It's time for the NBA playoffs. Even though the Toronto Raptors defeated the Boston Celtics, 114-90, the score truly isn't important. Tonight the Boston Celtics are still winners. The regular season is officially over and it's playoff time. Come 3 PM on Saturday, when the seven seed Boston Celtics face off against the two seed New York Knicks, this game will be forgotten about...I know I already forgot about it. It's time for the run at Banner 18 to begin.
The most important part to take from tonight's game was the Toronto Raptors' pregame ceremony, which they dedicated to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Toronto was gracious enough to have a moment of silence and while players came to center court to meet, the Raptors PA announcer said, "Tonight, we are all fans of Boston."
He's right. Tonight was a nice distraction from the events that occurred the past few days.
Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry were not active tonight, but Paul Pierce did play. Boston appeared to open up the game with a zone defense, probably to get some in game practice before the playoffs begin. After a high scoring first quarter, Boston trailed 31-30. Jordan Crawford capped off the period with a buzzer beater from half court.
Celtics announcer Mike Gorman coined a terrific nickname for Jordan Crawford during the second quarter...Inspector Gadget. Please, let's go with it. Make it happen, Celtics fans!
Since then, the game was downright horrible for the Celtics. Toronto outscored Boston 28-19 in the second period, leading by 10 at halftime.
Things only go worse in the third as Boston began to rest its starters. Pierce didn't play at all in the second half, Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, and Chris Wilcox played limited minutes. After three, Toronto led 96-70.
The fourth quarter featured a lot of Fab Melo and DJ White. Neither were effective in their time on the floor. However, Terrence Williams and Jordan Crawford were solid.
Toronto was led by Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas. They had a combined 61 points. The Raptors also shot 12-of-21 from three-point range tonight.
Paul Pierce had 11 points in only 14 minutes of play. Jordan Crawford led the Celtics in points with 16. He also tacked o 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
I decided to still roll with the quarter-by-quarter breakdown for those that watched the Bruins or Red Sox instead of the game tonight. No one blames you for doing so.
- Backcourt violation for the Raptors on the first play of the game...weird.
- Boston opened up the game in a zone-defense.
- Not a good start for Chris Wilcox. Jonas Valanciunas logged six points and three rebounds in the first 4:40 of the game. Shavlik Randolph was then substituted in. Randolph came in right away, boxed out and snatched an offensive rebound.
- Terrence Williams and DJ White enter the game with less than a minute to go in the quarter.
- Jordan Crawford showed off his court awareness with a no-look over the head pass to Shavlik Randolph at the 27.4-second mark.
- With time running down in the quarter, Jordan Crawford hit a buzzer-beater from just inside half court. Raptors still lead 31-30.
- Jonas Valanciunas and Rudy Gay got off to terrific starts for Toronto with a combine 21 points and six rebounds.
- Paul Pierce led the way for Boston with nine points.
- Terrence Williams had a great string of plays at the 9:30 mark of the period. On the offensive end, he drove hard to the basket and made a perfect pass out to Courtney Lee, who drained a three pointer. The Raptors inbounded the ball to an open Landry Fields, who was past half court, but Williams hustled back to attempt a block. The play was ruled a goaltend but the hustle was admirable.
- A 10-to-0 Toronto run pushed the lead to nine at the 6:22 mark of the period.
- Shavlik Randolph played 11:29 in the first half, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds. He had a pretty successful first half and he outplayed Chris Wilcox.
- Nice athletic basket in transition by Terrence Williams at the : mark. He jumped from a few feet from inside the free throw line to lay the ball in. This ended the Raptors' 10-to-0 run.
- At the 32.2 second mark, Crawford missed a relatively easy layup, grabbed his own rebound, took a few dribbles back and shot one of his funny little floaters form five feet away and hit it. He ended the half with seven points, two assists and three rebounds.
- Not that good of an ending to the half for the Celtics, as they trail 59-49. Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley both had 11 points at the half.
- CSSNE Reporter Greg Dickerson opened up the half with some news that Shavlik Randolph and Paul Pierce were done for the half. Not because of injury, but for rest. This might be the time for Chris Wilcox to try and prove himself deserving for the top backup big man role.
- Toronto got off to an incredibly fast start with an 13-to-2 run, including three three-pointers from Amir Johnson, Kyle Lowry and DeMar Derozan.
- DJ White in for Brandon Bass at the 10:05 mark of the period. This would be the end for Bass tonight. He was effective with six points and three rebounds.
- Fab Melo had four fouls and four rebounds in only 5:26 of play. Please stress the four fouls, they were pretty bad.
- Boston trailed 96-70 after three quarters.
- Toronto's "Big Three" (can I call them that?) had 61 points. DeRozan with 24, Gay with 19 and Valanciunas with 18
- Not a lot to note from this quarter. Fab Melo got plenty of minutes in the second half but wasn't that effective at all. He had a nice layup but he arguably traveled on the play.
- Fab Melo, DJ White, Terrence Williams, Jordan Crawford and Courtney Lee was the lineup for basically the entire period.
- Terrence Williams and Jordan Crawford looked pretty good and played hard out there despite the score disparity.
- Mike Gorman coined a brilliant nickname for Jordan Crawford at the end of the half...Inspector Gadget. Spread the word. Mike Gorman is a genius and he doesn't even know it
- I'm not sure if we should read into this too much, but Shavlik Randolph totally outplayed Chris Wilcox tonight and was sat for the entire second half. Wilcox looked pretty bad tonight.
- Toronto shot 12-of-21 from three.
- The CSNNE broadcast showed a great moment where Doc Rivers asked Brian Scalabrine, who was announcing the game, "are you ready to come!?!" The Celtics were down 105-74 at the time.
- Speaking of Scalabrine, am I the only one who thinks he is a terrific announcer?
- Whenever the Boston Celtics play Game 3 of the Playoffs at the TD Garden, I hope to see something like this:
- <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lbHMRpdk3_4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
- There no injuries tonight. As far as we know, Shavlik Randolph getting rested in the second half was not injury related at all.
- It's playoff time...get excited. The quest for Banner 18 begins now!