Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Mercy: The 2012 All-Star Break Is Finally Here For The Boston Celtics
I sincerely hope that Rajon Rondo enjoyed his 26th birthday today. Without having to play basketball, he was free to do whatever he wanted. The NBA even obliged by naming him to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as a replacement for the injured Joe Johnson.
Rondo's teammates on the Boston Celtics could have used him in Oklahoma City though as they lost 119-104 to the Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in a game that wasn't that close or competitive.
May I just say that I'm psyched I don't have to watch the Celts (15-17) for the next five days. Boston lost its fifth straight game while Oklahoma City (26-7) swept the season series 2-0.
The Thunder improved to 11-1 at home this season and they set an NBA season high for points in a half as they led 72-49 after two quarters thanks to an absurd 30-3 run. Really. That was the most the C's had allowed in a half in seven years.
I give Boston a ton of credit for cutting it all the way down to six points (108-102 with 3:31 left) but without Rondo, Brandon Bass, Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Wilcox, that was their last gasp.
Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 31 points, six assists and five rebounds while Kevin Durant added 28 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals. Daequan Cook notched 17 points while former Celtic Kendrick Perkins had eight points and 10 rebounds. James Harden scored 17 points off the bench.
I absolutely hate the NBA and almost everything about it but I will admit that the Thunder would make me seriously consider buying League Pass that is if most of their games weren't already on national TV.
After missing two games, Kevin Garnett returned and looked good with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Paul Pierce had 23 points, eight assists and five rebounds while Ray Allen put up 21 points and seven assists. I honestly can't remember the last time those three all scored 20+ points, it figures it would happen when Rondo was out. Avery Bradley had 12 points, five assists and three blocks in his place. Mickael Pietrus had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Pierce and Rondo will be off to Orlando for All-Star weekend but the rest of the C's should get as much rest as possible. They have dug themselves quite a hole (3rd in the Atlantic Division, 8th in the East) by losing the first four games of this road trip and generally looking terrible for much of this season.
Barring a big trade (unlikely), the best we can hope for is that most everybody gets healthy at once and maybe this squad has one last run left in them. They return on Tuesday to close out the trip in Cleveland (1-1 so far this season against the Cavs). That's a must-win before they come back to Boston for a four-game homestand. The first half of 2011-12 was miserable, I feel like taking a cold shower after watching this mess.
UPDATE 2/24: Rondo was also added to the Skills Challenge, taking Stephen Curry's place (he's hurt too).