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“What Losing Streak”
BOSTON, MA—(BASN)–The Boston Celtics are coming off an emotional loss to Oklahoma City Thunder so what do they do they take it out on the Toronto Raptors. Even after the lose to the Thunder the press and rumor mill started turning as people were bringing up Paul Piece “The Truth” in trade talks. The Celtics didn’t let that get to them because, so far this season including the preseason the Celtics have had the Raptor’s number especially Rajon Rondo. Before the game Doc Rivers said ” We need to establish our defensive game and also get a lot more rebounds and stops in crucial moments of the game”. Seems like the
Celtics came out with a Tom Brady like chip on their shoulders from the very start of the game because, the Celtics were more aggressive on offense and also were playing Celtic defense. Rajon Rondo like his previous games against the Raptors came out running as he and Paul Pierce switched roles for the night. Rajon came out scoring as he had thirteen points at the end of the first quarter with no assists and Pierce had four assists no points. The Celtics came out trying to land the big blow that would knock the Raptors out early and they did. As the game went on the Celtics seemed to let up a little bit in the second quarter as Gary Forbes and the Raptors were trying to make their way back in the game edging it close at halftime 44-38 Celtics over Raptors.
The third quarter the Celtics had this game in cruise control everyone was hitting the shot they needed to hit and everyone was playing the defense they needed to play. Around 2 minutes left in the quarter is when every Celtic fans heart had dropped when Rondo went to the basket for a layup and Linas Kleiza had hit him very hard having Rondo to land awkwardly to the parquet floor. Rondo was laying on the court for about 5 minutes holding his wrist grimacing in pain.
Rondo was granted two free throw shoots after the flagrant foul and missed one of them before he was helped to the locker room with his twenty-one points and what they announced later on as a sore right wrist and questionable return. After the Rondo injury the Celtics continued shooting 60% from the field in the third quarter alone as the Raptors were shooting 29% it was evident that the Celtics were more experienced and also more hungry in the game than the Raptors. Celtics were up 77-55 over the Raptors going into the fourth when Doc Rivers had went to his youth on the roster. Doc substituted rookies E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson to play along with Avery Bradley, Greg Stiemsma and Michael Pietrus.
Avery Bradley was looking very good out there with his pick and pop and is improving on his pick and roll I believe if he gets more playing time that he can be a back up for the Celtics. The rookies Moore and Johnson are developing too and are working harder and harder every time they get a chance on the court they combined summed up about twenty minutes in the game against Toronto. The biggest impact of the night would be Michael Pietrus and how quickly he has gelled with this team it’s as if he was already here before. His defense and three point threat brought a different feel to the game as the Celtics went on to win 96-73 to improve to 5-8 on the young season.
As the Celtics get ready to play Phoenix on friday they can’t let the Suns record fool them. Phoenix is 4-9 but still can run and gun with Steve Nash still around. This will be a good test to the Celtics to see if they can keep up with a little more older faster team in the league. After interviewing Rondo he’s expected to play this game and wants to make an impact on his team and also on himself to better his game. Doc has expressed that this is Rondo’s team on the court and doesn’t want that to change now as he is a center piece to everything they are trying to establish in a fast pace game like on friday and for this season for that matter. The Celtics have improved to 5-8 and are still trying to climb back into the playoff mix as the year goes on the Celtics will warm up and get intact with the games they are playing. With the lockout you can see that some players are still trying to get their legs back and also they are trying to make sure they have something in the tank for a playoff stretch.
I got the chance to check in with Doc Rivers, Michael Pietrus, and Rondo below ENJOY.
Doc Rivers Interview
How concerned were you with Rondo’s Injury?
Honestly i was laughing with him afterwards I wasn’t at first , because I thought he was trying to get a flagrant. I thought he was laying down to get the flagrant but when he stayed down then I was concerned I didn’t know what it was but, when I saw him grab his arm and his hand I was thinking last years playoffs.
Did you like Rondo’s aggressiveness during the game?
He was really aggressive offensively and thats what we needed, we had a goal offensively we didin’t reach but it was close and we had that one bad quarter but was trying to still get to the number we established in the game plan. It was fun you look at the stats at halftime Rondo had whatever points and Rondo had no assists and Pierce had six assists.
Talk about the play of Moore,Bradley and Johnson?
They run around as fast as they can JuJaun is so athletic he had a blocked shot attempt that should of been a highlight even though he missed it I was wondering where he came from. With him Bradley and Moore they have scattered minutes but they have great spirit and work everyday and thats all you can ask for as a coach.
Talk about the second unit are they developing together?
Keyon and Wilcox were out still but Pietrus and Bass have been great. Pietrus has done far more than I expected already this quickly his energy is great and his defense is unbelievable. I remember not liking him when he was on the Magic because his defense was so tough which some forgot about but he is reminding us and he’s terrific.
Michael Pietrus Interview
How does this win affect the team’s confidence?
Its a huge win tonight for our confidence to make sure guys stay together. We played extremely well tonight we moved the ball and everyone made shots thats how we have to play and next game we have to play together. Thats the way we have to be with our leaders and all it takes one game to bring our confidence.
Why do you think you fit in so perfectly?
I enjoy the life and I’m trying to get a championship and with Orlando we had the same defense so offensively things come easier because of the big four and it makes it easier for me.
Rajon Rondo Interview
Take us thru the play you got hurt?
I tried to brace my fall with my arm and I put it on the bottom and hyper extended my wrist on the fall.
Did you think the foul was over the line?
I don’t know I was worried about my fall because I knew what a dislocated elbow feels like and my wrist was throbbing.
You are being aggressive and you and Pierce did the opposite roles was that apart of the game plan?
Paul joked and said let’s switch roles tonight he would make the plays and I would put it in the basket and I had some open shots and I tried to stay aggressive.
When you take hard shots like that does it make you not want to go to the basket?
No i’ll be fine I take good care of my body so I will be fine.
Did you want to come back in the game?
I wanted to go back out there with my teammates but, we had it under control so it was best I rested up.
Is it disturbing the fact Paul Pierce’s name is even in trade rumors?
Hey I was a couple months ago it’s apart of the game and we will play in that order we are very focused and believe in each other so we don’t focus on that.
Why does winning tonight mean so much to build momentum?
This is our second longest win streak so it brings a positive atmosphere in the locker room and we want to continue to win.