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Stampede at the Garden; Celtics/Bulls report, 03/11/07

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on March 11, 2007

Kirk Hinrich
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?

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6 Responses to “Stampede at the Garden; Celtics/Bulls report, 03/11/07”

  1. Josh Kratka said

    I believe those team-oriented Bulls are coached by the ultimate tough-as-nails gamer, Scotty Skiles. The Internet tells me he set the NBA single-game assists record (30!), but what I remember (somewhat vaguely now) is his highlight-reel pass during an NCAA tournament game. It went something like this: he’s racing past half-court on the break, with a player on each wing ahead of him. Dribbling right-handed, he fakes the pass to the right wing, whips the ball behind his back to send a left-handed pass to the left wing instead, but as the defenders quickly shift that way he somehow keeps the ball going all the way around his body and sends the pass to the right wing after all, for the layup. It was the kind of play you had to watch 2 or 3 times just to figure out what he did.

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  2. Greg Herr said

    Steve has his own Scott Skiles story here:

    https://hoopstips.wordpress.com/2006/03/22/playing-loudly/

    I guess I hadn’t really appreciated the guy enough.

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  3. jim v said

    i watched this one on tv. boy did the bulls look good in the 2nd half. offensively they worked the ball, set screens, made sharp cuts and always got it to the open man – 4, 5, 6 or more touches per possession! and they’re an excellent jumpshooting team – hinrich, gordon, deng – they will hit the open jumper. the only thing they lack is some post offense. defensively they’re very good. wallace is a presence in the middle, deng is a very good wing defender (he always gives pierce fits), hinrich is a pest. gordon is probably the weakest defender, but they do a good job covering for him. would anyone be surprised if the bulls were the eastern conference champs?

    meanwhile the celtics looked tired and overmatched. and steve, i don’t think they’ve run a back door play all year, they’re not going to start in march. it seems that the celtics offense is predicated on someone needing a double team. then all the rotations and screens make sense. but if the defense can do its job without double teaming, the celts offense becomes…….(mom always told me not to say anything bad)…..umm…….stagnant

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  4. Jim – –

    I can visualize Rondo going backdoor right baseline a bunch of times, but not last night.

    I actually like a lot of the offense they run: plenty of screens and staggered screens, and screen the screeners. I just think they don’t execute them well enough consistently enough.

    Freakin’ Gordon can drain ’em, nothing ever touched rim; Hinrich is barely below all-star level, in my book. I really like them. They are not far off. Nocioni makes them a lot better.

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  5. Dan Z said

    Unfortunately, because Telfair is in his 3rd NBA season, he can’t be sent down to the NBDL. He certainly could use it.

    http://www.nba.com/news/cba_summary_050804.html

    J. NBA Development League
    During an NBA player’s first two seasons in the league (regardless of his age when he entered the league), his team will be permitted to assign him to a team in the NBA Development League. A player can be assigned to the NBADL up to three times per season. The player will continue to be paid his NBA salary and will continue to be included on his NBA team’s roster (on the inactive list) while playing in the NBADL.

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  6. That is unfortunate (and interesting). Allen Ray is more deserving of that roster spot (and playing time) than Telfair.

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