|Posted on March 11, 2013 at 12:20 AM|
The Celtics went into this game with a 5 game winning streak on the line. They went in 14-4 since Rondo's departure, and all of us have been feeling pretty good about the team, and after this game we shouldn't feel any different. The Celtics fought all night against the Thunder who have the second best home 28-4, and perhaps the best home court in the NBA? Not in my opinion, but I say it's a draw between the Celtics, and Thunder. Maybe I'm a homer about it. The Celtics played hard, and they wanted to win, and maybe they wanted to win too much. They didn't play their game, and despite that fact the Celtics hung around for most of the afternoon.
The Celtics did a solid job defensively (limiting the Thunder to 44.1 percent shooting and virtually eliminating second-chance opportunities), but Boston got sloppy with the ball (19 turnovers for 19 points. The Celtics had a season high 9 turnovers in the first quarter. The Celtics didn't move the ball, and they looked nervous. On the defensive end they slowed the Thunder down. They allowed 91 points, and that's a win since the Thunder average 107 points a game for best in the league. The Thunder could be the best team in the game, or maybe 1-of-3 in the league. If this was a playoff series. We would hope for one game in OKC. Just steal one game on the road in a playoff series, and the Celtics can do that.
I'm thrilled with the Celtics limiting the Thunder to just 32 points in the paint. What really killed the Celtics was poor offense, and home cooking for the Thunder. The Thunder attempted 33 free throws, and the Celtics just 20. The refs didn't effect the game even if the fouls were questionable. The Celtics were aggressive and they didn't get some calls, but the turnovers, and poor shot attempts did the Celtics in. Kevin was forcing, and you don't see that from Kevin but he was 5-of-19 on the night for 10 points, and Green in his home coming was a dismal 2-of-11 for 8 points, he made 4 free throws. The effort was there with the Celtics, but a lesson for the younger Celtics, and even for the veterans. They can hang with the Thunder, and I see this as a real moral victory. They beat the Thunder in the Garden, and like I said the C's hung in there.