Best Win Of The Year

There are so many places to start with this one, and I’m gonna start with Leon Powe.  With no KG and Big Baby getting tossed for a flagrant 2 (more on that in a minute), Leon Powe stepped up with a HUUUUUUGE game off the bench.  20 points and 11 rebounds in about 25 minutes of play.  Every time Cleveland made a run, it was Powe who seemed to squash it.

Paul Pierce was, well, Paul Pierce.  He flat out took over in the second half.  He finished with 29 points (11-22 fg), 9 assists and 4 rebounds… easily out-playing LeBron James, who had 21 points (5-15 fg) 5 assists and 6 rebounds.   The only reason LeBron’s line looks respectable is that he was 9 of 12 from the line.

Other thoughts:

  • I damn near messed myself when Rajon Rondo went down in the first quarter.  You could tell he was on his way to one of “those games” before he got hurt.  I’m happy to see that he not only came back, but eventually, he got back to playing like Rondo.  6 points, 10 assists, 2 steals and 1 turnover for Rajon.
  • Ray Allen was scoreless in the first half but caught fire in the 3rd.  Before Paul took over, it was Ray that got hot and carried the Celtics offense.
  • Big Baby was having a huge game before getting tossed.  In 17 minutes, he was already 5-8 for 10 points.  He was playing some of his best ball of the year.  He was even hitting that jumper that so much of you hate (but will come to love, I promise you that).  But getting tossed on that flagrant 2 is questionable.  I can see flagrant 1, but the flagrant 2 is reserved for a blatant foul without attempting at going for the ball.  I don’t think what was called a flagrant 2 tonight was what people thought a flagrant 2 would be when the rule was being drafted.
  • Here’s what I wrote on our Twitter page: “I can’t help it. I can’t look at Varejao without wanting to punch him in the jaw.”  When he got hit by Baby, he went to the ground like he was seriously hurt.  Then he pops up after a second and a half on the floor like he wants to get into the scrum.  Please, Anderson, save it for the World Cup.  That crap doesn’t belong in the NBA.
  • I also wrote “This game, dare I say, is living up to the hype.”  I think this game lived up to the hype and more.  I also think this sends a message to Cleveland.  A very short-handed Celtics team just beat you.  Keep that in mind when we meet at full strength.  Gary Tanguay said it best in the post-game:  Home court is more important to Cleveland.  12 of their 13 losses are on the road.  The Celtics can win anywhere.  This win was huge for the Celtics, but it was an even bigger loss for Cleveland.

Overall, the Celtics came out from the beginning and played like the defending champs should.  When you consider the injuries, Rondo going down, a number of different guys stepping up… this was easily the best win of the year.

Box ScoreRecap

Game photos, after the jump

FYI: LeBron missed this dunk

All photos courtesy NBAE/Getty Images and Associated Press


28 Responses

  1. this may have been one of heihnson’s best announced games in years in terms of biasness (although he was kinda right)

    he had a 10 second long evil laugh towards the end of the game that was masterful

    celts played such a smooth game tonight

  2. notice no confetti flying from the rafters at the fake garden tonight

    unlike cleveland’s stadium after their january win over the celtics

  3. I hope somebody got a screenshot of Big Baby’s face while the refs were talking. He held that facial expression of disbelief for a good 10 seconds

  4. 38 free throws to 12 and we still won.

  5. ^pretty much what I was thinking. The series of plays that summed the officiating up best was when Paul Pierce went to the hoop with contact and missed the layup, and then Mo Williams did a quasi pump-fake/lunge/throw-himself-2-feet-vertically-into-a-standing-Mikki-Moore who got whistled for the foul.

  6. *horizontally

  7. We win and life is gooooood!!

  8. This was a GREAT friggin game. GREAT. Every single starter had a great game (Paul and Ray in the 2nd half, the others all game long), and Powe was just awesome. Paul… what can you say, absolutely great. And everybody else who played played well.

    Look, you gotta know that I am NOT a defender of refs, for damn sure. But… I looked over every questionable call they made, and they were all… if not completely correct, understandable. A lot of those calls were close, and they had to call it one way or the other. The Flagrant 2 was correct, btw, based on current NBA rules.

    One play made me believe the refs were TRYING, at least, to let em play and not decide the game. Remember when Rondo ran into Lebron in the backcourt and ended up on the ground? He hit hard, didn’t see him at all. Well… in rewinding that, it was very clear that the refs could have… no, SHOULD have… called an offensive foul. Lebron was absolutely stationary when he got hit, and he got hit very hard. But they did not call anything. They let them play. So it’s hard to believe that they had it in for us in this game.

