After last year's historic first round matchup against the Bulls many people thought that tonights Celtics and Bulls game might turn into another classic. After the Bulls pulled off a solid win against the Spurs last night, people thought they might be the real deal. I was not one of these people, I looked at these teams and it is very clear that the Celtics are a much more superior team than the Bulls. Last year the Bulls had nothing to lose, and the Celtics were dealing with personnel issues, and injury. This year's Celtics are a totally different team, they are RELOADED and back playing with that great chemistry we saw during the banner year. The Bulls are just not enough to stop the Celtics at this point, the C's are playing like they have something to prove, and they do.
The Celtics did not quite jump out like they did against Charlotte but they played great defense and ended the first quarter with a 21-17 lead. Kevin Garnett (16 Points 4 Rebs) and Ray Allen (20 Points) took care of most of the scoring in the second and pushed the Celtic lead to 50-35 at the half.
After that Paul Pierce happened, Pierce came out firing in the third quarter puting the Celtics on his back. Following the game Kevin Garnett said the following:
“Paul said in the locker room, `Let’s open the third quarter big and stay aggressive,”’
Well lets just say Paul took care of his part of staying agressive. Pierce scored 20 of the Celtics 28 points in the third quarter pushing the lead up to 27 by the end of the third. Pierce was 7-7 in the second quarter and 5-5 from three point land. We all know Pierce can go off like this, but I really enjoy watching The Truth when he is at his best like he was tonight.
One thing I really liked from Pierce tonight was his shooting from the outside the perimeter. Pierce is usually a GOOD three point shooter, but tonight he was GREAT. Pierce shot 5-7 behind the three point stripe for 15 of his 22 points. After three games this year it seems like Pierce is playing just as good as ever, the extra motivation from what happened last year is pushing him to keep getting better and better.
The fourth quarter gave us some time to see quality minutes from some of our deeper bench. We saw Eddie House, Shelden Williams, Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels, Lester Hudson, and J.R Giddens all get respectable amounts of minutes. A couple of these players really stuck out during the stretch making the best of their time on the hardwood.
One thing out that really impressed me, as well as other Celtics fans I was talking to during the game, was the rebounding and overall play of Shelden Williams. Before the season started and before the Big Baby, I mean "Glen Davis", incident many people did not give Shelden a chance. I was kind of one of those people, I expected him to come in during blowouts and just play well enough not to blow a thirty point lead in 5 minutes. Instead Shelden is becoming an important factor in Mission 18, he is now the second big on the bench and is being asked to produce. So far he hasn't dissapointed, Shelden is out on the court giving all he has trying to prove himself. Tonight he pulled down nine rebounds in the 25 minutes he was out there, very impressive for a guy who wasn't suppose to be a "stats guy". Shelden went an impressive 6-6 from the fre throw line and also had a very pretty mid-range jumper over the hated Joakim Noah, for a total of ten points on the night. One more rebound and the guy who was only suppose to get "junk minutes" would have had a double double for the night. I just believe a guy like Shelden deserves this attention from the media, we all hear about the PP's, KG's and Ray's, but it's good to see a guy like Shelden doing good in green.
One of my favorite players, Eddie House, also had a great game of the bench. Eddie tied Paul Pierce on the night for top scorer with 22 points. Eddie shot 9-13 from the field, 4-7 from three point territory, and made the big shots that gave Chicago no chance at a possible comeback. Multiple times tonight I heard the guys on ESPN saying how great of a fit Eddie is for this team. Eddie knows his role, he is a shooter, the one reason he is out there is to make big shots and this is what he did tonight.
Tonight was another great effort from the C's, the game was not quite the classic some people expected but a win is a win. The Celtics are now 3-0 and do not look to be slowing down for anything. It is tough to say they will go undefeated but the way they are playing right now I can honestly say I don't know who's going to beat them!!!!!
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