Boston Celtics: A Few Good Men

Thomas HalzackAnalyst IMarch 19, 2009

The depleted Boston Celtics outlasted the Wade-less Miami Heat in overtime by 112-108.

The injury-riddled Celtics needed a few good men to come forward.

Paul Pierce answered the call. It is one call he actually doesn't relish anymore. Wasn't it just a short time ago when he said those big scoring days are over?

Sorry Paul. Your country, I mean...your team...and Celtic fans need you. Paul Pierce had a vintage Paul Pierce game for the second game in a row. This time the Celtics managed to come out on top.

Pierce Big, Turnovers Low

Pierce finished with 36 points, including a 21-point barrage in the fourth quarter and overtime. On top of that, Pierce had just two turnovers and the team had just 10. Yeah, I know.

This was against the same team they had 25 turnovers against a week ago. The parade starts at two. Dwyane Wade gets to sit up front with Paul due to his absence from this game.

Rajon Rondo also answered the call with 27 points on 11 of 20 shooting and 10 assists. He also reduced his turnovers to just two. 

Kendrick Perkins stepped up with another solid, if unspectacular game. He had four blocks for the second game in a row, nine rebounds and 13 points as he stabilized the defense as much as he could under the circumstances.

He had a huge block of a Beasley lay-up attempt to start the overtime. It was a game turner, IMO. It sparked an 8-0 Celtic run from there.

Michael Beasley's clutch shooting (eight pts.) to start the fourth, followed by Mario Chalmers, Fred Jones and Jermaine O'Neal kept this from being over in regulation. If rookie Chalmers, a 77 percent free-throw shooter, hit both free throws (1-2) with 20 seconds left, Miami wins.


Pierce Wills Team to Win

Pierce hit seven straight Celtic points in just over a minute on three straight jumpers around the top of the key with about a minute left, but just misses one at the buzzer. He then hit a big three pointer after House started OT with a three.

House hits a jumper to make it eight straight points to start the OT. The Heat would never recover. Pierce added five points total in OT to clinch the win.


Eddie House is Clutch

Eddie House was Eddie House. There is talk in some corners that Eddie House isn't a clutch shooter. He is best when the team is up 8-10 points or down the same amount, it is said.

He pours gas on a started fire, but isn't the guy to make the big shots to climb back into a game, or tie, or take the lead. That may have been true last season.

I don't have the exact stats, but this year he has been 'shooting' holes in that story. There are at least 3-4 games that I can recall that he was making important shots at important times in the games.

He won a few games almost single-handedly. He is not just a 'pile-on' guy. E-House is not A-Rod.

He made the three point shot that tied the game at 93 with 3:42 left in regulation, while adding a three pointer to take the lead in overtime, 103-100, and then poured gas on with a jump shot to pump the lead to 108-100.

Once you get familiar with a niche player and his pluses and minuses, the tendency is to start to dwell on the minuses, instead of what he can do. Eddie House can shoot. This season, he is making more big shots that he did last season.

Of this I'm confident, though I don't have the specifics to prove it.

The Celtics were again without Kevin Garnett, the heart of the defense. Missing also was Ray Allen, the Celtic's other hand in the Celtic's devastating one-two combo. Ray is listed day-to-day with a hyperextended elbow.


Big Baby Returns

Glen Davis returned and not a day too soon. With Leon Powe and Brian Scalabrine out, the team needs every big of height and weight it can get. Glen contributes both and believe it or not—stability.

Did I read that right? The Celtics were a ridiculous +27 in Glen Davis' 41 minutes? That must be a typo. That means the Celtics were -23 in the 13 minutes he was off the floor? Way to go Glen. A recount may be in order.

He played solid, but not flashy with seven rebounds and eight points. He had a few big rebounds and got his points in the flow of the offense. The play (a supposed moving pick) he fouled out on was just a terrible call.

The Celtics needed Paul Pierce on that wall tonight. Why? Like Colonel Jessup said...You can't handle the Truth.

(This article first appeared in Tom's blog, 'CelticsCentral' at the Connecticut Post. Tom also writes for Celtics Stuff Live at Comcast Sports Net New England.)

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