|And Then There Were 16: Celtics to Waive Four Players, Bynum Next?||Chandler Jones Out 1 Month With Hip Injury; Patriots Sign Alan Branch||2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: World Series||Patriots Trade for Titans LB Akeem Ayers|
The Celtics dominated again. Despite a late rally by the Heat, the C’s still won 95-85 (NBA.com Box Score). With the loss, Miami dropped to 4-11 on the season, and I think they should be better than that. Dwayne Wade isn’t totally healthy and Shaq just isn’t the same anymore. If the Celtics’ defensive game plan was to neutralize Wade, it worked, as the former Marquette star went 2-11 from the field and finished with just 10 points.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 27 points and Kevin Garnett chipped in 23 points and 9 rebounds. Good thing these two played well, as Ray Allen turned in a horrible shooting night again, this time going 3-17 from the field. He was really good from the free throw line (10-11), which helped him finish with 17 points.
I feel it’s also worth noting that Rajon Rondo continued his recent streak of efficiency with a 6 assist, 5 steal, 2 turnover-night. He has been playing better basketball recently. He needs to learn the right times to shoot and right times to pass, but those skills come with experience. I’m pleased with his progress this season.
I’d say its obvious the colossal destruction of the Knicks on Thursday night really helped the C’s outlast the Heat in Miami tonight because the Big Three got big rests the night before. They were well-rested and it showed as the C’s raced to a 28-point lead at one point. It’ll be nice to have one day off before having to travel back home for a rematch against the Cavs.
In looking at the season as a whole, the Celtics have won 13 of their first 15 games. The 13 wins are already half of their win total from ALL of last season, when they finished 24-58. The C’s were stuck on 12 wins through last season’s unbearable 18-game losing streak. As a result, they didn’t earn their 13th win until February 14th! What a turnaround. This season they get 13 wins before December, and it takes the team until February to pull off the same feat. Simply amazing.