Celtics Recap 10/26-10/30

 Finally, FINALLY, the Celtics are back.  I will be doing a weekly recap of the teams games and how they performed as a new segment to Not the Common Fan.

10/26 Heat @ Celtics
The Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics opened their 2010-11 season against the already anointed favorites Miami Heat, although I obviously dispute this.  The game did not start the way anyone expected with a combination of defense and sloppy play the score after the first quarter was 16-9 in favor of the Celtics.  Keep in mind that the Heat scored more than 9 points in every game last season without their “juggernaut” squad.  The Celtics were the team that kept the defense up and finally started clicking on offense taking a 15 point lead into halftime.  The Heat made a run, as every NBA team does, cutting the double digit lead to single digits heading into the fourth quarter.  Behind Rondo and his 17 assists, the C’s fended off the eventual champs (at least from what everyone says) and gained their first big win of the season.  The problem is closing the game became really tough, foreshadowing the week.

 Celtics 88 Heat 80

 Record: Celtics 1-0

 10/27 Celtics @ Cavaliers

 Herein lies the fear of the regular season for the older Boston Celtics; the back-to-back game nights. All you hear is that the Celtics are a team that is made for the playoffs.  While this may be true, you have to expect that this team of veterans and minimal young talent should easily be able to dismantle the young teams in the NBA.

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost LeBron James.  I know this is somewhat of a shock to all of you, but yes it happened.  The Cavs came out on their opening night with something to prove.  At 3 specific points (twice in the first half and once late in the second) the Celtics had the opportunity to pull away and put the game out of reach.  It was either the Cavs imposing their opening night, “we lost LeBron but can still win” will to keep scoring or the tired legs of the older Celtics scoring 14 fourth quarter points (hopefully the former) that made Cleveland win that game.

Celtics 87 Cleveland 95

Record: Celtics 1-1

10/29 Knicks @ Celtics

Finally on this opening week the new look Knicks came to Boston with newly acquired Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.  The Celtics once again started extremely slow.  Six turnovers in the first six minutes along with a quick 9 point deficit seemed to be a bad omen.  The Celtics got back on track, and aside from an exceptional shooting night from a somewhat unknown 3rd year player Wilson Chandler, the Celtics held the Knicks at bay.  Yet, once again, with under 2 minutes to play the lead started to slip away.  On the back of the best point guard in the league, Rajon Rondo and his triple-double (including 24 assists, 4 away from Bob Cousy and his team record for a game) the Celtics held off the late push and won the game.

Celtics 105 Knicks 101

Record: Celtics 2-1

What we have learned:

We have learned exactly what we already knew, with a possibility of surprises without overreacting to it being the opening week.  First, the Celtics are not exactly young.  It has taken them a few minutes to find a rhythym in all 3 games so far this season, but we should expect that to change during the course of the next week or two.  Second, Shaq came prepared to do what Rasheed Wallace was supposed to do, at least as far as he thought.  Shaq looks in shape and determined, once again trying to not overract.  Third, Paul Pierce is in the best shape of his life.  This is going to help his agility, but the problem is going to be that there is the chance for the small forward he guards to really body him and enforce their own will driving the lane and working the post.  Fourth, Rajon Rondo will lead the league in steals and assists and will push for the MVP…ok that was more of an opinion.  Any way about it, as Celtics fans we have to enjoy this year because they will be around to have a say in who wins the title.

Games Week of 10/31-11/6:

Tues. 11/2 – @ Detroit

Wed. 11/3 – Milwaukee

Fri. 11/5 – Chicago