For the 6th straight year the Boston Celtics have clinched a playoff berth with a win over Detroit. Just like this win, this season hasn’t always been so pretty. It’s been somewhat frustrating and the injuries have piled up but this team has the type of resolve that you just love seeing in teams. Now that resolve doesn’t always translate into statistical dominance, especially in the rebounding area.
Tonight’s game was a textbook example of the Celtics’ ineptitude on the glass. Boston was out rebounded by 52-34 and 25-4 on the offensive glass. I’m beginning to sound like broken record when it comes to the Celtics rebounding but I don’t want to take much away from the Celtics game. The Celtics seemed to be in control of the game for much of the 2nd - 3rd quarter where they led by as much as 18 points. Then a 14-0 run by Detroit cut that lead to 4. For the most part the Celtics played pretty good initial defense just gave way too much up off of the offensive rebounds.
Jeff Green was the Celtics leading scorer with 34 points(I will get into more about his game when I review the Keys to the game). Bass led the Celtics in rebounds with 7 and Paul led them in assists with 5.
Player to Watch: Andre Dummond
In my preview for the game I stated that Drummond was the Detroit Big the Celtics had to look out for. He didn’t do too much damage after the 1st quarter where he had 5 boards. A lot of the damage tonight came from Greg Monroe who had 24 points and 17 rebounds. It should also be noted that the Pistons didn’t involve Drummond in any P&R plays where he finished the play(18% of his possesions are P&Rs)
Reviewing the Keys to the game
1. Stop the Pick and Roll:
Detroit didn’t utilize the Pick & Roll action much tonight as they went 1 for 4 on plays where the roll man finished the play. Grade:A
2. Get Jeff Going Early:
Like I said in the preview it was imperative that Boston get Jeff going early. He started out by scoring the Celtics first 5 points, and finished with 14 in the 1st half. He finished with a very efficient 34 points on 19 shots. Jeff’s great play as of late is most likely a direct correlation to his bump in minutes and his starting spot. Per NBA.com/stats in 11 starts Jeff is averaging 22.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. This should be just what he needs to convince Doc to insert him permanently into the starting lineup.
3.Get Contributions from the “Other Guys”:
Boston didn’t really get much in terms of production from the bench only contributing 17 points but it wasn’t really necessary with the production they got from the starters.
While they barely won against a lottery team and almost blew an 18 point lead there were still some positives to be gained from this win. I think we can all agree now that Jeff is a starting forward/power forward capable player for this team. He’s shown over the past month that he can be counted on to take smart shots and play solid defense. The same old rebounding troubles haunted the Celtics but in general no new major trends crept their heads out tonight. KG is still resting and Doc has assured that he’ll be 100% by the playoffs so for now lets look ahead to hopefully another successful playoff run.