CELTICS 105 THUNDER 87
Post: “Green Eyes Focusing on Thunder” Throw it out. In this post I listed all of the things that could possibly pose issues for the Celtics in their final road game. The crowd? Not a problem, the Celtics had them out of it from the very beginning. Young energetic legs? Doesn’t matter- the Celtics defense is back and showing that they are just as quick as anyone else, even on the end of a back to back. I also asked if we would see where the focus of this team was. Without question we saw exactly where it was. 48 minutes of pure basketball with no goal in mind but to play their tails off each and every second to wrap up the sweep on the road. Pierce even said at the end of the game that they knew they would have to come in and win this game. If they didn’t, their road trip would only be good not great.
What is impressive lately is how the Celtics are not waiting until the 2nd quarter. The C’s are jumping on their opponent in a hurry on the road, so they can coast the rest of the way. Tonight was no exception as the Celtics played great on offense, and well enough on defense to have a 31-20 lead at the end of 1. The first was led mostly by Paul Pierce who knocked down one three after another that spread the floor for the remainder of the game.
The lone bright spot for the Thunder was the play of Kevin Durant. Durant scored a very quiet 36 that was very much overshadowed by just how much his team was down. As for the Celtics, Pierce stood out in the first half where he scored his 21 points, and KG made his presence felt throughout the entire game. Garnett ended the night with 23 points on 10-11 shooting, and 8 rebounds.
For the complete game, it was nearly perfectly played. One trip down the floor you may complain that there is too much passing, and a 3 second violation is called. I can’t find it in me to complain about that. That style of play is exactly what we want. It is what gets us the open looks and in rhythm shots. One play that highlighted this for me tonight was when the ball was flying around from one person to the next- there was probably 5 or 6 passes, all of which looked like they had no real purpose, until the last pass was to Rondo underneath for a wide open lay up. It is simply amazing how great this team can pass, and how unselfish they are. The unselfishness even gets to a point where Rondo goes in for wide open layups and instead kicks it out. He has a pass first mentality and could care less about points. As a fan, you have to respect that (even though sometimes you really really wish he would just keep going and make the layup).
All is still positive on the green train. KG is proving every game his knee is awesome, Pierce delivers when needed, the defense is getting good rotations- almost everything. Cant say they are perfect yet, until they go out and beat a great team. Fow now, I love what I am seeing. 7 in a row and we’ll be looking for number 8 as the struggling Bucks come to town on Tuesday.
Pierce (Photo via NBAYahooSports)
KG (Photo by Larry W. Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)