during the third quarter, and even then it didn't exactly fall apart. Portland was held to an amazing 34% shooting. Everyone stepped up, but especially Lee (seven rebounds, five assists, ten points), Pierce (eight rebounds and five assists), Terry (seventeen points) and JEFF GREEN!!! Green led the team with 19 points and four steals! Lee and Barbosa had three steals each, and the Cs stole the ball an impressive 16 times.
The Cs established a twenty point lead in the first half. They let it slip a bit in the third, as their defense weakened a bit, and their offense started resorting to the old trick - J after J after J. The first half had been more aggressive. Still, the Cs rallied and restored the twenty point lead, and the starters were able to rest the rest of the night. Sullinger had a nice game himself, with eight rebounds and nine points. Even Joseph got to play. Collins played a lot more than usual. It seems that the Nets game showed Doc that we need to have a bit of size out there sometimes.
Rondo haters are already claiming, of course, that this game shows that Rondo hurts the team. Those dear hearts never disappoint, do they? I think what it really shows is that Rondo achieved his most basic goal wednesday night, which I believe was to send a message to his team about toughness, and about playing like you really mean it. The way this game went tonight was how we anticipated games would go when this team was being assembled. Portland may not have the best backcourt, but our backcourt seemed to make life very hard for their backcourt. The game was basically over by three quarters, and our starters got a lot of rest. But can we sustain this? Our defense has been disappointing this season. Our urgency and our determination have been disappointing. Lee and Green, especially Green, have been disappointing.
Tonight's success makes tomorrow a very interesting game. And if we do well tomorrow, another interesting question comes up; how can Rondo come back without disrupting the progress of Lee and Green? Do they need the room that Rondo not being their creates? Or can they and Rondo work better together?