Now THAT was a first quarter, eh?
I think we all knew it wouldn’t last.
Now THAT was a fourth quarter, eh?
Think we’re all glad it didn’t last.
There were, however, at least seven nice things about this game….but first…
Thing one: A ridiculously lazy closeout against a scrappy team playing with nothing to lose at home in front of a crowd that was willing to get into the game. Leaving Sullinger open for two consecutive threes was unconscionable, and had my father-in-law and my wife giggling at my histrionics in front of the TV. Lazy defense upon lazy defense led to a 13-point lead dwindling to a measly three within seemingly about two shot clocks’ worth of game time.
Thing two: Gotta give the guy props when he deserves it-Ed Davis. This guy was covering the court like an octopus. Sure, it helped that he was matched up several times against Victor Faverani, who will not be mistaken for the Dream anytime soon, but he displayed better energy than we’ve seen from him…maybe ever. Even sunk a couple shots from outside the paint (!?!?!?).
Thing three: Conley went full speed at the beginning of the game, but slowed down as the game slowed down. He didn’t dictate the pace as well as one might have liked, but he did take advantage of his speed to get into the lane with some regularity against a rather porous Boston defense. Gotta love 9ast to ZERO to’s.
Thing four: Bayless with what must be termed a breakout game, especially as he had been mired in a bog (that’s about two steps past slump, btw) for a while. The points kinda fell in his lap, and the reason why was great to see-execution on offense. Didja notice JBay lookin’ like Rip coming off those curls? Yes, the caveat regarding the Celtics’ still-developing defense is necessary-but Bayless was able to get his minimal space in several sections of the court, turning off both shoulders. Couple big free throws at the end as well. He’ll need to string together several games like this to fully regain his self-confidence.
Thing five: Koufos and ZBo, 8-27 combined. OUCH. Jared Sullinger, 23 and 12. OUCH-OUCH. The Celtics outrebounded the Grizzlies for the game, and ZBo was frustrated (defended, that is) into missing several point-blank attempts. Gotta think that he is missing MG as much as any Grizzly. Koufos is nothing short of a monster on the glass, and it’s a joy to watch.
Thing six: 24 assists on 30 makes, and EIGHT turnovers for the game. In typically anonymous fashion, Calathes had seven assists to only one TO in only 15 minutes of game time-the court vision and anticipation he shows on offense is just astounding. His defense is, well, uh, not quite on the same level, but as a playmaker, he’s doing just fine.
Thing seven: The conversations between Joerger and Pondexter have probably been pretty interesting lately, huh? Yes, Q has been knee deep in that same bog in which Bayless’ game has been residing, but he’s gone from sometime-sixth-man to anonymous-masked-man. Odds are sky-high that Q would be the first guy to say “so what, the team won, so I’m happy”….but he can’t be thrilled with his lack of PT. It’ll bear watching over the next few weeks.
Back home against the Nets Saturday…can’t wait to watch Snoopy v. TA…