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The traditional beatdown: the Bulls never led and were often down by more than 20 points throughout the second half in their lost to the red-hot Celtics, 116-93. All five Celtics starters scored in double figures, led by 22 points from Paul Pierce.
Kendrick Perkins continued his hot streak yet again, proving that he may be coming into his own at just the right time. His stat line of 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots is exactly what you want to see out of your starting center. Perk is beginning to define his game: good defensive play and a little bit of offense too. In all, I think I made a good fantasy pickup when I snagged Kendrick Perkins from the waiver wire.
Kevin Garnett has really had his effect on Perk. Perk doesn’t have to worry about all the big guys coming into the lane; just one and sometimes none. KG is so defensively gifted, he can take care of most players in the paint, and sometimes a couple of them. This has allowed Perk to grow without having too much responsibility. KG has really helped him on the offensive end by drawing double teams down low and getting Perk his opportunity to put it in the hoop.
KG and Perk didn’t really have their hands full with the new-look Bulls. Ben Wallace would’ve been a nice challenge, but we already saw him with the Cavs. Who was in his place? Could it be? Rookie Joakim Noah…playing at the center position in the NBA! They also saw former Cav Drew Gooden at the power forward position. Both players are pretty good, but nothing worth getting too worried about. Noah has shown some flashes, and Gooden is always tough on the boards, but in this game they didn’t really shine. Gooden played only 15 minutes and didn’t do much. Noah contributed 10 points and 7 rebounds and looks like he could be a viable option in the future.
Also worth noting was P.J. Brown’s Celtics debut. Brown looked a bit rusty, but you could tell he was excited when he hit his first basket and FT shot, pumping his fist to the delight of the crowd. Brown played a little more than 6 minutes and finished with 3 points, 6 rebounds, and a steal. He and Eddie House had some awful turnovers in the fourth quarter, but the game was out of hand anyway so it was no big deal.
With 48 wins, the Celtics are sitting pretty atop the Eastern Conference. Tonight, the Celtics have to play the second game of a back-to-back on the road against the Grizzlies. They could trip up in this game, but let’s hope not. The Grizzlies are pretty bad.