Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
The Boston Celtics allowed me to do exactly that Friday night, as their 114-98 loss made me happy on a few counts.
First of all, and I’m not ashamed to admit this, I was pleased to see Boston lose this game. Sorry, but the Celtics only have the sixth-worst record in the NBA, and I would love to see them improve upon that. (It must be opposite year, in which losing equals improving!) Winning tonight actually would have drawn the Celtics even with the Sacramento Kings in the win column, and we just cannot have that. Given the reality of Boston’s situation, then, tonight’s loss was exactly what the team needed to do, and I am happy with result.
However, being a Boston Celtics fan, I still want to see some solid play out of the guys who are going to be instrumental in helping this team rebuild itself into a championship contender, and once again, I was not disappointed with what Boston gave me tonight. In my preview, I mentioned that I would be paying close attention to Avery Bradley, because I want to gauge how much of a threat a Bradley-Rajon Rondo backcourt can be. Suffice it to say, the Celtics backcourt didn’t disappoint, as Bradley went off for 28 points on 12-for-19 shooting (including 4-for-9 from deep), and Rondo doubled down on the number 12 (points and assists) to help create 36 of Boston’s 98 points scored on the evening. Of course, Rondo continues to shoot a terrible percentage, but he continues to show us why the Celtics missed him so much, as he can get players like Bradley and Jeff Green going so easily.
As for Bradley, he is starting to become an absolute nightmare for opposing teams. The Human Double Team has always been known as a fierce on-the-ball defender, but now that he is good for nearly 15 points per game, while shooting 44.1%, Bradley has become a defensive specialist who is also a true threat to score. Of all the players whose names were mentioned as the trade deadline approached, Bradley was the only other player besides Rondo who I absolutely refused to believe Boston would trade. He’s too valuable to this team, and will cause all sorts of problems to teams the next time Boston makes the playoffs.
So yeah, I DID have my cake and eat it, too. Strong guard play + tanking = happy me, and should equal a happy you, too!