| Posted by paul on November 28, 2012 at 10:05 PM
As much as I respect what Danny Ainge accomplished this past summer, what happened in the Celts-Nets game tonight was yet another demonstration of how much we have missed Kendrick Perkins. The final score tonight doesn't show a blowout, but it was a worse defeat than the Detroit game. Like Detroit, Brooklyn didn't even play all that well, but they destroyed us inside. Here again the final statistics are misleading. They say that we were only out-rebounded by ten, but the boards struggle was much more lopsided whenever it counted. Also, according to the official numbers, we actually outscored the Nets in the paint. Lol! Yeah, whatever. They killed us in the paint and then they killed us with threes. Guys like Reggie Evans, Brook Lopez and Andray Blatch crushed us, and then Jerry Stackhouse stabbed us to death with threes while we were down. The refs did their part too. There too the final numbers are a mite deceiving. The Nets only took five more free throws. The refs took care to hide their tracks a bit in the second half, and in the closing minutes. Gotta love the NBA.
We have some nice Bigs, for sure, players who are much much more talented than Perkins, but we have no one to make space inside. And when your toughest player is Rajon Rondo? There is something very wrong with that picture. Rajon Rondo is our best player on both ends, our best rebounder, AND our enforcer? As great as Rondo is, he cannot do everything. I don't blame Rondo for this stinking mess of a game. Sometimes it seems like we are a two man team. When KG went out, the game began to slip away, and when Rondo went out, it turned into a route. Have we become a two-man team?
I've often compared Rondo to Bobby Orr. What happened tonight was very Bobby Orr. Orr wasn't just the best and most skillful player on his team; he was also the toughest. He wouldn't hesitate to go after the biggest guy on the other team, and sometimes it was just to send a message, and he'd usually handle them too.
Some of the comments on twitter tonight and by talking heads are demented and disgusting. Rondo is being called a thug, a goon, a punk, etc.. If any of the folks calling him those names want to see a thug and a punk, look at Dwayne Wade. Observe Wade's MO. Wade always hits people from behind, without warning, and with obvious intent to hurt, and for no remotely understandable reason. Now let's look at what Rondo did. He was understandably angry because Humphries, who had clocked him earlier, hammered KG in mid-air, after the shot was off, essentially stiff-arming him in the face and chest and knocking him dangerously to the ground, backwards. Many talking heads and twitters claim that KG flopped and that there was only normal contact. Knocking someone backwards in midair with a shiver to the head is not normal contact. Had the officials made an appropriate flagrant call, there would have been no altercation. The officials seemed to allow the Nets to clobber the Cs from the start of the game.
After KG went down, Rondo confronted Humphries directly, so Humphries knew exactly who was coming at him, and from where. Then he gave Humphries a hard push. Note again that there was no sucker punch, nothing sneaky. Only when Humphries pushed him back did Rondo go off, and there again, note that no one got hurt. There was absolutely nothing thuggish or goonish or punkish about what Rondo did. It's demented and sick that people would use such words, yet rarely does one hear this crap about a true goon, like Wade, who hits from behind, without warning, and with blatant intent to harm. Or what about Humphries himself? No one has any problem with him giving KG a straight arm to the face long after the shot was off, or with the officials for not making the flagrant call. Humphries was clearly not going for the ball.
So once again, raging hypocrisy is on display. Some folks are even calling Rondo out for not staying in the game so he could extend his streak! The guy can't win. If he extends his streak he's a jerk, and if he doesn't he's a jerk.
Something is wrong with this team. Doc said after the game that they are soft. They really are. How do you come out and play so terrible in a big game against a key rival at home? I can't even blame Rondo for the drama, though I wish he would have shown his toughness by playing better. Geez, at least somebody showed some passion. What the hell is wrong with this team?