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News » CELTICS BEAT


CELTICS BEAT


CELTICS BEATA few minutes into the third quarter last night, Ray Allen got the ball down low to Kendrick Perkins, who - honest to Ernie DiGregorio - slipped a behind the back pass to Kevin Garnett out by the foul line.

Instead of taking his open jumper, Garnett fed a cutting Rajon Rondo for a layup. The slickness gave the Celtics a 19-point lead. And it gave the Utah Jazz defense a severe case of whiplash.

In the end, the locals had a thorough 105-86 victory and the Jazz simply didn't know what hit them . . . and ran around and through them. They knew only that the machine was white with green lettering.

Which is a long way of saying, yeah, the day of rest and two days of practice helped the Celts. More than you'd think possible.

It's rather like watching the Patriots after a bye week.

It's hard to grasp sometimes just how important the little moments of precision are to even a team as talented as the Celtics . People understandably look at the team player by player and judge its net worth. But particularly with a club like this that relies so much on defensive rotations and making extra passes, getting two days of reps on the practice floor is large.

Everyone on the C's was disturbed by the slippage in the previous few games, even though they knew its genesis: fatigue and a lack of workout time.

As much as these Celtics can hit you over the head with their skilled personnel and get themselves a whole bunch of wins, that's not enough to knit them another banner. Players still have to make plays, but an entire game of solo flights gets you flagged down in the postseason.

``You can be great individually and if it doesn't fit, it's not going to work,'' coach Doc Rivers said. ``And you could see the difference between tonight and our two games previous, actually three games previous.''

This early in the season, the Celts were bound to be a little off without much gym time. There may be a little Allen Iverson in everyone, but when it comes to what gets the gears in position to mesh, we're talking 'bout practice.

``It was very huge,'' captain Paul Pierce said. ``I mean, during the stretch of eight games (in 12 days), we didn't really have any practice time. So throughout that when you play and you play and you don't practice, you lose some of the discipline that you had. It was good to get out there and get a couple of days to sharpen up and see what our mistakes were, because there was a little slippage in those last three games.'' Last night there was slappage, with the Jazz getting rapped on the kisser. The Celts shot 53.2 percent, had 30 assists and held Utah to fewer than 25 points each quarter. The fact the Jazz shot 0-for-10 on 3-pointers is testament to the Celtics rotating properly and aggressively on defense. And you'll recall that in C's lone loss, Phoenix was able to hit 13-of-24 treys.

Practice makes blowouts. Asked about the break, Rivers said, ``Oh, it was huge. And I don't think it was the rest; it was more the practice. I just thought the execution tonight was absolutely fantastic.''

It had a certain redemptive quality to it.

``When you look up and a team scores 100 points (Phoenix) or a team shoots over 50 percent (Phoenix, Minnesota) on the Boston Celtics , you know, that's not the type of team we are,'' Pierce said. ``We're a defensive team.''

Said Garnett: ``I think some of that slippage that Paul's talking about is also offensively. You know, the ball stops moving and we start relying on Truth (Pierce) to get us going with the scoring.''

Last night the Celtics relied on the Celtics .

- sbulpett@bostonherald.com


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 13, 2009

 

 
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