Celtics 'Wauk' All Over Bucks, Krstic Goes for Seconds

The Boston Celtics are one of the elite franchises in all of sports, so when they break a previous franchise record it really means something.

Sunday night against Milwaukee, they broke a big one.

The C's held the Bucks to just 22 points at halftime, 38 points after three quarters, and 56 points by the end of the game - all new franchise lows for the opponent, en route to their 87-56 win.

Yes, it looks like they can still defend folks.

The Bucks shot a measly 31.4-percent from the field, in what can be known as a team effort on the defensive end. No starter reached the 30-minute mark, with Ray Allen just missing it, and Rajon Rondo playing only 23 minutes.

"It was definitely encouraging just to put together a four-quarter game of defense," Paul Pierce said. "I definitely thought we did that tonight. Especially when we are integrating a lot of new players, coming back home after coming off of two losses, it was just to get back comfortable in our building and play the type of defense that we like to play."

Doc Rivers is a bit hesitant to give too much credit to the defense, admitting that the Bucks just really had an off night shooting.

"Our defense was good, but we don't know how good our defense was tonight, even though - I would say our effort was phenomenal," Rivers said. "And that's all we talked about, we're trying to sustain effort longer defensively and get back to doing that."

Whether it was good defense, or phenomenal effort, the starter were able to get the type of rest that Celtics fans have been waiting for and Doc Rivers has been trying to dish out, but has been unable to due to game situations.

With the health slowly returning to the Celtics, there will be more opportunities for the C's to rest their starters down the stretch - assuming they can build leads early on like they did Sunday night.

"When they do [build leads], we're a better team, obviously," Rivers said. "That's what we're banking on right now until we get right.  When they start out slow it puts us in a huge hole, because now you're dependent on a second unit that hasn't been together very long."

They haven't been together long, but the important thing is that they feel together when the playoffs come around. With games like the one against the Bucks, that won't be a problem.

"I mean, to me, the silver lining in this game is that we got more minutes from Baby (Glen Davis) just in a row, which was good for him," Rivers said. "Troy (Murphy) just needed to see the ball go in the hoop once or twice, and that was good.  And Carlos (Arroyo) is just starting to run our offense better and better.  So that part of it was terrific."

Arroyo agreed that he's starting to feel more comfortable out on the court.

"Definitely, but I've got to catch up, just like the other guys who have been here for two weeks," he said. "We have to catch up. These guys have been playing together for many years. We're never going to catch up completely, but we've got to do our best as far as watching film and video, and do the best we can out there."

Arroyo actually played more minutes than Rondo tonight, and when Delonte West returns, reportedly by Wednesday, that's even more minutes that will be distributed between the two guard spots.

Just as much as the starters need rest, the second unit (whatever it may be on that night) needs some burn. Sunday night's game was the perfect opportunity for that unit to play some quality minutes together, and it also showed that they're starting to get it.

Troy Murphy, the hottest buyout commodity this season, certainly got off to a rocky start. But when you consider how his season played out prior to joining the C's, it's understandable. Looking at his career stats, it's obvious that the guy can play - but even so, he needs to be reminded.

Consider Sunday night a reminder. Murphy was able to contribute 12 points and seven rebounds for the C's in 17 minutes of playing time. That could be the confidence booster that he needed to get back in to the swing of things.

"It was great, it was great," Murphy said. "I haven't done that in a long time. Felt great to be out there. It's good to get out there and play and like Doc said, see the ball going in and get a little rhythm going."

Go Nads!

"The Celtics just traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson for Jeff Green!"

You most likely heard that statement from at least one of your friends. But since the trade, it's safe to say that the "other" guy in the deal, Nenad Krstic, has had a bigger impact, and in some ways saved this portion of the season for the Celtics.

Let's be honest, with Perkins out, the Celtics would have been so thin at the center position there's no way they win some of the games they have. They would most likely be the second seed right now, maybe even the third, and Celtics Nation would be in full panic mode.

But with the arrival of Krstic comes a healthy, dependable center - one who is improving with each game and enjoying his time here more and more every day. Krstic put up 11 points and hauled in a team-high 14 rebounds. It was his second consecutive double-double.

Krstic credits his improved play to becoming a bigger part of the Celtics than what he was asked to be in Oklahoma City.

"Yes, I'm getting more involved, especially offensively," he said. "I'm touching the ball more. In Oklahoma City, sometimes five or six times I wouldn't even touch the ball. It's not even just to shoot it, just to touch the ball. Here is different. Here if you play aggressively, run the floor, get a good duck-in inside the paint; you're going to get the ball."

The Celtics are, by most accounts, the best passing team in the league. They lead the league in assists, and move the ball better than just about every other team. While they have many stars, they don't facilitate the offense through one person every game. The ball doesn't stick, and when it does, the results usually aren't good.

Krstic is seeing this first hand and he's becoming a part of it. So often in Oklahoma City the ball was in the hands of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Jeff Green. Boston's Big Three get the ball often too, but it doesn't end with them.

"Yeah, you know if you're a big man and you rely on the point guards and other guys to pass you the ball and get your rhythm back, especially offensively," Krstic said. "I think here it's just a great situation for me because everyone is passing the ball. It's contagious."

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