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Three Pointer Rajon Rondo and ‘coach’s p

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PostPosted: Thu 10:14, 14 Apr 2011    Post subject: Three Pointer Rajon Rondo and ‘coach’s p

Three-Pointer: [link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
What a difference a game makes.
The Celtics had been reeling, losing seven of their last 12 games and nearly falling to third place behind the Bulls and Heat in the Eastern Conference — inspiring concerns about everything from the physical health of both O’Neals to the mental health of their start point guard.
But the Celtics also hadn’t played a contender in the last 12 games, or since Feb. 13 for that matter. The Celtics have proven themselves plenty over the last four seasons — as NBA champions in 2008 and as underdog runners-up in 2010 – but entering Thursday night’s game in San Antonio they found themselves needing to prove themselves once again.
After the trade of Kendrick Perkins and following a 5-7 record with the East’s No. 1 seed on the line, can the Celtics still compete with the NBA’s best? After a 107-97 victory against the league-leading Spurs (57-1Cool on the road without a healthy center, the answer was clear. (The complete game recap can be found here.)
Among the Spurs, Lakers, Mavericks, Bulls and Heat, only Chicago can match the Celtics’ performance against the NBA elite. Here are their records in games against each other:
Celtics: 8-4
Bulls: 8-4
Spurs: 7-6
Mavericks: 6-6
Lakers: 4-7
Heat: 3-9
The Celtics now boast a .667 winning percentage against the league’s five other major NBA title contenders, and two of their four losses to those teams came against a Mavericks team that the C’s likely won’t face again, even if they were to return to the NBA Finals.
There’s plenty of points to take from Thursday night’s Celtics victory. Here are three of them:
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In two games since taking a mental health day or resting an ailing pinky finger or whatever the heck kept [link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
To make a long story short, [link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
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Perhaps the greatest affirmation of [link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
“That was terrific,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “Hell, I’m going to say it. I probably shouldn’t, but I call it coach’s porn. We kept moving the ball, and [link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
There you have it. [link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
With the benefit of hindsight, knowing now that neither of the O’Neal’s would play again until almost April, Celtics president Danny Ainge recently claimed he would have still made the deal that sent Perkins to Oklahoma City for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green.
The reasoning? The C’s still would’ve been without Perkins for three weeks after the trade and even now would be relying on a guy with one recovering ACL and another recuperating MCL — as opposed to a healthy Krstic to go along with the inevitable O’Neal returns.
If you believe in jinxes, that may have been one. During a second-quarter fast break, Krstic’s knee bent in the wrong direction. He clutched his right knee as he left the game and retired to the locker room. Soon afterward, Rivers told TNT sideline reporter David Aldridge, “We don’t know for sure, but it does not look good.”
It doesn’t sound good, either. Krstic, who tore his left ACL in 2006 as a member of the Nets, will reportedly undergo an MRI in Boston on Saturday to determine his future.
On the bright side, Jermaine O’Neal returned from a knee injury of his own after missing 56 games and not playing since Jan. 10. He played 11 minutes. He moved well. He shot well (2-of-2). And he defended fairly well. He did not rebound well. However, all in all, it was a positive sign.
Should he, Shaquille O’Neal — scheduled to return by April 5 — and Glen Davis (16 points and 8 boards in 32 minutes against the Spurs) be able to piece together 48 minutes a night in the playoffs, there’s a chance the Celtics could survive even without a healthy Krstic.
While [link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
Emerging from a team-wide offensive funk, [link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
Once threatening to finally reach “the holy trinity of shooting” (50-40-90) that’s eluded him throughout his career, Allen has dipped below the 50 percent field-goal percentage mark — thanks to his 22-of-64 shooting (34.4 percent) over the last six games.
Of course, Allen has gone through similar slumps during his four years in Boston, but his poor shooting of late is just one more sign that the Celtics aren’t playing — as Garnett so eloquently has stated — at “full throttle” quite yet.

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