2003-04 Season Game 46, Celtics vs. New Jersey Nets   Sunday, January 25, 2004
The Celtics Beagle hard at work on his next reviewThis game was not televised due to the contracts with ABC tv, so the only way to review this was off the NBA ticker.  This turned out to be the swan song of Celtics' Coach Jim O'Brien, as well as Byron Scott of theNets, who was fired just hours before Obie resigned.

FirstQuarter:

The Nets came out blistering and built up a 6-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.  The quarter was a low-scoring affair most of the way, as the C's clawed their way back into the lead.  But the Nets went on another run toward the end of the quarter, as the C's couldn't throw the
ball into the ocean if they'd been three miles offshore.  It was one of the worst offensive showings for the Good Guys in recent memory as the first quarter ended with New Jersey ahead, 20-14, through the good graces of a couple of made free throws by Marcus Banks with 2 seconds left in the quarter.

Boston shot 5-20 from the field, as the Nets were 7-19.  Threes weren't any help, as the C's were 1-5 as the Nets went 1-2, preferring to drive to the hoop.  Boston went 3-4 at the line and the Nets were 5-5.  The stats would lead you to think the game was close, but the Celtics had stretches at the beginning and end of the quarter where they were offensively invisible.



Second Quarter:

The second quarter Celtics scoring was initially led by Ricky Davis--easy to tell, as he had the only basket for Boston for the first 2 minutes of the quarter, as the Nets increased their lead.  Boston did start finding the hoop as Davis proceeded to score on two more possessions, and Chris Mihm made his return to the court, quickly taking the pass from Waltah for two.  This led to a timeout with 8:34 and the score 31-24 favoring NJ.

Davis procured a rebound, continuing to do "the little things' that make him as valuable as if he were scoring double digits every game.  Chris Mihm was fouled and did his job at the line, going 2-2. YAY!

New Jersey wasn't slowing down, though.  Harris was making a pain of himself as the Nets ran the score up to 36-25 with seven minutes left in the half.  Obie seems to be substituting like it was a hockey game, tryingto find fresh legs to keep up with the Nets.  Timeout was called with 5:41 left in the half, and the Nets up, 39-28.

Time came back in as Kenyon Martin was once more uncontested as he dunked the ball.  Mike James responded with a three.  Martin nailed another layup, and Pierce replied by driving to the hoop.  At least Jefferson was fouled by Waltah as HE drove to the basket.  It's a start.  Mike James hit another three, and he was starting to look hot.

But Mark Blount lost the ball--and his cool, picking up a technical foul.  He took a seat as Chris Mihm came back into the game.  Then Ricky Davis fouled Harris and the Nets had a chance to run up the score a little further.  You know things aren't going well when Brandon Hunter is playing in the first half.  Boston called time with 2:45 left in the half as the Nets now held a commanding lead of 51-36.

Good news, Hunter can rebound against the Nets.  Bad news, he's 1-2 on free throws.  Speaking of free throws, it seemed like the C's couldn't let 30 seconds pass without getting called for a foul.  Of course I don't know if they're actually committing the fouls, or just getting called for them.

But the Nets continued to dominate as the quarter came to an end.  Halftime arrived with the Nets easily holding a 56-39 lead.

The 25 second quarter points that Boston scored would have been pretty good if not for the Nets getting 36 points at the same time.   Boston's shooting percentage went UP--yes, I said "up" to 32% by halftime.  Ricky Davis is the C's leading scorer with 9 points.  Mike James had 8 points, Marcus Banks had 6, and things went downhill from there.

There's no secret as to what needs to be done.  Two things of equal importance.  Stop the Nets from making baskets like they're the only ones on the floor; and score some baskets of their own.

This shows every sign of shaping up as a monumental loss unless we get our stuff together, NOW.  I imagine Jim O'Brien is teaching the team a few new words right about now.

AAUGH!!!



Third Quarter:

The C's were consistent, starting the second half as Waltah was called for a foul when Kenyon Martin went up for a shot.  Martin returned the favor on Pierce shortly afterward.  Kidd, as always, is killing us on the break.

Boston was making shots, but totally unable to stop the Nets as Obie called time to explain the concept of defense with 10:31 left in the third quarter and the Nets now ahead 63-45.  What the C's had done to Washington, the Nets were now doing to us.

Davis contributed a jumper to the cause and Kenyon obliged by forgetting to bounce the ball as he ran for the hoop.  Waltah made them pay as he slammed the ball through the hoop.

