No Kevin Garnett, no problem, as the Boston Celtics decimate the Charlotte Bobcats 105-88. Tonight was a complete team effort, from Paul Pierce to Shavlik Randolph, everyone contributed and scored in the game. Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox did a great job filling in for Garnett and as it turned out, the Celtics didn’t need him for tonight’s contest. Boston had some stints throughout the first half but could never get the lead over nine points. The second half was a completely different story as they dominated on both end of the floor to rout the Bobcats and carry some momentum heading into Monday’s game versus the Miami Heat.
The Celtics came into tonight doing everything right. The ball movement was great and everyone got involved early which really set the tone for the rest of the game. Boston out-rebounded Charlotte 42-35 and their activity on the offensive glass set themselves up for easy second chance buckets and wide open perimeter shots. But without the defense, tonight’s win wouldn’t have been possible.
Gerald Henderson only scored 16 points which was much more acceptable than the 35 points he put up on Tuesday. The Celtics played great defense on Henderson, not allowing him to get to the basket easily and completely taking him out of his rhythm early in the game. In fact, Henderson only had 8 points at half and his lack of offensive production was a factor to Boston’s lead in the first half.
In the second half, Boston flat-out dominated on both ends of the court. The defense clamped down and forced the Bobcats to take some ill-advised jump shots and limited their second chance opportunities. When the Celtics got their first double-digit lead early in the third quarter, they never looked back. Boston didn’t allow Charlotte to build up confidence and make them feel as if they had a shot at coming back in the game.
The Celtics points distribution was the key to their blowout victory. It wasn’t just one player with a majority of the points, it was a team effort. Six players finished with double figures in scoring, and that evenly balanced offensive production was too much to handle for the the Bobcats. Paul Pierce was the main ball distributor as he finished with 8 assists in the game. By him moving the ball around and finding his teammates who had a better look at the basket, he set the tone which got everyone involved. If it wasn’t the best team win this season, it was pretty close.
Ubuntu was alive and well for the Celtics tonight, and for fans, they can only hope that continues through Monday when they face the Heat. To blowout a team, even if it was the lowly Bobcats, without Kevin Garnett, speaks volumes. Boston’s confidence should be soaring as they head into next week after two consecutive good games. If Garnett is cleared to play, I fully expect the TD Garden to be rocking as this is the biggest test for Boston so far. It’s possible that the Heat will extend their winning streak to 22 as they face the Toronto Raptors tomorrow. The Houston Rockets 22 game winning streak back in 2008 ended when they faced the Boston Celtics, so we can only hope that history repeats itself on Monday.