|Posted by shawn cassidy on November 4, 2012 at 5:30 AM|
The defense was the story in the first period last night in Washington. The problem seemed solved. The Celtics allowed only 12 points. They forced the Wizards to shoot 21% for the quarter. They ran off to a 17-2 lead. But the second quarter came, and the Celtics gave up 30 points. I felt cheated. I felt like I paid for a Celtics defensive performance. But what I got instead was a big tease.
On the other hand the Big Three found their offense. The Big three combined for 54 of Boston's 89 points. Pierce had a lovely bounce back game of 27 points. I seen elsewhere that fans felt like Paul aged over night. But honestly Pierce won't go off every night. Pierce nailed 4-of-8 from three-point land, and he was getting some inside buckets. Doc had a plan laid out. And the Big Three executed.
"I made a point of it," Rivers said. "I reminded our guys that Paul was on our team and Kevin was on our team. I loved that at halftime, they had the most shots. That's how it's got to be every night."
I don't disagree with that, but I also caution that the Celtics shouldn't force Paul, and KG to jack up a bunch of jumpers just to get their field goal attempts up. The Big Three attempted 47 field goals, and that's over half of the total for the game.
"I don't think we're close," said guard Rajon Rondo. "But our heads and our hearts are in the right direction. We've got to continue to buy into the system, what coach is telling us to do every night and we'll get there. We've got the right approach to the game each night, and it starts with defense."
The Celtics started the game with a defensive mindset, but after the first it was down hill. It picked up in the second half, but that second quarter was a train wreck. I was thrilled that the offense was on track. The Celtics only turned the ball over 9 times, and I would love that every single game. But it won't happen.
"We got our first win under our belt, but now it's just time to build on it," Pierce said. "We understand it's a building process. It's up to us. We got the lead up, then it came back down, then we went up again, and it came back down. So that's the part we have to build on, to build consistency where we put teams away. Even though we won the game, it's definitely one we can learn from."
The Celtics will lose some momentum with the next three days off, but they should utilize their time well. Hopefully they build off of this win. They need to watch the second quarter of, and over again. Jordan Crawford had 21 points for the game, but it felt like he scored 40 points. The Celtics will go home, and rest up, and they'll play their next two games at home. They need to come out firing Wednesday night against this same Wizards team.