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|Celtics coach Doc Rivers and captain Paul Pierce would love to exact revenge against the Pistons Saturday night.(Courtesy of NBA.com)|
The Celtics may have been looking forward to Saturday’s clash with the Detroit Pistons, but they still hung on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-96 (NBA.com Box Score) Friday night. Tony Allen came off the bench to produce 20 points and 3 steals by helping his brother from another mother, Ray, who only had 2 points on 0-9 shooting.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce each poured in 23 points as the Celtics held the Grizz to 42.9% shooting. With their eighth-straight win, the Celtics moved to an NBA-best 28-3 so far this season. Next up for the Celtics is the Detroit Pistons, who are owners of the NBA’s second-best record at 26-7, and have won 11 games in a row of their own. They’re the last team to beat the Celtics, doing so back in mid-December.
Doc Rivers certainly noticed that his team may have been looking forward to Saturday’s game instead of playing for Friday night. It’s funny everyone’s talking so negative about them and they still won the game. Here’s what Doc had to say:
“Probably our worst focus of the year. Could be because of tomorrow night. We might have been looking forward to it. I don’t know.”
Part of the blame for the team’s lack of focus against Memphis has to be on Doc. He’s supposed to motivate the team for this game, not the next or previous, but this game. I’m sure he said the Belichickian phrases to his team “We’re worried about the Grizzlies blah blah blah” but I guess it wasn’t enough.
After the game Paul Pierce tried to take some of the blame, but noted that the Celtics have to have their focus on every game, every night. Here’s what he said:
“Everybody knew we’re playing Detroit on Saturday night, but we had to take care of Memphis. We’re preparing for something bigger than the regular season. It’s got to be every night.”
I think that’s awesome that Pierce is preparing for something bigger than the regular season. He’s saying that the Celtics focus has to be game-to-game in order to build a championship-caliber team. I’d like to think his talk of focus resonates throughout the team from the top to the bottom.