Celtics Running On Reserve Power

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Posted by Sekou Smith

LOS ANGELES – No one can overstate the startling absence of the All-Star formerly known Kevin Garnett that most of us assumed would show up for these NBA Finals.

He’s been a shell of himself against the Lakers, a step slow reacting to almost everything and nowhere near the action on most plays. It’s  startling departure from what Garnett is used to and has been discussed endlessly.

But when those quick fouls early in Game 2 sent him to the bench, that opened the door for his backups to dive in. And Rasheed Wallace and Glen “Don’t-Call-Me-Big Baby” Davis delivered.

They combined for 15 points, 14 rebounds and eight fouls of their own in battling the Lakers’ frontcourt pair of Pau Gasol and  Andrew Bynum to a virtual standstill. In fact, you could argue that the Celtics were better in Game 2 with those guys on the floor than they were with Garnett out there.

Davis dialed up the energy, chasing loose balls and attacking relentlessly on offense and even blocking a Bynum dunk attempt (he was actually called for a foul) during one jaw-dropping sequence.

“I’m an energy guy,” Davis said. “That’s what I’m supposed to do. I go out there and bring energy. I tried my best … and we got the win.”

Wallace played great defense on Gasol, blocking his shot once and forcing him into a short-armed layup on a crucial possession late.

“Our bench did a great job,” Davis said. “We picked up the slack for each other and made things happen.

Give Doc Rivers credit for pushing all the right bench buttons, as usual, but you also have to credit Wallace and Davis for bringing it when it mattered most.

Garnett certainly needs to slip them a thank you note or something to show his gratitude. Because if the Celtics had lost Game 2, there’s no doubt who we’d all be pointing fingers at today.

Amazingly, Garnett was upbeat on his way out of Staples Center and headed back to Boston for Game 3 Tuesday night.

“I feel good,” he said. “I feel good going back to the jungle.”

He should feel good with Wallace and Davis watching his back.

27 Comments

  1. Anoel Shaw says:

    Derek Fisher is one of the DIRTIEST players in basketball. He is a total cheater which Phil Jackson I guess uses as Derek’s main talent, as otherwise Derek is basically slow and old. He “looked good” supposedly the other night, but it is his getting away with all sorts of underhanded dirty nasty acts that allows him with his “innocent” look not to be called that undermines the game in a is dishonorable, disturbing and destructive way. As a fan, I just can not enjoy a game where Derek Fisher is not being called on his dirtiness. Instead he is lauded. Doc Rivers is right right right…. Derek “Dirty Cheat” Fisher should not be holding Celtics’ players arms without being called. Derek’s flopping left and right, and playing dirty nasty tricks and not being called for his unsportsmanlike actions makes the games he is in cheap, and not games to which I want to bring my family. The dark side of basketball is represented by Derek “Dirty Cheat” Fisher, and that dark side needs to have light shed upon it. The best disinfectant is sunlight, and I am shining a light on the dark side of Derek Fisher’s dastardly basketball behavior. Simply, Derek Fisher’s playing is frustratingly overrated, and has to be judged in view of his predominant dark side. SHINE A LIGHT ON DEREK FISHER’S DARK SIDE. Clean up basketball by calling a foul a foul, and Derek Fisher’s basketball playing is FOUL, VERY FOUL, FOULSOME PLUS. I AM CALLING FOUL ON DEREK FISHER’S FOULISH FOOLISH OBNOXIOUS DIRTY PLAYING.

  2. […] After dropping Game 1 the Boston Celtics captured an impressive bounce-back victory in Los Angeles on Sunday to even up the series. The Celtics came back with the grit and determination that they themselves felt was missing from their Game 1 loss. Ray Allen was simply spectacular, particularly in the first half when he sank seven straight 3-pointers. He went on to finish with 32 points and set a new NBA Finals record for 3-pointers in a game with his eighth of the night in the third quarter. Other key contributions came from Rajon Rondo, who took over in the fourth quarter and finished with a triple double – only the eighth in Finals history. And both Wallace and Robinson delivered off the bench. […]

  3. leo says:

    Like Red said about Phil Jackson and where he coaches, he picks his spots. Goes to Chicago when Jordan was there and then quits, goes to L>A. when Shak is there. Im sure he will quit as soon as Kobe retires. I just do not like the guy AT ALL.

