I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a win is a win. Tonight the Boston Celtics escaped the three point shooting of the Philadelphia 76ers and moved to 11-4 on the season. The Celtics used a great fourth quarter to get the lead up to eight with seven minutes remaining in the game and hung on to a 110-103 victory at the TD Garden.
There were times during the game tonight when the Celtics had people wondering what was again going wrong with the team. At times they again looked like they were playing to the level of their opponent. They would jump out to a six to eight point lead and give it right back up. Part of this was due to the lights out three point shooting by the Sixers, or lack of perimeter defense by the Celtics.
The perimeter defense being played by the Celtics right now is atrocious. Every team they play, statistically good from behind the arc or not, has been killing us behind the arc. The Celtics have allowed 48 three pointers in their last five games against Indiana (9), Golden State (6), Orlando (10), New York (10), and Philadelphia (13). We need to stop blaming this on the other team getting “lucky” from deep. If you leave a NBA player open they are going to make the shot. If the Celtics want to move forward and become a more dominant team they need to step up the defense on the perimeter.
We also saw another half-hearted effort from Rajon Rondo tonight. In the first three quarters of tonights game he played like a three million dollar point guard before stepping it up in the fourth and playing like the fifty-five million dollar guard he is. In the fourth Rondo took complete control of the game on both ends of the floor. On offense he was speeding to the rim past defenders, creating opportunities for his teammates, and doing everything we expect from him. He also nailed a much needed fadeaway jumper to seal the game. On the defensive end he was staying in front of his man at all times and turning good defense into easy transition buckets.
Paul Pierce also played fiery basketball tonight scoring 27 points including two impressive dunks. He led the team offensively for most of the game shooting 10-15 from the floor including 3 three pointers. Pierce also made some very impressive defensive plays including a crucial charge at the end of the game and a big block on a shot attempt by Iguodala.
A guy wearing #72, Jason Kapono, and the other AI (not the one who retired today) led the way for the 76ers with 20 and 25 respectively. The Celtics were able to produce just enough offense tonight to win this game; if they want to start winning big games they need to return to playing the defense they played earlier this year. The Celtics are still 8-1 when allowing 90 or fewer points, lets make this a goal for every game and good things will come from it.
Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images
Rondo Red Bull Photo from Rondo’s Yardbarker Blog