A lot of attention has been paid to Big Baby after the Spurs game… and with good reason. He didn’t stop Tim Duncan… but he kept him in check. Holding Duncan to 10-20 shooting is very commendable… considering that matchup had the potential for Duncan shooting 18-25 and dropping a monster game on us.
But lost in all the Davis adulation is the stifling perimeter defense played by the entire team. Take Duncan’s numbers out of things and the rest of the Spurs only shot 42% (35.5% from 3). Take Duncan’s 6 offensive rebounds away… and the rest of the Spurs only managed 1 (from their point guard, no less). Manu Ginobili scored the first 11 points of the game… and then didn’t score again until there were 4 minutes left in the half. And when he took obviously off-balance shots in an effort to draw late fouls… Tony Allen didn’t go for the fakes (consider it a lesson learned from the first Detroit game).
I want to point out Paul Pierce’s effort most of all… because superstars who carry the scoring burden often take possessions off on the defensive end. But I didn’t see that from Pierce. He sent the rest of the Celtics a clear message: if I can bust my ass on defense while I’m scoring 35… the rest of you can help me out too.
Herald: Plate full of defense | Hobbled C’s spurred on | Rondo plays like Parker | No Big Ticket at All Star event | Globe: C’s find opening with shutdown D | Small Wonders | Garnett a fallen star | Souza: Another statement | Megliola: Resiliency on display | Camerato: Big W for undermanned C’s | NH Telegraph: Win over Spurs a healer | T&G: C’s strike down Spurs | SouthCoastToday: C’s making a meal of league’s best | Minneapolis Star Tribune: Garnett looks better all the time