    Let me put it this way… I would gladly take this crew for every game from now on… because the alternative is all the OTHER crews in the NBA, which are FULL of blind, idiotic, corrupt, geriatric assholes. … though I do admit there were a LOT of fouls called for CLE in the 4th, and a lot of ’em were borderline.

  9. Joe Smith looks exactly like Charlie Murphy.

    Leon Powe is all man.

    Rondo is tough as nails. Love that kid.

    Celtics: Best team in the NBA

  10. 38 to 12 FTs on Celtics home floor is not acceptable. Not that it really mattered. The team that deserved to win did.

  11. Cs are the best team NOT, as Lebron said, because we can lose one All-Star and still have two more. Uh uh. That only gives us ongoing offense. Cs are the best team because of the defensive system Thib has set up. ANY decent player can fit into that system… does NOT have to be an All-Star at all. It just takes dedication, work, cooperation and communication. THAT’s why they’re the best team. This team can lose one of its best players, it can lose a whole load of backup players… doesn’t matter… the defense can still hold. And it was great tonight.

    You know, there may be a kind of perverse beauty to having KG out for these 3 weeks. It forces guys like BBD and Powe to step up their game, to play at playoff level with still 20 games left in the reg season. If/when we have our team healthy (well, not Scal, for sure, but everybody else, maybe)… we will be very, very tough to beat. Only the refs could beat us then.

  12. Best win of the year for sure…

    leon powe with his best game of the year and Pierce was awesome

    anyone else already love mikki moore? I love his presense on the bench and his hustle and heart on the court, kinda like a big man eddie house…the biggest complaint is he is not a very good rebounder at all…but i love the way he runs the floor and can finish strong in transition and knock down the midrange jumper and the enthusiasm is great and the posey-like bench ethic

  13. DRJ, no way the refs should call a foul on a guy who gets blindsided by a screen in the backcourt…especially when the offensive player setting the screen is isn’t even setting it for a teammate, just setting it to get some poor bastard that doesn’t see it coming. BTW, Jim Loscutoff did that to Wilt Chamberlain twice in a row and got punched for it. I don’t remember if the refs kicked Chamberlain out of the game, but they probably didn’t.

  14. 11rings– Man, those were way different times, weren’t they. Remember in ’87 when Parrish sucker punched Laimbeer 3 times and Laimbeer got up off the floor all bloody, and there NO foul called, no tech, nothing? Those were way, way different times.
    I certainly agree they shouldn’t call a foul when a guy is blindsided like that, but they usually do, and technically, it is a foul. Anyway, my only point is that the play indicates they were not trying to ruin the game for the Cs.

  15. Good to see the second unit play with some confidence and fluidity, they really keyed the second quarter run that lead to the W.

    Interesting note that comcast coverage brought up and really describes LeBron in a nuttshell. Apparently King James pitched a tv piolet that was based on his own life… what a douche

    also this DRJ kid is a clown

  16. Cavs got PP’d, Rondo’d, Powe’d, Baby’d, and Perk’d. Just an overall AWESOME team effort. I love it!

    LeThong F’ you! Coach Brown LOL you are a pussy.. Took your players out over a minute last down by 8 in the 4th. Wow

    Where is dude from this morning posted as greenmosterballs? Where you at bitch?


  17. you wanna back that up “Rosef”, whoever you are?

  18. DRJ, I didn’t realize that refs are calling that a foul – I haven’t been watching enough basketball I guess. Anyway, you might be right about the refs letting them play – I missed the entire 2nd quarter, so I don’t know – except of course there was no way they were letting Baby stay in the game after that foul. No, it ain’t like the old days anymore. Yeah, I remember Parish paying back Laimbeer. Of course you would be knowledgeable about those old days, Dr. J., wouldn’t you? In fact I remember you mixing it up with Larry Bird a couple times. For example, you and Larry trying to choke the life out of each other. I even heard Red himself once challenged Moses Malone.

  19. Man WHAT A GAME! Got home a short time ago. Varejao was crying all night. I was right there when that thing w/Baby went down-Varejao is such a punk-we let him and the rest of the Cavs hear it all night-there were a group of us in Section17 rows a&b that had fun screaming at those guys! Anyhow, what really stood out to me apart from Powe, Pierce taking over (again) and Perk playing well was this: 8 turnovers! Only 8-that was HUGE. Awesome game, had alot of fun at the Garden tonight. Peace redsarmy…..

