|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|
Usually lucky time of the year, the Celtics have really fallen on hard times. First, they scored a season-low 77 points in a loss to the Bucks. Then, Tuesday night, on St. Patrick’s Day, the traditionally Irish team of the NBA was relegated to their home white jerseys…while the host Chicago Bulls were wearing strikingly similar green jerseys to celebrate the holiday.
What’s worse is that the Celtics allowed a season-high in points in a 127-121 loss in Chicago, despite a nice 37-point effort by Paul Pierce. To add injury to insult, Leon Powe was forced to leave the game with a bruised right knee, making him the fourth forward currently out of the lineup.
Powe joines Brian Scalabrine, Kevin Garnett, and Glen “Big Baby” Davis who are all out nursing a variety of injuries. Without Powe, the C’s are left with Mikki Moore, Bill Walker, and extended minutes for Paul Pierce. This all comes at a time when Doc Rivers really needs to start limiting Pierce and Ray Allen’s minutes.
John Salmons tied a career-high for the Bulls with 38 points on 14-20 shooting (3-7 from three). The former King also finished with three rebounds, helping the Bulls’ push for the playoffs. Now at 31-37, the Bulls are a half game ahead of the Bucks for the eighth playoff spot in the East.
Rajon Rondo finished with 26 points and 10 assists, Ray Allen added 17, and Kendrick Perkins poured in 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks for the Celtics in a losing effort.
The battered Celtics next play the Heat Wednesday night.