  4. Saud says:

    As much as i would love to see pierce play well… it unfortunately, will not happen this series. Artest is too good of a defender for Pierce.

    The key to this series is rebounding. If we manage to box out Pau and Bynum consistently and KG crashes the boards, then the celts will win!

  5. Pete says:

    Actually game 2 was one of the most fairly called games i’ve seen throughout these entire playoffs.

    There were definately some questionable calls that went Boston’s way, but there were just as many questionable calls that went LAs way as well – and in both cases, they were close calls that were hard to judge.

    In the previous playoff series (such as Boston vs Orlando) there were so many calls which were not only wrong, but downright rediculous. 2 or 3 times Dwight Howard bloked shots after they started coming down and no goaltends were called – 3 or 4 other tmes he threw aggressive elbows that were far from subtle which knocked guys to the floor or send them flying…several of these should have been no brainer flagrant calls, and yet half of them slipped by with no call at all.

    That notorious gave 5 ( I think it was game 5) was one of THE worst called games I’ve ever seen in any professional basketball tournament…Davis and Daniels left the game with concussions, Rondo was hammered to the floor violently, Garnett took a violent Dwight elbow to the back of the head, and Rasheed gets his back hurt all with barely acall…and then Perkins gets sent off due to two technicals that shouldnt have been technicals, the latter being called after he protested a foul which shouldn’t have been a foul.

    The officiating hasn’t been perfect, and there have been iffy calls…but then there always are. At least in this case they have been on calls which legitimately could have gone both ways, and the bad called have been made evenly towards both teams.

  6. Will says:

    In Game 2 Boston had about 15 bad calls against them L.A. had 5 bad calls against them. There we’re 2 bad calls on Kobe but it was made up when they gave him a and 1 in the 4qtr and nobody touched him in the lane plus the bad calls against Kobe was the same treatment they gave to Ray Allen in Game 1. Now to say the refs cheated for Boston I won’t even get into all the bad calls against Boston and all the no calls against the Lakers I guess L.A. fans expect to get every call at home NO WONDER THEY DON’T LOSE AT HOME!!!

    I think Doc has found the gash in the armor of L.A. and with 3 games in Boston expect Paul Pierce to get most of the calls on Ron Ron at home when he drives to the basket see people don’t understand that Boston has a team concept you can’t prepare for 1 player because every game its a different player who will step up even if KG don’t show up. If you notice you can’t even breath or look at Gasol in the post without the refs blowing the whistle so as for KG & Perkins I think the refs have taken them out of the game because before the series started Phil Jackson made comments saying “Our team (The Lakers) don’t go around smacking people around like boston” and that planted a seed in the refs he did the samething to Steve Nash I admit he’s a genius at getting the refs on his side.

    I still believe Boston in 6 because Fisher is a liablity, Odom a no factor and Boston bench is better and wants it more then L.A. bench and I end with this. There will be more charges on Kobe and if no Kobe NO CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

  7. Will says:

    In Game 2 Boston had about 15 bad calls against the L.A. had 5 there we’re 2 bad calls on Kobe but it was made up when they game him a and 1 in the 4qtr and nobody touched him in the lane plus the bad calls against Kobe was the same treatment they gave to Ray Allen in Game 1. Now to say the refs cheated for Boston I won’t even get into all the bad calls against Boston and all the no calls against the Lakers I guess L.A. fans expect to get every call at home no wonder they don’t lose at home.

    I think Doc has found the gash in the armor of L.A. and with 3 games in Boston expect Paul Pierce to get most of the calls on Ron Ron at home when he drives to the basket see people don’t understand that Boston has a team concept you can’t prepare for 1 player because every game its a different player who will step up even if KG don’t show up. If you notice you can even breath or look at Gasol in the post without the refs blowing the whistle so as for KG & Perkins I think the refs have taken them out of the game because before the series started Phil made comments saying “Our team (The Lakers) don’t go around smacking people around” and that planted a seed in the refs he did the samething to Steve Nash I admit he’s a genius at getting the refs on his side.

