Sunday, May 25, 2008

C's Get A W In The D And Give Them An L

The atmosphere was electric in Detroit last night. The city that fancies calling itself "Titletown" had a huge sports night where the Tigers were winning big and the Red Wings were busy hosting Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Pistons had done what the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers had both failed to do, win a game in The Jungle. The Pistons fans were sure that the Celtics would fall on the road yet again and bring Detroit halfway to another beth in the NBA Finals.

What happened instead was that the Boston Celtics came out with a tremendous amount of hustle and energy to begin the contest. They drove past the Detroit defense and repeatedly attacked the basket. On the other end of the court, the duo of Kevin Garnett and Kendrick "The Hulk" Perkins completely owned the paint and powered the Celtics on their way to an 11-0 lead.

The Pistons didn't panic and slowly got back into the game thanks to their veteran leadership and they succeeded in getting Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen into early foul trouble. After they left the game the Pistons took a short lived lead. The Celtics bench led by James Posey (12 pts 4 reb) and Sam Cassell (5 pts) tightened up their defense and made big shots as the Celtics end the 1st quarter with a 25-17 lead.

In the 2nd quarter, the Boston Celtics got a rejuvenated Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen off of the bench and they both played brilliantly on both ends of the court. Ray Allen (14 pts 6 reb 6 ast) was used as a decoy since his shot wasn't falling, he drove to the basket and caused the defense to collapse so he could hit the open man all night long. Kevin Garnett continued to dominate his matchup with Rasheed Wallace and he proved to be every bit the NBA's Defensive Player Of The Year with 22 points, 13 rebounds. 6 assists and 2 steals on the night.

Rajon Rondo (12 pts 4 ast 3 reb) continued to apply the pressure and pushed the tempo against a largely ineffective Chauncey Billups who finished the game with 6 points on 1-6 shooting from the field, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in just 27 minutes at -25 on the night. The rebounding and offense of Kendrick Perkins (12 pts 10 reb 1 blk 1 stl) and Garnett along with the bench's solid play resulted in a 50-32 halftime lead in front of a stunned crowd in The Palace at Auburn Hills.

The second half started out pretty much the same way the first one did as the Celtics continued their dominance in the paint. Rip Hamilton (26 pts 2 reb 2 ast) and Rodney Stuckey (17 pts 4 ast 4 stl 2 reb) kept them in the game and kept the game from completely getting out of control. The Celtics ultimately pushed the lead all the way up to 24 before the Pistons went on a 6-0 run and got some huge stops to end the quarter and gain some confidence going into the final frame.

The 4th quarter was a dogfight as the Pistons changed their defensive scheme and pressure the Celtics, forcing them to have to make big plays down the stretch. Rasheed Wallace, Rip Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey all stepped up their defensive and offensive intensity. They manged to get the lead all the way down to 9 with just more than 3 minute left in the game.

The Pistons aggressiveness also had a got the Celtics into the penalty so they could go to the line and continue to score. The Celtics missed three free throws in the fourth quarter but they got enough stops and key rebounds to get them huge conversions late in the game. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce each hit huge threes and Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins both mad big plays as well.

After Rasheed Wallace fouled out, it was pretty much a wrap. Many Piston fans made for the exits and some even booed the home team for a lackluster showing in friendly confines. The Celtics avoided going 0-7 on the road in the NBA playoffs in grand fashion giving the Pistons the lone loss out of all the franchises that played that night in Detroit by the score of 94-80.

Boston shot 46% from the field (32-69) while holding the Pistons to 38% on the night (28-73) including 1-13 from three point range (.077). The Celtics also crashed the boards and outrebounded the Pistons 44 (14 offensive) to 28 (10 offensive) while racking up 20 assists on 32 made baskets to their 15 assists on 28 makes from the floor.

The Pistons forced the Celtics into 15 turnovers while only making 10 all night. Not only that but they came up with 11 steals to Boston's 6 and blocked 9 shots to the Celtics measly 3. The personal fouls and free throws were pretty much even (BOS 25-30 FT DET 23-26).

The Celtics no longer have that monkey on their back now they've won Game 3 in Detroit. The 3 most important games in any 7 game series are Games 1, 3 and 5, The Celtics have won Games 1 and 3 and they haven't lost a Game 5 all playoffs long. The Celtics have regained home court advantage for the series and they go into Game 4 loose. The Pistons have to come out and play consistent basketball while hoping that Chauncey Billups will return to his old form. It's gut check time.

Game 4: May 26th, 2008 @ The Palace in Auburn Hills, MI 8:30 EST ESPN
(1) Boston Celtics vs. (2) Detroit Pistons
BOS leads 2-1 (best of 7)



Aaron said...

God damn the Celts!

an_jel_ick_ah said...

ya i think we are the only celtics nuts out on the web, especially for me to be in Cali, im stuck with Flaker fans thinking they're gunna win. I can't wait until L.A. is silenced and im cautioned about wearing my Pierce jersey.. hahaha..

anyways last night, though irritating since we had damn near a 20 point lead all game we were close to loosing it; but of course came through with that W in the end.

I had night class and got kicked out because i had the game streaming on my computer with the volume up. It was worth the Flaker fans hearing what they're up against anyways. :)