Rockets stop Celtics perfect start behind Harden’s 26.

Capture

The Celtics had the tough task of going into Houston & beating Dwight & the Rockets but led by Captain Rondo they weren’t going to back down. Houston were straight out of the gates playing real aggressive & took a 16 point lead getting Olynyk in early foul trouble. Green & Bass would score 6 points for the C’s but 10 free throws & 60% shooting would have Houston up 22-37.

The 2nd started similar to the first with Houston shooting more free throws as they maintained a double digit lead. A basket by Turner halted the Rockets run & got the game back down to 16 with about half the quarter remaining. Houston would push their lead to 20 on their 21st and 22nd free throw attempts. Jeff led Boston with 8 points but the Celtics shot 0-12 from 3 & lost the rebound battle 28-15 in the first half as they trailed 38-57.
The C’s collapsed a lot in the first half when going for the double team, not getting back out to the wide open shooters.

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Screenshot by Justin

The 3rd quarter started ugly for both sides but the Celtics managed to go on a 9-0 run, led by Sullinger to climb within 13. Sullinger was hitting the offensive glass consistently to start the quarter & getting second chance points as his 5th rebound & 7th point of the quarter would have the Rockets calling a timeout as Boston made a game of it. Bradley & Zeller picked up their 5th fouls as Harden shot his 13th & 14th free throws for the night to give the Rockets back an 18 point lead. Boston would head to the 4th down 19 as Harden was leading the way with 26.

The 4th had begun & JET would hit a 3 for the Rockets. Rondo’s layup would cut the Rockets lead to 16 & give the Celtics some hope with 8 minutes still to go. Houston responded immediately & pushed the lead back to 22. Jones knocked down a 3 that put the Rockets up by 26. Jeff Green capped of a 5-0 run by the Celtics with a 3, Boston’s first of the night with 4:10 left. Houston shot 40 free throws during the game to win 90-104. Green led Boston with 17.

Boston shot 1-25 from 3 shot 22 less free throws.

Full time statistics:
Jeff Green 17 points, 4 rebounds , 2 assists
Jared Sullinger 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists
Rajon Rondo 4 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists
Kelly Olynyk 8 points, 5 rebounds
Brandon Bass 8 points, 5 rebounds
Evan Turner 8 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
Tyler Zeller 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assists
Marcus Thornton 9 points
James Young 6 points

A highlight of the game for the Celtics was a lovely spin move by Sullinger that got him this wide open look

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Screenshot by Justin

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Screenshot by Justin

Captain Rajon Rondo & Brad Stevens during the 4th quarter

Beard fighting: Rockets @ Celtics preview

Houston Rockets logo

Houston Rockets logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the part where we begin to go on a streak, get confident with complacency setting in, and then we lose a game. Otherwise, known as a trap game. I’d love to say the guys play up to the competition and that they know the Rockets are the real thing, but I can’t yet. Not until they show their focus tomorrow.

Fact: This is the new look Houston Rockets, who are stocked with tweeners that can run and gun. Not to mention they love pushing the ball upcourt, and are playing with an offensive system that emphasizes open shots over the shot clock.

Complacency, kills.


Game time: 11 Jan 2013, 1130hrs AEDT

Watch on: Good old NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

1. Wilcox is still out with his thumb injury (sprained ulnar collateral). He will be testing his wrapped thumb during practice to gauge recovery.

2. Fab Melo is still not cleared for full contact practice after his recent concussion (walked into a doorway).

Defense
First things first, no easy fast break points. This means hauling ass back on D. Transition D is very important, we need to get stops, not give up baskets the effortless way. We got kicked in the face last game simply because they ran us into the ground, it cannot happen again.

Next order of business: dribble penetration from Lin and Harden. Both of them are very, very capable of taking it in and finishing with contact. If Bradley is on one of them, will Lee or Rondo be up to the task? I like the way Lee’s hustle gear is running right now, but Rondo has been a little off on his defense, as is the case during season play. (Pretty sure JET will save his legs for offense, so no mention on defense.) Improved perimeter defense will decrease the amount of help needed from the big guys, which means less of those open-guys-under-the-basket shit.

Third, no open shots. The Rockets will look to drive and dish for the open three, and they have a ton of guys who can make it. Parsons, Harden, Lin, Delfino, Jones, take your pick. Run them off the shot, make them drive, and collapse on them.

Fourth, defensive boards. Contain the second chance points, get the rebounds and deny Asik. Yes, he of the 11.1 rebounds (3.0 offensive) per game (this is where Sully comes in). Get on the run and score some of our own. Turn the tables on them, make them foul on the layup. Green, Lee and JET are running very well now, and I’d love to see more bench scoring.


Stay focused on the goal, lock down the defense and continue the streak. We can win, but it’s not going to be an effortless one.

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