The word of the day for the green? Efficiency.
Boston dominated the visiting Washington Wizards by shooting a season-high 66 percent from the floor while holding the Wizards to just 39 percent. The end result was an easy victory by more than 30 points for the C’s, their third straight win.
The C’s went on an early running after trailing by three in the first quarter and never looked back. The starters were brilliant, with Paul Pierce’s 23 points (on 10-16 shooting) leading the way. That was the worst shooting night by any of the starting five, as the rest of the starters combined to shoot 25-33, highlighted by Kevin Garnett’s 9-11 night, which in itself was due largely in part to a number of easy looks from Rajon Rondo.
While the Celtics erased any memory of a horrific loss to Washington last year at home, this one proved that the Wizards might be the worst team in the league. Without the electrifying John Wall, who was sitting out with an injury, the Wizards were listless and did not put up much of a fight in this one.
Here’s a few things to take from the game.
Dominant Down Low: The Celtics got a huge lead in this one by creating easy buckets. That helped the C’s finish with 56 points in the paint—more than the total number of points the Wizards scored in the final three quarters combined. It’s no wonder that the Celtics shot such a high percentage in this one. It’s easy to hit buckets when they are basically from point-blank range.
Delonte’s Debut: Delonte West made his much-anticipated return to the court Wednesday night, and he did not disappoint. The former Cavaliers’ guard led the C’s bench with 12 points on 5-7 shooting and added five rebounds and four assists on the night.
Displaying confidence in his shot and skills on both ends of the floor, West was influential in his 21 minutes on the floor. Hopefully it is a sign of what is to come for Boston.
C’s on Defensive: Besides the poor shooting night the Celtics held the Wizards too, Washington also dished out just 12 assists. While Washington actually took more shots than the C’s, the Celtics kept them from getting quality chances. And in both the second and fourth quarters the Celtics held the Wizards to under 20 points–16 and 14 respectively. Boston never let up on the defensive end in this one, and that helped it stretch the lead to an unbeatable margin.
Agent…’Nine?’: Gilbert Arenas sure looked like a shadow of himself in this one.
Getting the start with Wall out, Arenas finished with just nine points on 3-11 shooting. It’s not like any of the Washington starters (outside of Kirk Hinrich, maybe) had a good night, but Arenas stood out. One night of scoring 20 points against the Toronto Raptors, Arenas barely contributed against the Celtics.
Arenas might not be able to play well in the second of a back-to-back thanks to his injury history, but you still expect more from a player who has hyped himself up more than most in the NBA. He might have to live off the hype he created now, because he isn’t going to make headlines with his game much this season.
Offensive on the Glass: The C’s allowed the Wizards to gather up 18 offensive rebounds on the night. The Celtics’ have had some trouble keeping teams off the offensive glass all season, and that will be something to keep an eye on. JaVale McGee, in particular, was active all night and caused problems for the opposition.