  20. ps..Look at Joe Smith COWERING on the floor in fear of “The Beast” in the 3rd pic from the bottom…

  21. KWAPT… good move, guy… best game of the year, and you were there. But… we have even better games coming. The playoffs will be awesome…

  22. Just throwing this out there but.. I think Mikki Moore and Leon Powe actually torched Joe Smith tonight

  23. To be honest I didn’t expect a Celtics win, given our poor shape from the Clippers game on and the absence of KG. But it turned out to be a great game! Everyone played at its best here. Next big match, game #80 at Cleveland.

    About Big Baby: I just wish the refs had more uniformity in their calls… I’m referring about the Gerald Wallace incident. And about Varejao, he was really pitiful… those fakes are what really makes me sick when i watch soccer games, I don’t want to see that in basketball too.

  24. ***** MOST IMPORTANT STAT WAS CELTICS HAD ONLY 8 TURNOVERS!!! THAT AND A CRAZY LEON Is what did it for us tonight. I’m glad i’m typing cause I have not voice to speak with. LOVE THOSE CELTICS!!


    Hey Reds, I’m feeling Big babys jumper if you know what I mean.

  25. Observations from last night:

    1. LeBron is afraid of Paul. Paul owns him and he knows it. LBJ was visably rattled, especially in the 1st quarter.

    2. Baby’s Flagrant 2 could have been interpreted as a Flagrant 1, but at least the refs reviewed the tape and consulted with each other, instead of making an instant biased bad call. (I know league rules mandate this if a Flagrant 2 is called). I hated seeing him tossed, but…

    3. We shot like crap in the first half, but running the high pick with Paul made it easy to find open guys for easy layups and dunks. The Cavs couldn’t seem to figure this out. Also the Cavs insisted on doubling Paul every possession and he consistently found the open guy.

    4. The Cavs inexplicably failed to exploit the absence of KG inside. Big Z. did not receive the ball in the post until late in the 4th. Weird.

    5. When the Cavs finally figured out how to run their offense, their bigs rolled AWAY from the basket instead of toward it, (except for Varrajao). Z and Joe Smith hit some jumpers, but they weren’t much help to them.

    6. Leon, Perk and Baby benefited from the above situations and played great with lots of energy. Every time Leon caught the ball in the post, he looked like he had TONS of confidence and the ball went in.

    7. We maintained our focus every time Cleveland made a run. We didn’t cave into nervousness like we did against the Lakers and Spurs.

    8. If we play like this when KG returns, no one can beat us. If we play like we did against Detroit, anyone can. Our destiny this season is in our own hands.

    9. See what happens when we limit turnovers?!

    10. Best game of the year!

  26. Great win, guys.

    The Cavs amazingly avoid the inside – they did the same thing against an injured Lakers team; I can’t explain it.

    Regarding the free throws – you have to look at it realistically. Washington did the same thing last season. Their goal was to hammer us inside, and they did. But if you’re going to be aggressive, there’s going to be a discrepancy. It’s a part of the strategy. And it worked. Even though we had an exponential amount of trips to the line, we couldn’t convert. I’d foul all day long as well if it means Andy’s taking 10 trips at a 60 percent rate.

    Celts played solid ball. No TOs, pick and pop, heavy execution ball.

    While I wish the result would’ve been different, I’m not ashamed to say the Cavs were outplayed.


  27. Your theory of the Cavs getting to the line 26 more times than the Celtics would make more sense if the Cavs actually “outhammered” the C’s in the paint. The Celtics had 58! points in the paint and only got to the line 12! times (And one was a technical foul that Ray shot). Really? Lebron shot 12 free throws. Really? Meanwhile the Cavs had 22 points in the paint. I think it’s pretty obvious who “outhammered” who down low. Not to say that the Celtics didn’t have a number of easy looks but I think the Celtics and the fans expect more consistency on both ends. If Varajeo barely gets breathed on by Ray on a reverse under the hoop…then I would expect Leon to get the same courtesy when he gets hammered by Ilgaguskis and Varajeo and knocked to the floor. It’s consistency. Or when Paul Pierce drives to the basket and gets bumped. Or when Mikki drives to the hoop and gets bumped. Consistency please.

    My favorite moment of the night was during the last few minutes when Leon got bumped on a layup and FINALLY got the AND 1 he had to work for all game. He laid on the court with his hands above his head like he was ready to make a snow angel. He sure did deserve it.

  28. 8 turnovers-huge. great point sshady. DRJ:very much looking fwd to playoffs

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