Celtics Provide a Merry Christmas

I last wrote about the Boston Celtics 1 month ago.  At that time, I was writing about them every game and it began to get monotonous. The Celtics had been going through the motions the first 2 months of the season.  My stories were all pretty much the same but with different words.  Rondo was great, Pierce and Garnett still got it, Jeff Green is frustrating, etc.  I also kept saying the regular season was an 82 game audition.  After watching today’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, I finally have something worth while to write about.  The pre-season is over and the regular season began today for the Boston Celtics.images

The Celtics were playing.500 ball heading into today’s Christmas tilt with a new division rival, the Brooklyn Nets.  They played the  Nets even through the first quarter but came out blazing in the second quarter.  Today’s game was won by the bench.  They outscored the Nets bench 43-21, led by Jared Sullinger’s 16 points and Jeff Green’s 15.  The bench, which was supposed to be a strength for the Celtics coming into the season, finally played like it.

Rajon Rondo lead the Celtics with 19 points.  Paul Pierce, the only NBA player in history not named Michael Jordan to pour 35 points in 2 consecutive games at the age of 35, decided he wanted to be a distributor and handed out 10 assists.  While the bench play was most encouraging, the Celtics returned to playing at least a semblance of team defense.  It is no secret the Celtics are at their best when they are playing solid defense.  Today was one of those days as they held the Nets to just 79 points.

There has been a lot of trade rumors floating around because of nervous Celtics fans that think an NBA title is won in November.  Names like Varejao and Cousins have been discussed because the Celtics need another big man.  While I agree the Celtics need a big man, I am not in agreement that said big man should be acquired via trade.

I am not at all interested in trading Jared Sullinger or Avery Bradley.  I admit that when he was in college I thought he would be a jared-sullinger-andray-blatchecolossal bust in the NBA.  My buddy Q is allowed to rag on me for years to come because I was wrong.
Sullinger showed why he was a pre-draft consensus top 5 pick.  The kid had 16 points and 7 rebounds.  He showed he has range on his jumper.  He has a nose for the ball.  He was +21, highest of the Celtics.  Trading this kid would be a mistake.

Remember the spark Avery Bradley provided the Celtics throughout the second half of the season last year.  He and Rondo have undeniable chemistry.  Bradley is also a pest on defense forcing opposing teams to start their offense with 14 seconds left on the shot clock most possessions.  I am not saying Bradley is going to be the savior when he returns to the floor January 2 against the Grizzlies but I know he will make the Celtics better.

I am concerned and curious why Leandro Barbosa has fallen out of Doc’s rotation.  He was providing instant offense off the bench for the Celtics.  He has now racked up a few DNP-Coach’s Decision over the last week. I believe he should provide Courtney Lee some competition for minutes when Bradley gets back.  It seems Doc disagrees with me.

The Christmas game was encouraging.  I think the Celtics are ready to put a streak together.  No matter how tough their division has become, I still believe they are the 2nd best team in the East and will ultimately be the only team that can cool down the Heat.

The Celtics continue this 4 game road trip out west against the Clippers on Thursday night at 10:30.

I can be followed on Twitter @ScottieNTCF

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