|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|
Earlier this season, Paul Pierce said the Celtics were unbeatable if Rajon Rondo is on his game. Wednesday night, Rondo was definitely on his game.
Rondo had a career night for the Celtics with his first ever triple-double, helping Boston avenge an early season loss to the Pacers in a 114-96 win. Rondo finished with 16 points, 17 asssits, and 13 rebounds and three steals against four turnovers in an all-around terrific effort. Rondo recorded the first triple-double for Boston since Paul Pierce did it in February 2005.
The Celts have now won 10 straight games to improve to 18-2, and were helped by monster games from Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Allen poured in 31 points on 11-18 shooting (6-9 from 3PT). Garnett added 26 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks in the total team effort.
Kendrick Perkins and Pierce were no slouches either, as both scored 16 points. Perk added 10 rebounds, giving the Celtics three players with at least 10 boards.
The bench didn’t log many minutes, with Eddie House on the floor for 16 minutes and Brian Scalabrine out there for 15 min. Bench players in all scored a total of nine points, but…three of those were courtesy of the lovable Brian Scalabrine!
To complete the Four-Point Play, I’ll go for three (points)…
1. Beating the Pacers is huge for the Celtics for a variety of reasons. First, the Pacers handed the Celtics their first lost of the season in early November (one just two total losses this season). Then on Tuesday, the Pacers beat the Lakers and handed them their second loss. Pierce agreed with my take on the win:
“We had a great incentive,” Paul Pierce said. “They beat us last time and they beat the Lakers last night.”
2. Marc Stein properly placed the Celtics on top of the ESPN NBA Power Rankings yet again. It was deserving, he argued, because the Celtics have played three more back-to-back series than the Lakers, and have more impressive victories. The Lakers have been on fire too, though, but mostly thanks to a very soft schedule. It’s certainly looking like the Celtics will see the Lakers in the NBA Finals yet again.
3. Forbes named the New York Knicks the most valuable NBA team yet again. They are worth a ridiculous $613 million. It’s amazing considering the Knicks are horribly mismanaged. In recent years, New York has added overpaid players with bad contracts such as Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Jalen Rose, Malik Rose, and even Zach Randolph among others. Oh…and the Anucha Browne-Sanders saga with Isiah Thomas didn’t help either.