Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Turning the Corner?

The Truth is the key.

On Friday we highlighted how important the Celtics' three game road trip was. They won in Houston and Dallas but finished up with a loss last night in Utah to finish the trip 2-1. The loss last night was personified by an unbelievably hot second half from the Jazz that eventually saw coach Doc Rivers' frustrations boil over into an ejection.

All in all it appears (for now) things appear to be straightening out for the C's, as they have won five of their last seven. The C's have a lot going for them the rest of the way:
  • Paul Pierce is starting to get his shots up. In surprising news, it was revealed yesterday that Pierce had his knee drained after the all star break, and he may be beginning to recover from the procedure. On the three game trip, Pierce shot the ball almost 15 times per game, which is above his 12 per game season average. The Celtics need their stud to get his looks, as every bonafide title contender needs their star player(s) to perform at an elite level.
  • With just 12 games left in the regular season, the Celtics play eight at home. With a 21-12 record on the parquet this season, the Celtics will look to win the remainder of their games at the Garden.
  • Another quirk in the schedule is the fact that the team doesn't have many more back-to-back games this season. The C's have just three back to back games in the final three weeks which favors the Celtics and their older legs.
Some things to be concerned about are:
  • Rajon Rondo's and Kendrick Perkins' play of late has been lackluster. Rondo has not been himself and is not facilitating the offense like he did midseason. Perkins has seen his points, rebounds, and blocks decrease over the past month from his season averages. The team needs to get their legs under them for the final few weeks.
  • The Celtics will be playing seven of the final 12 against playoff teams (vs. Denver, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Cleveland, Milwaukee, @ Toronto and @ Milwaukee). This will be a good test for the C's as they look to prove themselves against the league's upper echelon of teams.
The Celtics can clinch a playoff berth tonight with a Bobcats loss to the Wizards, but the Celtics need to continue fighting to secure the number three seed in the East and avoided the dreaded Cavs in the 2nd round. It will be a fun final three weeks for us Celtics fans as we prepare another possible title run.

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