Here’s the Celtics Four-Point Play to appear every Wednesday on Sports of Boston. This is where I will compile four (4) small and related Celtics facts and offer my own spin on a variety of Celtics news stories. The general format will be a short blurb about the story first, then my reaction tabbed underneath it.
1. The Celtics last night beat the Indiana Pacers 101-86 to remain perfect with a 6-0 record. The Celtics are the only remaining undefeated team in the NBA. The C’s are so big that they are being shown on ESPN.com’s homepage as the sports world’s top story with the headline, “C-ing Is Believing.” Some game thoughts:
- This was one of those games that was close for most of the way, but the Celtics pulled away in the second half. They built their lead little by little after each quarter of play until they reached the 15-point victory. That kind of consistent play is what makes good teams great. The consistency was also helped by the return of defensive specialist James Posey.
- I’m really starting to think the Celtics are that good. I know it’s early, but look at the stats. The C’s shot only 42.3% from the field en route to 101 points, but their defense truly led the way to victory. They held Indiana to just 34.9% from the field and also forced 23 Pacers turnovers. When you can get a good, consistent, and well-balanced defense to go along with an offense we already know is extremely good, then you’ve got something special on your hands.
- Pierce finished with a game-high 31 points, to go along with 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Garnett contributed 18 points and 11 boards and Ray Allen finished with 17 of his own. I’m also starting to think that Rajon Rondo does not need to play as well as most C’s fans thought. Just go out there, don’t turn the ball over, don’t get hurt, and pass it to one of the PGA. That’s it.
2. The Celtics are moving higher atop the NBA mountain. Now ESPN has started a feature on the Celtics pursuit of the Chicago Bulls’ NBA-record 72 wins in the 1995-1996 season. So far at 6-0, the C’s are on pace to beat the Bulls, who were 5-1 after 6 games that season.
- I think it’s way too early for that kind of talk. But, it looks as if ESPN will probably keep it up until the Celtics lose 13 games. To be honest, that may take awhile.
- I’m glad the C’s are finally in the national spotlight. Most of the attention is good now, but when you start winning (as we’ve seen with the Patriots and Red Sox), the mood about the team changes. People cheer for the underdog, that’s just the way it is.
3. Knicks PG Stephon Marbury has left his team, missing both practice and Tuesday night’s game against the Suns. Coach Isiah Thomas has said he would welcome Marbury back whenever he wants to return.
- So, what are the chances we’ll be seeing Marbury in Boston to face the Celtics at the end of the month? Well, they’re not looking good, but it’s hard to lose his contract. He’s not really tradeable due to his ridiculous salary, and a buyout for him would cost the Knicks a lot of money.
- I guarantee he won’t be coming to the Celtics. Unless Marbury and KG have patched things up since their early days in Minnesota, Marbury has no business playing on the Celtics. I expect the Lakers to jump all over him (if he becomes available) to pair him with Kobe Bryant right away.
4. The Celtics will look to remain undefeated tonight, this time at home against the New Jersey Nets. The C’s beat the Nets 112-101 last Friday in New Jersey.
- I think the Nets will be one of the tougher opponents for the Celtics all season. Kidd, Carter, and Jefferson match up pretty well against the C’s, but no one on their team is any match for Kevin Garnett.
- Vince Carter is still nursing his ailing ankle, so if he doesn’t play this could be a runaway at home for the Celtics. Despite the fact I like their chances tonight, I just don’t think they can win 73 games. Usually in the NBA anything can happen on any given night.
- The C’s have just proven to be consistent, especially on the defensive end. Already a good offensive club, if the defense remains staunch, the C’s will be extremely tough to beat all year, especially in a 7-game playoff series come April.
- Prediction: Celtics by 12.
Tags: Celtics, Four-Point Play, Indiana Pacers