I had wondered how I was going to start this recap, right up until 3:01 in the 3rd quarter and then the issue was no longer in doubt. Since it's what everyone is going to be talking about anyways, let's get Tony Allens latest debacle out of the way now.
I could have sworn that we got rid of mindless, showboating for the sake of showboating, stupidity when we traded Ricky Davis to Minnesota, but apparently I stand corrected. Fouled at the top of the key, play clearly dead, Tony decided to throw one down for the fans. He flubbed the dunk by jamming the ball against the rim and came down awkwardly on his left knee, forcing him to be carried by teammates to the lockerroom. Given the replay, I'm assuming that the MRI at New England Baptist will end up showing at least an MCL tear. Why Tony, WHY? He had seemingly started to get his career back on track and was giving Celtic fans something to hope for in terms of living up to his potential and now, in the blink of an eye, it's over. No more 20+ game score streak and probably no more season. Dumbfounding is the nicest thing I can muster right now. The rest of what I want to say can't be said in polite company.
Anyways, now that we've gotten the straw that broke the camels back(at least fo this game) that out of the way, let's talk about some of the rest of the game.
The Celtics started out with an encouraging 1st quarter. Although we only officially had 6 fast break points, we were certainly operating at an uptempo pace, sharing the ball well and shooting at what Mike Gorman amusingly refered to as a "lusty" 71% clip. They were somewhat sloppy in the turnover department with 3 quick ones in the first five minutes, but settled down for the most part and came away with a 27-22 lead to end the stanza.
The 2nd quarter was mostly the same, although the chinks that normally rear thier head were starting to emerge on defense. Poor efforts in keeping the Pacers off the boards kept the Pacers in the game via a 14-2 margin in second chance points by way of a 10-2 offensive rebound differential. 10 Turnovers by the half were pretty much to be expected from this squad, but deserve mentioning anyways as one of those things that continue to be a hobgoblin of this teams performance. 52-52 at the half.
After that, well, I really don't want to think about much after that because TA's lack of forethought simply took all the wind out of a game that had been interesting up until then. I will give those out on the floor midway through the 4th credit for the gutsy mini-run they put on but you just knew that it was a fleeting moment and proved true to form.
Gerald Green, Sebastian Telair and Al Jefferson all put in efforts worth mention, but losing our best offensive weapon on an already extremely depleated roster was simply too much to overcome.
Final Score: 97-84 Pacers Win