Stampede at the Garden; Celtics/Bulls report, 03/11/07
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on March 11, 2007
Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls, Yahoo Sports Images
Some NBA games just don’t resonate, whether it’s players going through the motions on defense or mind-numbing, poorly executed one-on-one theatrics on offense, it can get pretty bad. That was not the case tonight. One team in particular, and that would be the visiting Chicago Bulls, played as though they had a plan and meant to execute it. They came to town well coached, well stocked, well prepared, and on a mission. The mission being getting themselves right for the playoffs. Though missing all-around hard-nosed hustler, Argentine Andres Nocioni, the Bulls dispatched the Celts rather easily. Low-Ninety something to mid-Seventy something, I think. (I never know the score when I walk out of the building.)
How could the Celtics have won, actually? Pierce and Jefferson combine for 20? No West (concussion), no Gomes (foot sprain)? No points to be had. Green was rookie-ish with turnovers (though he had one dunk that they replayed five times in the thirty seconds immediately after it while the game was still going on!!!- true, it was amazing . . . his head was BEHIND the backboard when he flushed it); Rondo burned out after a great first half; Telfair is so overmatched (why is he not playing Development League?). Where else to get points?
There were nice matchups all night: Rondo/Hinrich; Green/Hinrich; Pierce/Deng; Rondo/Gordon; and the best: Jefferson/Ben Wallace. Gordon really gets low when he d’s the ball. Jefferson strugggled against Wallace’s combination of strength, quickness, smarts, experience.
Here’s my most urgent thought from the game: the Bulls roster is full of players you’d want on your team: Wallace, Gordon, Hinrich, Deng, Duhon, (Nocioni). Wouldn’t you want them?
Two other things:
1) in the post, “The Art of the Outlet Pass”, I mention how some of the great rebounders of the past, Embry, Walton, Russell, Cowens, et al, would actually outlet before they even landed. Ben Wallace had one tonight: ripped, turned his head and fired to Duhon before he even hit the floor. And I bet he heard my shout of approval all the way from my front row balcony seat;
2) the Celts never had one backdoor cut all night; not one. And isn’t that former Princeton great, Armond Hill, in a suit, two seats removed from Doc Rivers?