Friday, March 2, 2012
The Celtics Continue To Make Danny Ainge's Job Harder, Hope He Doesn't Have Another Heart Attack
For the time being, what transpires off the court-mainly in the Twitterverse, online, in newspapers, on the radio and television-is way more interesting with the Boston Celtics than their actual games.
The Celts (18-17) are the subject of non-stop trade rumors (the deadline is March 15) but they don't seem to be affected by it since they won their third straight tonight, 107-94 over the New Jersey Nets (11-26) at TD Garden.
This was the first time since the opening two games (at New York, at Miami which were both losses) that Boston has put together back-to-back 100-point performances. That's not much of a milestone in the NBA but for this time, it most certainly is. The Celtics improved to 17-2 against the Nets in their last 19 meetings.
Every day I go back and forth on whether Celtics GM Danny Ainge should just blow it all up or hope that Boston can stay relatively healthy, win the Atlantic Division and hope that somebody else knocks off the Heat and Bulls.
Jermaine O'Neal might be done for the season with a wrist injury and Ray Allen missed tonight's contest with the flu but the C's still managed to play one of the better games of the season. Duly noted that it also helps that New Jersey is awful.
Paul Pierce (27 points, 8 assists) was great and Kevin Garnett (20 points, 10 rebounds) continued to show plenty of pride in what could be his last season. KG has scored 18+ points in five straight games. Rajon Rondo (14 points, 13 assists, 5 steals)-the main subject of the trade rumors-had a solid game. Mickael Pietrus started for Allen and he added 11 points while Brandon Bass scored eight points. Chris Wilcox went for 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with a game-high 28 points yet he somehow had three rebounds in 35 minutes, way to hustle big guy. Deron Williams mailed it in with 12 points and eight assists and MarShon Brooks scored 11 points. Both Anthony Morrow and former Celtic Gerald Green each added 11 off the bench.
These teams only meet once more, April 14 in the Garden State.
The Bruins and Celtics face all New York and New Jersey teams this weekend. The Devils came to the Garden last night, Nets were in town tonight, the Islanders are here tomorrow afternoon, the Bruins go to New York Sunday afternoon to face the Rangers at the same time that Celtics host the Knicks.
I don't know if you've heard of him but this guy from Harvard named Jeremy Lin plays for the Knicks now. Boston and New York split their first two games this season but Lin only played a minor role in the last one, a 91-89 Celtics win on February 3. With all the Linsanity hype and the fact that the Knicks have been playing light years better since he was inserted into the starting lineup, Sunday's matchup-a national game on ABC-should be entertaining theater (the best kind of NBA action).