January 24, 2012 - 1:45am
Just a quick entry.
They say you live long enough, you’ll see everything. You call enough NBA games, I suppose the same holds true.
The Celtics entered Monday night's game with Orlando having lost 6-of-8, a middle-of-the-pack NBA rank of 12 in field-goal defense with a third of their roster, including two starters out.
How stacked was the deck for Orlando Monday night?
The Celtics were without their floor leader Rajon Rondo, responsible for nearly forty percent of the Celtics offense. Without Ray Allen, second in the NBA as 56% from behind the three-point line. And without Mickael Pietrus and Keyon Dooling, the only other candidates to stretch the defense, welcomed the 11-4 Orlando Magic to Boston.
The absent Celtics had scored 40% of Boston’s points through the first 15 games.
The starting backcourt (Avery Bradley, Sasha Pavlovic) that had averaged 17 minutes a game combined through the first month, while the return of Hedo Turkoglu put the rested Magic at full strength.
The Magic were rested, having blown out the Lakers Friday night, while the shorthanded Celtics were on the second night of a back-to-back, a circumstance in which they’d lost 10 of their last 13.
Now, you know how the NBA works, games that look like mismatches on paper, often end up coming down to the final possession.
This one, did not.
For two and half hours later, we had this.
OPPONENT LOW SCORING – CELTICS HISTORY*
56 - VS. MILWAUKEE – MARCH 13, 2011
56 - VS. ORLANDO – JANUARY 23, 2012
57 – VS. MILWAUKEE – FEBRUARY 27, 1955
58 - VS. DENVER – JANUARY 24, 2003
59 - VS. NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 29, 2007
59 - VS. CHARLOTTE – OCTOBER 28, 2009
62 – VS. MIAMI – APRIL 2, 2003
62 - VS. MIAMI – MARCH 30, 2008
62 - @ CHARLOTTE – DECEMBER 11. 2010
63 - @ SACRAMENTO – DECEMBER 28, 2008
* Shot Clock Era
Really? Yes, really.
With 56 points, 24.6% from the floor and 16 made field goals, it was the worst offensive night in the 23-year, 1,788-game history of the Orlando Magic. They hit their previous low 57 against the human-rain delay that was the 1997 Cavs coached by Mike Fratello.
It was the sixth time in the shot-clock era the Celtics have held a team under 60 points, four of those six have come in the New Big 3 Era. One, was in 1955. The other in 2003 against a Denver team that featured Vincent Yarbrough, Junior Harrington and Donell Harvey…in the starting lineup. And off the bench John Crotty, Mark Blount and the legendary Nikoloz Tskitishvili.
Keyon Dooling missed the game Monday night, but he’s already seen this show. He was on the Bucks team against whom the Celtics set the franchise record ten months ago.
A record the Celtics were about to set on November 30, 2007, in a memorable early-in-the-championship season TNT game with the Knicks. But another future-Celtic, Nate Robinson hit a buzzer-beating three from just across half-court, that kept the Knicks out of the record book in a 104-59 Boston win.
It was also the fourth time in the New Big Three Era the Celtics held an opponent under 30% from the floor…
OPPONENT LOW FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE – SINCE 2001
.246 - VS. ORLANDO – JANUARY 23, 2012
.270 - VS. PHILADELPHIA – MARCH 28, 2004
.279 - @ SACRAMENTO – DECEMBER 28, 2008
.288 - VS. MIAMI – MARCH 30, 2008
.298 - VS. CHICAGO – OCTOBER 31, 2008
.299 - @ CHICAGO – NOVEMBER 6, 2002
It was an historic night for the Celtics at the Garden, as and Billy Cundiff will tell you, a bad weekend for field goals in New England.