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Held Down…Celtics fall short to Bulls 88-79
Posted By Warren Shaw On Jan 14 2012 @ 12:46 am In Boston Celtics | 5 Comments
If there is one thing that fans can take away from the Celtics 88-79 loss Friday night, it is that the Celtics are consistently inconsistent.
A slow start, furious comeback, late offensive struggles, and getting abused on the boards describes just about every single Celtics game this season.
Tonight was no different.
After trailing by as many as 19 the Celtics launched a brilliant comeback to cut the lead to 67-66 with 1o minutes left to play. They had a chance to take the lead on a patented Paul Pierce step back jumper but it was not to be. The Bulls never looked back from that point as Derrick Rose (25 points and 7 assists)went into MVP mode to close the Celtics out in the final quarter.
Rajon Rondo was masterful yet again with 14 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds. Ray Allen lead all Celtics with 16 followed by Paul Pierce’s 13 and Brandon Bass’s 10. The offense was balanced but sporadic and stalled after exerting so much effort to get back in the game.
Former Celtics assistant and reigning Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau knows these Celtics very well and he coached to the Celtics weaknesses this evening. By playing Luol Deng and Joakim Noah extended minutes the Boston offense was disrupted by their length. Deng totally dominated Paul Pierce on both ends of the floor scoring 21 points and grabbing a season high 16 rebounds. Noah had been struggling with a thumb injury and his minutes had been reduced by the play of Omer Asik but not tonight. Noah patrolled the lane swatting 4 shots and pulling down 12 boards (5 offensive) to go along with 10 points.
With the loss Boston has fallen to 4-6 and are now losers of 3 straight. The team is looking for answers and changes are very likely on the way. Bass started tonight and Mickael Pietrus was part of the Celtics comeback in the fourth quarter. Those two will have to play bigger minutes going forward as they have the size and the athletic ability to keep up with the younger players in the league. It has become painfully obvious that Celtics are at their best when Rondo pushes the ball. The problem is most of the Celtics can only play at that pace in short spurts. It would help if Rivers started to give the promising rookies E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson some time spelling the veterans.
Yet the Celtics rookies continue to ride the pine.
It seems as if Pierce and KG are taking turns with lifeless play each game. Yes the sun is setting on their careers but even if the numbers are not going to be there, their effort has to be.
If not the youth movement will start sooner than River’s or Danny Ainge want to admit.
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