Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sometimes You Play Charlotte On Leap Year

Between all the Cassell banter and the overreaction to P.J. Brown's arrival, the game last night against the lowly Cats seemed rather insignificant. But they managed to play it anyway. The Celtics basically got whatever they wanted the first three quarters offensively. Rondo riotously bounced around the court on his way to 16 dimes, Perkins didn't always bring the ball down prior to dunking, and Ray-Ray shot well. It was all leading to Gino Time when the fourth quarter arrived. Glenn decided to go small, with Powe and then KG at center. Posey was playing the 4. And the Bobcats crept back into the thing, seemingly when it should have already been in the bag.

These type of mini-comebacks always happen; it's the NBA, and fourth quarter leads evaporate like that. The Celtics have been among the best at protecting them. But what was slightly disarming about last night was Glenn sticking with a small lineup when Perk, Powe and Baby all had been playing well. The small lineup meanwhile was languid all of the final period, thereby negating any positive affects a small lineup can bring. It was one and done over and over again, with no vibrant flow. The lead whittled down to five, Glenn finally reinserted Perkins, and the C's managed to hang on.

Again, I can't be too hard on Glenn for how he played it down the stretch. Yet I would be lying if it wasn't tough to watch a small lineup being exploited with no counter-reaction taken by the C's. Shades of last season. And hopefully not shades of the upcoming playoffs.