Monday, February 23, 2015
"Today was a Good Day (for Celtics Tanking)"-Ice Cube's New Remix
While most of the civilized world watched The Oscars tonight, I was deeply engrossed in a meaningless Celtics-Lakers matchup at the Staples Center. Haha just kidding, I was glued to The Academy Awards and only switched over during commercials or categories/speeches that I didn't care about. Talk about perfect timing, Boston (20-33 overall, 8-18 away) tied it at the buzzer with a three-pointer by Avery Bradley (20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) just as The Oscars wrapped up. Los Angeles (14-41 overall, 8-19 home) outscored the Celts 12-5 in overtime for a 118-11 win.
Coupled with the news earlier in the day that Jared Sullinger would miss the rest of the season with a foot injury, this was an interesting day for the C's. Oh and Isaiah Thomas (21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) played well in his Celtics debut then got ejected rather quickly for a pretty low-key outburst (slamming the ball on the court after a bad foul call on him). It's enough to make you wonder if the NBA is corrupt, haha that's right my bad. While Sullinger's injury history in the NBA and college is worrisome to say the least (assuming he's a key piece of the future here), still I can't say it's a bad thing that one of their better players is done for the last 30 games. Now can we cut the crap about Boston going for a fraudulent playoff spot in the Eastern Conference? Please.
Another great aspect of this game was that former Harvard star Jeremy Lin (remember him?) torched the Celts for a game-high 25 points and six assists off the bench. LA's starters combined for 34 total points as Carlos Boozer (12 points, 8 rebounds) was the only guy in double-figures. In addition to Mr. Linsanity's heroics off the bench, Wesley Johnson had 22 points, five rebounds and two steals while Swaggy P aka Nick Young added 19 points and Jordan Hill notched 10 points and five rebounds.
Jae Crowder led Boston with 22 points and seven rebounds off the bench, Evan Turner had a double-double (12 points, 12 assists and 6 rebounds), Brandon Bass posted 15 points and five rebounds while Marcus Smart put up 11 points and five rebounds. Even if they are losing many games down the stretch (fingers crossed), the Celtics at least should be way more exciting with Thomas in the lineup. He's the shortest guy in the NBA at 5-foot-9 and we always love our undersized guards (Nate Robinson, Dana Barros, Dee Brown, etc.) in Boston.
The C's were up 32-26 after the first quarter but that advantage shrunk to 58-56 at halftime. Boston outscored LA 20-17 in a grimy third quarter then the Lakers took the fourth 33-28. Of course, this could have been over earlier since LA was up four points with 12 seconds left but like a bad porn star, they couldn't close the deal. See what I did there (logs off forever)?
LA shot nearly nine percent better than Boston from the field (51.2%-42.9%) and hit six more free throws (25-19). The Celtics grabbed two more rebounds (48-46) including seven more offensive boards (13-6), had five more assists (27-22), nine more fast break points (15-6) and 11 more points off turnovers (30-19).
Boston is right back at it tomorrow night (9, CSN) in Phoenix against the free-falling Suns (29-27 overall, 9th in the West). It'll be a mini-reunion for the C's with Marcus Thornton and Brandan Wright who were both traded away this season in separate deals and Gerald Green who played in Boston approximately 50 years ago (give or take a few decades).