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This is another installment of 10 Reasons… to add a different spin to each Celtics win or loss this season.
Date: Friday, Nov. 2, 2007 in Boston’s TD BankNorth Garden
Final: Celtics (1-0) def. Wizards (0-1), 103-83
Box Score from NBA.com
10. Brian Scalabrine has to earn some credit for his performance, especially in garbage time. He scored 9 points, had 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. He was at his best toward the end of the game when it was out of reach, hitting a couple of outside shots that got KG and the rest of the C’s on the bench excited. He may do stupid things at times, and he may play some useless minutes, but Scal is a guy that excites the crowd because he’s always the underdog.
9. Wizards guard Deshaun Stevenson went 2-9 from the field in 34 minutes and finished with just 6 points. He didn’t do much on the court. In fact, in a 20-point loss, not many Wizards played that well.
8. Wizards power forward Antawn Jamison shot just 4-15 from the floor (0-6 from 3-pt land). Jamison finished with 10 points, but did add 10 rebounds as well. For much of the game, Jamison was matched up with Paul Pierce, so kudos to Pierce for the quality defense.
7. The crowd definitely played a big part in this win, especially early in the game. I have not seen a crowd in that building so boisterous since the 2001-02 playoffs. And before that…we’re into the old Boston Garden when crowds turned out every night. I loved when the crowd was taunting Gilbert Arenas with chants of “GILBERT, GILBERT…” It reminded me of “ROGER, ROGER” for former Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens.
6. For the good, let’s start with Rajon Rondo. He impressed me with his shooting tonight, going 7-for-10 from the field. He finished with a surprising 15 points and 4 steals. What dissappointed me was just 2 assists. All you guys said he’d at least do 8 per game, so hopefully he’ll find that groove. I still project only 5 or 6 assists (which isn’t bad at all).
5. Ray Allen had a nice first official regular season game in Celtics uniform, scoring a relatively quiet 17 points on 5-10 shooting from the floor. For a stretch in the second quarter when Pierce was on the bench, Allen was great. He slashed to the hoop, he hit his mid-range jumpers, and he also launched his threes.
4. Gilbert Arenas looked awful shooting the ball. He definitely didn’t make good on his guarantee to beat the Celtics on Opening Night, going a putrid 5-20 from the field (0-5 from 3). Despite his awful shooting, he managed 21 points and for a short stretch in the fourth quarter he was starting to be effective. But, let’s be real, 5-for-20 is bad.
3. Paul Pierce turned in an even better game than Ray Allen, shooting 10-19 and scoring a game-high 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Pierce still appears (at least after one game) that he is the leader of this team and for now will be the primary scoring option. Hey, if he can shoot that well fine with me.
2. Apparently, the Wizards set an NBA record by attempting 16 three-point field goals…and hitting NONE of them. Are you kidding? It’s real tough to be an NBA team and miss all 16 attempts from beyond the arc. You know things aren’t going well when crazy stuff like that happens.
1. It’s gotta be KG. He’s easily the player of the game for the Celtics. In his first official game for the Green, KG had 22 points (9-17), 20 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocked shots. That, my friends, is a great fantasy line. He looked dominant at times around the basket defensively. Offensively, I’m amazed that at 6’11″, Kevin Garnett is able to shoot so well from the field and the free throw line. Mike Gorman mentioned toward the end of the game that Garnett said to the crowd, “That’s 1.” That’s awesome.