The teams traded misses before Kenyon made a jumper.  The C's defense seemed to be cranking up at long last as Kidd made a bad pass.  But the C's didn't convert and the teams traded possessions a bit more before Kidd fouled Blount.  Mark made it count at the line, going 2-2.

Hunter may be proving his preseason assertions that he's ready to play now, as he kept hauling down much-needed rebounds.  The problem is, the C's aren't capitalizing on those opportunities.  With 3:37 left in the 3rd quarter, NJ took time as they now held a 69-55 lead.

Pierce stole the ball from Wlliams--who took it right back.  Jri Welsch made the foul to prevent the layup, but Jefferson made both.  The C's committed two turnovers in 20 seconds. Fortunately, the Nets responded in kind.

Life was good for a moment, as Byron Scott, that mealy-mouthed Laker Lout, got tossed from the game.  Pierce made the T throw, then went to the line for two regular free throws, making both for a three point play we really needed.  But Kidd got two back at the line when banks fouled him.

Chris Mihm hit a turnaround jumper, and it's good to see him back in the game!  Pierce took another T throw when Harris was teed up.  but Harris got them back when Banks fouled HIM.

Waltah made himself more lovable by hitting a layup.  Williams lost a basket when he got too enthusiastic and committed an offensive goaltend.  Unfortunately, Banks turned the ball over and the Nets scored once more on a last-second jumper that the refs ruled good.  This ended the third quarter with the Nets still way in front, 83-64.

Don't ask me how, but the C's actually have more fast break points than the Nets, 9-7.  No point in being totally depressing.  but the C's--while having improved their offense somewhat--still need to work to the defensive end.


Fourth Quarter:

Jiri Welsh opened up the scoring for the Good Guys, then turned the ball over.  *sigh*...  When Davis stole the ball, Williams stole it back.  When Williams stole the ball, Jefferson slammed it home.  Story of the game, here.

For every good move made, like when Mihm dunked, there'd be a turnover.  Or Jiri would steal the ball, only to have Rogers easily block his shot.  Ricky Davis is one of the few offensive bright spots for the C's as he dunked the ball once more.

Mike James rebounded a miss and got it to Davis--as Davis is one of the few C's who apparently remembers where the hoop is.  Time was called with 7:57 left as the Nets wanted to keep that 92-74 lead and maybe put someone on Davis.

Time came back in and Davis stole the ball, getting fouled to prevent a layup.  Ricky made both (YAY), and also made a jumper on their next possession.  Now, if only the C's can play some defense... Timeout was called with 5:58 left in the game and the Nets up, 99-80.


Justice prevailed after the timeout as Kenyon missed both free throws after a Mike James foul.  Pierce rebounded the second miss and Hunter converted.

But Kenyon put the Nets into triple digits, keeping ahead of any possible Celtics surge.  Ricky Davis made two at the line, and Mihm did steal another ball.  But the C's just weren't able to convert often enough.  Nor were they stopping the Nets at the other end.

With 3:45 left, Obie officially gave up, sitting Pierce and Mihm.   After hitting more free throws, Davis sat in favor of Waltah.  It was left to the bench to show the flag and try to keep the score remotely reasonable. With 2:05 left, time was called as the Nets lead had ballooned to 106-90.

During this timeout, the Nets finally sat their starters--something of an insult, as they obviously wanted to run up the score in a game they had total control of.  The final minute or so was sloppy as both benches emptied.  Kendrick Perkins did make both his free throws at least.  Unfortunately, he forgot to bounce the ball on the next possession and the refs rightly objected to that.

There were turnovers for the Nets, too; but as before, the C's couldn't make them pay with points.  In fact the C's scored about three points in as many minutes as the Nets closed it out, 110-91.

Cookies and crumbs:

Cookies go to:

Ricky Davis, as he had 26 points, went 7-7 at the line, and had 5 steals.

Brandon hunter had 9 rebounds.  Lousy scoring, but we need SOMEONE to rebound.

Jim O'Brien. He saw the crappy defense and didn't whack any of the players.  That takes monumental restraint.

Celtics fans, for not turning in their season tickets after this disaster.


Crumbs left for:

Paul Pierce, with truly horrible shooting.  Not that the rest of the team--except Davis--was much better.

the Celtics defense--the sad thing is, the C's would have had a fighting chance if they'd played some effective defense.

ABC, for not allowing SOMEONE to show the game on TV live, no matter how badly it ended for the C's.


I'm going to go have a cookie now, to get the bad taste out of my mouth.

Bleah.

And that's the obstructed view from the doghouse.