Sorry for the title Perk. I pretty much had accepted that if you started tonight, it was probably going to be either a feast or famine night. To get the suspense out of the way for those who haven't already perused the box score, I'd have to say that it was mostly famine. The Statline: 8 mins played, 2 pts, 3 rebs, 5 personal fouls.
I'm letting you skate on this one Perk. I think Doc throwing you into the deep end to tred water, (while effective strategy for motivating many players,) is not the right strategy for Perks personality type. He's too exitable and just needs steady doses of minutes to improve. Just my opinion, but this was a 50/50 chance going in and it went south. I've nothing against trying it, it just didn't work out right. Maybe next time we should bring him off the bench? Please?
Anyways, Al Jefferson had a decent night during his time, so we still had an ok night for the young forwards. Big Al had 19 minutes played, 12 pts, 9 rebs, 1 blk. Plus: 1 sore windpipe (from an incidental whack to it with around 5 mins left in the first half. Al left the game briefly, but when he returned, he immediately pulled down a rebound. Good job Kid.
I spent a good portion of the 1st half following the game through sound and during breaks fixing bbq. Don't you love grilling weather? Grilled Pork Chops tonight. Anyways, the C's got out on the Wiz early in this one. By 9:30 in the 1st quarter, the C's were out front 11-4 and Perk had already headed to the bench with 2 fouls.
Raef and PP were getting it done early and often, on the boards as well. With 2:54 left in the 1st, the Celtics led 27-15. The Celtics continued to stay out front on the Wiz. This scoring update is in direct relation to the aforementioned Jefferson throat injury at 5:17. The score was 48-37, but I wouldn't have probably known it had I not heard the voice of my wife from the living room saying Al Jefferson got hurt. This news caused me to come tearing into the room, bbq tongs still in hand.
The Wiz got back into the game by cutting the Celtics lead to 6, with 1:28 left, 56-50. Arenas was in steady doses tonight folks. I remember hearing at one point in the first half, the announcers saying, "Gilbert Arenas already has 21 points and there's still blah blah blah left in the half" I walked into the kitchen mumbling, "He can score 41, as long as we win. Everyone knows the guy can have his nights. I just want a win. If he goes off, so be it."
However, the Celtics responded with a run of thier own. Delonte West (DWest) hit a deep 2pter from the baseline with :42 left and then Raef hit a big shot after a scramble on the floor got him the ball. Both plays occured with expiring shot clocks. The Celtics closed the half leading: 60-51.
The second half started alot like the first did. Big Perk picked up his 4th foul at the 11:20 mark and the score 63-52. Sorry big guy, not your night. There will be others though, so keep your head up.
Paul Pierce did alot of hustling in this game. at 10:34, he grabbed a defensive rebound and outleted to a running GP, who drew the defender and dropped a pass to the trailing DWest for the layup score. The Celtics then scored on an inbounds play that saw Blount curl off a screen in the paint and roll up to the foul line area, where he received the in-bounds pass and was wide open for his high percentage jumper. That was at 8:55 and was shortly followed up by a DWest 3pter at 8:20 to put the Celtics in front 72-56.
Arenas was back at it, hitting another 3pter to roll up his total thus far in the game at 27. However, GP and Blount connected on a drop pass to the trailing big man, who finished with a dunk right up the middle. Jameson then responded in-kind by pulling up for a 3pter. GP penetrated and kicked the ball out to Raef on the baseline for a long jumper, but Jameson again answered with a 3pter. TIMEOUT: 5:47 left in the 3rd. 77-67 Celtics.
Out of the timeout, GP penetrated across the paint and pulled up for a short jumper at 5:14. He then got the benefit of a questionable goaltending call on Arenas. (RD cut off a pass for a steal downcourt and pushed it back up court where GP tried a contested layup score) It appeared that Gilbert pinned it as it got there, but GP got the call and the Celtics led 82-67 with 4:09 remaining in the 3rd quarter. Hey, who am I to complain? The call went our way...
Then Antawn Jamison struck with 2 consecutive 3pter's, to cut the Celtics lead to 82-75 with 2:28 left. Al Jefferson came back into the game with 2:04 and by the 1:07 mark had also picked up his 4th foul. (We should probably work on these 2 youngin's propensity to foul a little, huh?!) Pierce hit a technical FT for Wizards defensive 3 seconds with :54 remaining. RD hit a 18ft jumper after coming off a screen and pulling up for the money mid-range. At the end of 3 quarters, the Celtics lead 87-79.
If you took too long to come back from the break, you might have missed some stuff. Within the first :45 of the quarter Paul Pierce went diving head first into the Celtics bench after a ball and Al Jefferson collected his 5th foul. Jefferson was subbed for by Perkins, who made it all the way until 9:10 to pick up his 5th foul.
The Wizards started to push a soft full-court press, which paid off with 2 scores off turnovers and at 8:41, Doc called a timeout. The Celtics now only led 91-86 and it seemed that the team of Banks and DWest playing together didn't seem to be clicking for some reason. The timeout didn't help and the Wiz had pushed it to 91-90 when another turnover led to a fastbreak layup which gave the Wizards their first lead of the game with 7:31 remaining in the contest. 91-92 Wizards.
PP went right to the hole following the lead change and got to the line where he put the C's back in front with 2FT's. However, PP also picked up a bad foul on a long jumper from Jameson out front, that thankfully was ruled only a 2pt attempt. The resulting FT's put the Wiz back out front 93-94 with 6:56 left. PP then went back to the floor after a loose ball. He collected it and got a pass to Raef, who pushed the ball up the floor to GP for a layup score. 95-94 Celtics with 5:55 remaining. Arenas hit a jumper, but RD countered with 2 FT's and then pushed the ball up the floor to Raef, delivering the ball over the top. Raef took the pass down and then right back up for the score. 99-96 Celtics with 4:33 remaining. Jameson hit 2 more FT's at 4:22 to retighten the gap: 99-98.
Big Al took a pass down on the block as an opportunity to score with a short turn around jumper along the baseline. He then collected a big offensive rebound and got fouled on the put-back attempt. After he made both FT's, the Celtics were in front 103-98 with 3:26. After that, Al hung in until 2:23 when he fouled out with 12 pts and 9 rebs.
The timeframe of Jeffersons departure saw the Celtics leading 107-101. GP was getting to the line for charity and he also fed a trailing Blount again, which got Blount to the line for more charity. The C's took a timeout after the ball went out of bounds on our offensive possession with 1:11 left. The C's retained possession, but had only :03 on the shot clock remaining. A bad pass to RD's feet saw Blount collecting the loose ball, only to pass it out to someone else for a shot attempt, obviously not remembering the crutial clock situation and thus being penalized for it. I have to be honest, that frosted my nether-regions. The C's still led 110-103, but damn...
Paul Pierce continued to push the C's as he backed down, spun and ultimately muscled his way into the paist for a score to make it 112-105. This capped an overall 19-9 Celtics run. Of course, Arenas wasn't going quietly and hit another 3pter with :18 remaining to make it 114-108. DWest closed it out with 2 FT's and the Celtics win 116-108.
Player of the Game: The Team
Why? They pulled it together and I mean TOGETHER. 7 players collected double-digits in scoring. They did it with only Justin Reed not getting any floor time and with 'Toine injured.
This is the type of game you have to be happy about not only winning but the way we did it. Especially given the playoff implications, IMO. On a closing note, I just wanted to note that my schedule seems to be clearing up, so recaps should be pretty regular again. Sorry that I haven't been able to do them lately. My apologies for any inconvenience. Thanks.