    I still believe Boston in 6 because Fisher is a liablity, Odom a no factor and Boston bench is better and wants it more then L.A. bench and I end with this there will be more charges on Kobe and if no Kobe NO CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

  8. al says:

    both are great teams, whoever wins is fine with me, i love the boston teamwork and the lakers kobe one man show.. both teams are great! its a great series

  9. Jerome D says:

    I don’t think the game will be fought easy for the Lakers. Even Phil Jackson feared that it might be their last at the Staples on Sunday. With the momentum on the Celts, any player will rise up and deliver for the team. That’s what makes their intensity unpredictable for the defending Champs to easily out-hustle…Celtics in 5!

  10. Stern... Mr Stern! says:

    @nelson tun – What you said about Artest and Odom applies more to odom than artest cos artest is an offensive liability. WIth odom, half the time he won’t show up so celtics are in good shape atm with 3games 2 home coming up. eventhough it’ll be tough it’s possible in 5

  11. yosh says:

    Heat in 6…

  12. Guest says:

    Lakers were upagainst 7 players.. 5 of them were in Green and other two in Grey.
    Never seen worst officiating in a fianls game.
    Go Lakers go! beat the crap out of thugs!

    • In game 2 they went to line almost twice as many times as the Celts, and you think they were being being treated unfairly? Thats hard to believe.

      • Jonas says:

        I don’t get how these LA fans are blaming the refs for getting their butt kicked in game 2. both team had some bad fouls called on them, and LA went to the free throw line 42 times compare to the boston celtics who went 26 times. C’mon now take your loss as a man ’cause that’s gonna be the last one, you got three more to go!!!!!

      • Jonas says:

        I don’t get how these LA fans are blaming the refs for getting their butt kicked in game 2. both team had some bad fouls called on them, and LA went to the free throw line 42 times compare to the boston celtics who went 26 times. C’mon now take your loss as a man ’cause that’s not gonna be the last one, you got three more to go

    • Chilax says:

      Guest, i suggest you read another article of Sekou Smith entitled, SHUT UP AND PLAY. You will be enlightened. The stats are there.

  13. Nabil says:

    Don’t forget about Nate Robinson. He’s been doing great every time he stepped on the court. He seems to be a very good backup for Rondo

  14. KGisABeast says:

    ya….I am a huge fan of KG and he isnt playing at all like himself I mean he isnt even competing with Gasol and 2 years ago it was gasol trying to keep up with KG…..come on Big Ticket bring back the intensity for another championship.

    • KG will have his moments back in the Garden. He will be an integral part of winng the 18th title. He’s wired to win, like the rest o the team. This ream is an awesome group of starters and reserves.

      • Chilax says:

        you’re defnitely right FourDecadeCeltsFan!

        Here is a portion of Art Garcia’s article today:

        “Celtics may have a mediocre 24-17 at home during regular season. but since the postseason, Celtics won 7-2 of their home games in the first three rounds (courtesy of an article by Art Garcia posted today)”.

        “Should the Lakers just win one of the next three, it’ll take a two-game sweep back in Los Angeles to retain the title. The odds would be against the Lakers. The only team that has won both games (and the title) at home after trailing 3-2 is Houston in 1994″.

        that means Celts won 77% of home games. if we get 77% of the 3 upcoming home games, that means they have the possibility of winning 2 games at home.

        i’m really hoping for celtics in 6!!!!!

  15. moy lopez says:

    If KG was firing on all cylinders, you would have the Celtics beating the lakers by 20 points. Ask Wade, Lebron and Howard how it feels to be on vacation. Yes the back ups have done a great job. The Celtics bench is deeper and if they play the way they normaly play, you will see the celtics win in six.

    • Relevancy says:

      This is true >.< Even though I'd rather the lakers win.

      • Steven says:

        That is a true statement. Both KG and Pierce have been really quiet so far, one of them is going to go off in the next couple games and the Lakers will really have their hands full. Should be fun to watch!

    • nelson tun says:

      I don’t so my friend. As to say like the way you said, I would say that if Lamar and Artest play as the way they normally play, Lakers will make it in 7.

    • Chilax says:

      agree with you moy lopez. KG and Pierce are not performing well in the finals. the only good thing about the celtics is that the bench players are working once they are fielded.

      lakers are strong because they have a strong center and forward (bynum and gasol) plus kobe.
      currently, the strength of celtics is in their guards (allen and rondo).

      this will be an interesting series. celtics often win when they are the underdogs. i’m expecting celtics in 6.