Wednesday, February 20, 2013
C's Fall to Nuggets out of the Break
Boston played well most of the game, particularly Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee; but the Celtics fell short in the final minutes in Denver. This did not come across as a terrible loss to me. Although it would be nice to come out of the break as hot as they went into it, there were a lot of encouraging signs in Tuesday nights game. Denver was just better in the final five minutes and was able to pull away on their home floor, a place the Nuggets have lost only three times this season.
The Nuggets play an uptempo pace, and at their high altitude it makes it tough on opponents. Surprisingly the aging Celtics played well under those conditions, but couldn't get the stops when they needed them. Here's Paul Pierce on crunch time; "Every crucial possession that we needed a stop we didn't get the stop that we needed and they were able to pull away." Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson had game highs with 26 points and Kenneth Faried did what he does finishing with 16 boards.
Despite the loss, the encouraging signs were once again in the role players. Both Kevin Garnett and Pierce played poorly, but Green and Bradley stepped up with season highs in points: 20 and 17 respectively. Courtney Lee was hot early and dropped 15 despite sitting most of the fourth quarter.
The Celtics are back at it against the Lakers tonight in L.A. on the national scene on ESPN. Surely there will be a lot of trade discussion. Despite Danny Ainge claiming Rondo is unavailable, there are many mixed reports out there from other executives.