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So, the Celtics played in opening night against Cleveland on Tuesday and won. Then, they had Wednesday and Thursday off and played Friday night against the Bulls in a blowout win. Then, they immediately hopped on a plane to play IN Indiana the next evening.
I know it’s early in the season, and it sounds like I’m complaining…but it’s tough on any team, including the talented Celtics, to win a game on the road the next night after playing at home. With that said, the Celtics looked pretty bad in a 95-79 Pacers win.
The game was close by the end of the half, with the Pacers leading 48-41. But, as is customary with a tired team, the Celtics wore out in the second half, as the Pacers surged to a 16-point victory.
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen certainly appeared tired, and it affected their shooting. Pierce shot just 3-15 from the field and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Allen didn’t fare much better, shooting 4-10 for 10 points and six rebounds.
Kevin Garnett led the way for the Celtics with 18 points (9-18 shooting), 14 rebounds, and a blocked shot. KG has played quite well in the past two games, and is easily the team’s most consistent player. It’s easier when you’re taking short-range shots, but still, the man deserves the credit.
Danny Granger led a balanced Pacers attack with 20 points, four rebounds, a steal, and two blocked shots. Granger has to take on a bigger share of the offensive load this season with the departure of Jermaine O’Neal, and I think he’s more than capable of doing so.
The Celtics will enjoy a day off Sunday with most of the NBA, and will return to action Tuesday against the Rockets.