First: Happy New Year to the Celtic Nation.
Now, this recap will be considerably shorter than usual, since the only way to really make it comprehensive would be to spend it talking mostly about Detriot.
For those who want the short version, let me say this: Our DEFENSE SUCKS. Our interior defense against the Wallace boys was particularly left wanting. We need a real big man in the worst way and it would have been nice to see the team put as much effort into the whole game as they did during scrub time in the 4th quarter.
The Pistons got out to a 16-11 lead, in large part to a 10-2 run which prompted Doc to take a timeout at the 4:48 mark in the 1st. The Detriot mantra early seemed to be "Feed Sheed" in the paint, which according to FSD announcers was a growing trend over the last 5 or so game. Doc got T'ed up for arguing a no call against Raef at the 1:28 mark and the clouds for this game just kept collecting.
The young guys kept up thier development and continued to play hard the entire game. Al Jefferson went right at Big Ben Wallace with a nice spin move for layup with :45 left. Raef hit a 3 that should have ended the 1st, but the C's gave up an easy and quick transition layup to Lindsey Hunter and the 1st ended 30-24 Detriot.
Al Jefferson scored off a rebound to make it 30-26 on the first possession of the 2nd. Ricky Davis (RD) had a nice pass to Big Al at the 8:22 mark to make it 31 all. Banks to RD and a reverse layup at 7:49 and the C's had thier first and ONLY lead of the game at 33-32. Big Al collected his 3 foul at 7:36.
There was a random period of truly ugly basketball by both teams until the 4:47 mark and with the score only 37-34, a timeout was called. At the 2:40 mark, the C's actually had a play in which the ball was passed 5 whole times, eventually into Blounts hands for a short turnaround shot with 4 secs left on the shot clock. The score at the time was 43-39 Pistons. Of course, the C's staying close was short lived, when the Wallace boys(Sheed in particular), Rip, Chauncey and Ronald Dupree (who had 11 of the Pistons 13 bench points in the first half) went on a run before the end of the half and suddenly the score was 51-39 Detriot with 42.9 left. The fast break points were 19-6 in favor of Detriot and the rout was officially on.
At the Half: 53-39
A nice passing play of Jiri to Raef opened up 2nd half, but it was short lived, as Sheed had a thunderous dunk and then hit a 3 on consecutive possessions and it was 60-41. The Pistons followed that up with an oop to Big Ben and Doc called a timeout at 9:56, with the score getting lopsided at 62-43.
Gary Payton went to the training room at the 9:20 mark in the 3rd and it just kept clouding over for the C's.
A great passing play by the Pistons ended in another Big Ben dunk to make it 69-45 at the 7:48 mark. Pistons Coach Larry Brown got T'ed up not long after and I'm still scratching my head at why.
Al Jefferson continued to develop by collecting another rebound and was fouled after scoring of it. He hit the FT and it was 71-50 with 6:09.
The C's continued to get schooled by good Pistons passing, bad Celtics defense and at the end of the 3rd, the score was a bloated 85-61. The FG% for the respective teams was:
Celtics: 39% Pistons: 52% (If you're thinking, "they'll cool down", you need to know that there's no cooling down when you're dunking the ball most possessions).
The 4th was mostly garbage/scrub time as even Darko Milicic got playing time early in the 4th. At the 8:39 mark, the assists totals were:
Celtics: 13 Piston: 26 (Those ready to throw your keyboard through your monitor, you're not alone.)
In the end, guys like Tony Allen kept playing and the C's made a pseudo run to get it down to 8 with around 2:36 left, but it was long since over at that point and when Larry Brown sent Rasheed and Rip back in, any thoughts of some weird comeback were dashed.
Final Score: 100-88.
Ricky Davis managed to have 6 of the Celtics 14 turnovers. Apparentley, the sign a Pistons fan was holding up was correct: It's not the fro that wins games.
Player of the Game: NO ONE.
This is one of those games where I'm not going to try to consider who's the least of our problems. Sorry, but like I said earlier, there's little positives to take away from this game.
With 21 days in December spent on the road, let's hope that some time home will do the C's some good.