|Posted by paul on April 4, 2012 at 9:40 PM|
How bad can one feel about a one point loss to the Spurs, one of the best teams in the league, a team that we might not have been able to handle at all a few weeks ago? What makes this near-win even better is that we looked like we were being blown out in the first half. We fought our way back into the game with defense and sheer determination, and with a small lineup featuring Allen, Rondo and Bradley. I would rather have seen Rondo take the last shot, but now that Pierce has been firmly re-established - since the All Star break - as our featured scorer, thanks to Rondo taking a back seat, it was only right that he should be the one with the ball in his hands as the seconds counted down.
We had a tough time shooting all night, but we climbed back into the game and had a chance to win.
In the end, it was offensive rebounds that were our undoing all night. They got 12, and we got 4, and they always seemed to snag one on crucial possessions, negating our tough, exhausting defense too often. I guess it's easy enough to blame the offensive rebounds for the loss, or perhaps to point to our bench being severely outplayed; I know that all the talking heads will warn us not to blame this loss on Allen starting (it's not really a question of blame, of course). That's fine. I still will. I think that tonight proved yet again that the Rondo-Bradley combination is incredibly dynamic at both ends of the floor. I'm not blaming Allen for us losing. Allen had a bad shooting night, but he still managed to hit a crucial three at the end, and he contributed 7 rebounds and some steals; like every true Celtic, he finds ways to contribute even when his shot is struggling. Allen really had a pretty big game tonight. But Avery Bradley (19pts) is not looking anything like a flash in the pan anymore, and the energy between him and Rondo is looking more and more like what we've been expecting to see from Rondo for so long. This team found a killer groove. Gotta ride that as far as it takes us.