On a day when everyone in the sports world is thinking about an oval shaped ball, the Celtics hosted a Magic show of their own. However, they used a magical round ball for a win. A win! A win!. How dare they win. Shout it out it loud from every hill and dell! Then quickly settle down and move along to the Super Bowl.
Orca from Sea World, otherwise known as Big Baby Davis, made an appearance but mostly swam around in circles. At least he didn't knock any kids down on the sidelines but he did a tremendous FLOP in the 4th Qtr which drew some much deserved boos after a foul was called on Bass instead. He still remains winless against the C's and that's OK with me. Thanks Big Baby Orca
Captain Rajon returned to his current part-time job as a Celtic starter, along with a two legged semi-rusty Avery Bradley. The two youngest coaches in the NBA went about their rebuild process with about as much excitement as I show on a snowy Monday morning in early February.
FIRST QUARTER - The starters for the Celtics were Rondo, Bradley, Bass, Sullinger and Green. Avery hit his first jumper off the pick. Bass started off with an offensive and defensive rebound plus a dunk. Sullinger hit his first two shots down on the block, and Rondo also hit his first two shots as well. However, the Magic also started off hot as well. Affalo for the Magic was effective the entire first half. Bayless and Hump were the first guys off the bench for Avery and Sullinger. Very nice work from both Rondo and my boy Bass, as they were both active, aggressive and accurate. Jeff Green seemed to sleep walk thru the quarter along with Avery. Celtics finish the 1st Quarter with a 27-19 on a 3 point bullet shot by one of my new favorites - Chris Johnson.
SECOND QUARTER - This quarter started off with myriad of turnovers, missed shots by both teams, and two quick fouls on Kelly O. Avery Bradley's five games off certainly made him look rusty in terms of his shooting and defensive quickness. The great Jackie MacMullan joined Mike and Tommy during the second quarter. She quickly let it be known she is most excited about Jared Sullinger just as Sully caught a difficult pass for a little jump hook in the paint.. Jackie is one my favorite sports reporters and it was good to hear her insights on the Celtics.
Phil Pressey had a couple of nice passes/assists to Sully as the Celtics opened up a 10 point lead at 35-25 about the 8 minute mark. Jared Bayless was solid off the bench in this quarter hitting a couple of shots and good hustle. Rondo continued to look very good in the second quarter both scoring the ball including a three pointer in the last 30 seconds of the quarter on a smart attempt at a 2-for-1 scoring opportunity which almost worked. Rondo was 6-7 from the field in the first half. Celtics lead by 9 points at the end of the first half while shooting over 50%.
THIRD QUARTER - Same starters for both teams this quarter as at the start of the game. Rondo took a hard charge early in the quarter that was instead called a blocking foul. Quickly thereafter, another controversial foul called on on Rondo that should have been a travel on Affalo. Green continued with a very horrid shooting afternoon, but did have a nice block stopping a fast break.for the Magic as a bit of a reprieve. By the 7:22 mark the Magic had whittled down the lead down to 4 points on poor shooting and lazy defensive hustle by the C's. Brad Stevens slowly adjusted his tie and called a timeout.
My boy Bass continued solid play with rebounds and points in this quarter. Bayless showed great court awareness with a back-door cut pass to Bradley for a nice layup and another nice jump shot. Shortly thereafter we got a freebie with a tip in by the Magic (Vucivic) on our basket. Bass had a great tackle foul on Oladipo in honor of the Super Bowl. At the end of the 3rd Quarter led by 7 points despite some bad calls, some bad shots by both teams, and a let down in the middle of the 3rd quarter by the Celtics.
FOURTH QUARTER - Celtics and Magic start off this quarter looking like two teams going nowhere. Rondo got back in the game at the 9:32 mark having only played 17 minutes at this point - a very productive 17 minutes. Celtics look lazy and tired on defense as the Magic continued to get good looks by penetration. Sully continued however his relentless pursuit of offensive and defensive rebounds plus tip-ins. He is a Beast of the East. Magic cut the lead to one and visions of a Matinee Meltdown begins to enter my mind. No No No....
At the 4 minute mark Sully takes an ill-advised three and makes it. Chris Johnson makes three shortly thereafter, but steps out of bounds on the shot to negate the basket. Celtics up by 4 at the 2:00 minute mark. Green makes only his second basket of the day at the 1:45 mark by making a three pointer. Shortly thereafter, Rondo makes a nice pas to Bass who hits a 15 ft jumper to extend the lead to 8 points. Another exchange of baskets including a three by Orlando leaves a 5 point lead for the Celtics with 16.1 seconds left. A turnover by the Celtics on the inbounds pass is followed by a great block at the other end by my boy Bass to seal the magical feat of finally securing a win.
A double double by Rondo and Sully and a great game by Bass (a board short of a double double) bring the Celtics to a Super Bow day win.....Go back home Big Baby. Go Celtics!