I’m one of the few people that immediately said I liked the Boston Celtics’ trade of Kendrick Perkins for essentially Jeff Green. (Let’s forget the other guy for a second.) It was, in my initial opinion, a good deal because of the skills and athleticism that Green brings to the table. What I wasn’t really aware of from the 10 or so games I’ve seen of the Thunder on National TV was the inconsistency in which he plays. First night in green, he looked like a deer in headlights. That was the first warning sign.
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Last night’s Lakers-Celtics game, a 92-86 win for the Lakers, was much more than a dog-and-pony show for Ray Allen‘s super-human 3-point shooting capabilities.
(Allen connected on 3-of-8 threes to surpass Reggie Miller for the all-time lead in 3-pointers made with 2,562.)
Allen, without question, was brilliant and gracious. I’ve followed him since his time with the Milwaukee Bucks and I can honestly say there isn’t a more deserving guy to hold this record than him.
But for the game, and the rivalry, there’s a lot to draw upon from last night’s contest. It was, in the best way I know how to describe it, an “I told you so” game. Let me explain.
1.) Only 9 healthy — Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, Semih Erden, Marquis Daniels and, for shits and giggles, Delonte West didn’t play last night for Eastern Conference’s best team. Is it any wonder why they lost? Erden, the 7-foot Turk who has been playing aggressive and strong in his reserve role, was out with an adductor strain leaving the Celtics thin in their greatest asset — the frontcourt — after notable injuries to Shaq and Jermaine. The whole reason the Celtics picked up Erden and the O’Neals was to compete with the Lakers in the paint. Last night’s loss becomes painfully obvious when the bigs to back up Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins are no longer available and, like last night, get in foul trouble.
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Waiting for Paul Pierce to show up. He says he will, what do you think?
Me, not so much. Ron Artest is making a difference, whether Pierce wants to admit it or not. And if there is one person that can change the whole dynamic of the game — while instantly having a great game after a bad one — it’s not Pierce, it’s Kevin Garnett. He likes comebacks. In this situation, the Celtics need to break the glass and run the offense through the Big Ticket for once. Letting Pierce dribble it around and figure it out, or waiting for Rajon Rondo to wake up and push the rock, seems like a task in futility. Instead, just put KG in the post and dish to Ray Allen and Pierce when things get crazy. There’s no reason for him to cry about being tired. He’s only got 48 more minutes to play.
All out. Go hard or go home. Remember, anything is possible.