Friday, March 28, 2008

Daffodilling

The Celtics just took down the Hornets in the second half, like they did on Wednesday to the Suns. If we were still looking at the game-by-game picture I could write an epic about this one, but we are past that point. It is hard to imagine any team really coming close to the C's when they shoot 60% and play their customary stifling D. Pierce was ridiculous (27 points on 11 shots, 9 dimes, 6 boards, 1 turnover), KG primed (21 and 13), and neither was the best Celtic tonight. That went to my roller-skating hero, Rajon, who contained CP3 as well as you can, shot 8 of 10, and finished +28 for the night. Well done. New Orleans, like Phoenix, is a hell of a team, and when you can lay such shellackings on quality you are doing most things well.

So now for the good/bad news. The C's, who have beaten every team in the league, have an easy schedule to round out the regular season. That is excellent for getting some rest, tweaking minor issues, and assimilating Cassell (who played 4 seconds tonight). All those things are very important. The only element that is too bad is that the Celtics are playing so well right now, and you really wish it was May. But it's not. With the suddenly trifling schedule it is almost inevitable that the C's peak play will disappear; it actually will be disturbing if it does not. This is not a team that ever mails it in, but there is no way the intensity level will remain the next few weeks. Again, no big deal, that fire will be brought back by whatever first round opponent they proceed to destroy, but it is interesting what April means to a great team. You have to keep the foot on the accelerator, but drive calmly and with care. You won't be pushing 100 like the last few games. So it's gonna be a bit of a change, and you might find yourself antsy.

6 comments:

Spaceman said...

I agree with this entirely except for one small point. The C's mailed it in against the Sixers the other night. That was ugly. I know Doc did some strange substitutions (or lack thereof) at the end of the game, but they looked lackluster. That is probably the only time that's happened all year which is incredible. My main concern is with Doc managing the end of a close game 7 against a team like detroit. I just keep thinking back to when this team was terrible last year and the year before in particular. They lost a lot of very close games. More accurately, they lost every single close game. Some of that gets chalked up to young players and inexperience. But ultimately that is bad coaching down the stretch. A good coach would've won at least a good chunk of those games. Doc has consistently mismanaged the end of close games. Thankfully, most games this year haven't been close.

Tim said...

i was at that game monday and i have to disagree with you, spaceman - the c's didn't mail it in. they just struggled down the strech and philly played well. plus glenn seemed to be experimenting with the lineup a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Um, they have not lost every single close game. Spurs game most recently prove that point.

Spaceman said...

Tim,
Fair enough. They just had all those ugly turnovers and once they lost the lead I never noticed any intensity or urgency and it surprised because I haven't seen that at all this season.

Concerning the other comment; sorry for not being more clear. I was referring to last season and the season before when we lost basically every close game. If my memory serves me, they basically lost every single game that was close down the stretch, due to, in my opinion, ill advised roster management, poor play calling or not calling time outs at the right times down the stretch (or just not calling timeouts at all sometimes).
-JP

Jeff said...

I have to agree with spaceman's central point: the game coaching last year stunk. It's one thing to say that they were all young players who needed to learn, quite another to do the equivalent of throwing a kid in the deep end every swimming lesson from the start.
There's more game strategy and tactical know-how on the court for the Celtics this year than there was on the bench the last few.

Lex said...

This isn't a bad piece.

But you've only posted 23 for March.

Maybe you should write more often?