|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Celtics were at the wrong end of a close game in the place where they really did not want to lose: home. The Detroit Pistons handled the Celtics well and were able to hit all kinds of shots from all angles of the court to outscore the Celtics 103-97 in Game 2 to tie the series at one game a piece.
Now the Celtics are obviously not out of it, but they are certainly in a position they have not been in at all these playoffs. The Celtics are going into game three in Detroit tied with their opponent. This is the first loss at home the Celtics have suffered throughout the playoffs and if there is any sign that they can win a road game, now is the time to show it.
The fact that there was some good news to come out of this game is surprising, but there is. The Boston Big Three were once again the Big Three. Ray Allen found his shot once again and finished the night off with 25 points and was 2-4 beyond the three-point line. Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 13 rebounds and Paul Pierce had 26 points. Rajon Rondo also added ten points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. It was great to see Allen get his shot back and break out of his slump. If he can break out of his shooting slump against the Pistons then there is hope that the Celtics as a team can break out of their road slump in the playoffs.
Detroit seemed to be make every shot when they needed it, even as the two teams were trading baskets left and right. All of Detroit’s starters finished the night in double figures, including bench player Rodney Stuckey (13 points). For the bigs up front: Antonio Mcdyess had 15 points and eight rebounds, Tayshaun Prince had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Rasheed Wallace had 13 points and 10 rebounds. The guards also played well: Chauncey Billups had 19 points and 7 assists and Richard Hamilton had 25 points. Although the Celtics out-rebounded the Pistons, it was the lethal combination of good Pistons offense and bad Celtics defense that ultimately lost the game for Boston.
My take on the situation is that it’s not all that bad. Obviously, the game was not the way Celtics fans would have liked it to happen or even the way it should have happened. The fact that the Celtics finally lost one at home may prove useful to them. It could put the edge on them that they need to go into the Palace at Auburn Hills and take one from the Pistons. They have to now. There is no relying on home court to get you through in seven games.
The Celtics have to take one look back at the two series in Atlanta and Cleveland and realize that was the past and that they can move forward to Detroit and take a game or two. After all, one would think that they were due for a win on the road already. Perhaps the end of Ray Allen’s shooting slump was the end of the Celtics road slump. I still think the Celtics match up better with Detroit than they had with Cleveland, and they won in Detroit during the regular season, so why not win one there now? The pieces are all in place, now they just have to bring it to the table.