Note: This will be a short recap, as I'm trying to get my house ready for a New Year's Eve party tonight. Happy New Year's everyone.
The Hornets task tonight was made a bit easier with both Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo out for the Celtics, but it was still a struggle. Hornets/Celtics matchups have tended to be ugly over the past few years, and this was no exception. Slow paced, low shooting percentages, sloppy ball handling and turnovers, lots of defense and little offense. It wasn't pretty, but the back and forth nature of the game made it entertaining and it came down to a dramatic finish. Bullet points after the jump.
Marcus needs to settle his game down. Perhaps he's concerned about playing time, which is understandable if that's the case, but lately it seems as if he's trying to score a home run every time down the floor. We know what he's capable of, and his aggression is part of why he's fan favorite, but he needs to slow down a bit and play smart basketball.
Remember early in the season when it seemed like the Hornets might be able to win games with Paul only playing 32-35 minutes a game? Those days are long gone. I sincerely hope Chris Paul remains a Hornet, but if the front office can't find a way to find Paul more talent to work with, I definitely won't begrudge him leaving for greener pastures once his contract is up. I don't mean to sour the Hornets road win, but the Hornets were lost when Chris Paul wasn't on the floor tonight.
Speaking of Paul, he was brilliant. 20 points on 16 shots (only 14 if you don't count two end of quarter heaves), 11 assists, 4 rebounds and 6 steals.
Okafor and West both had solid games as well, particulary Okafor. The only stretch of good offense occured in the 3rd quarter with Paul and Okafor working the two man game and slicing up Boston's interior defense. Okafor finished with 18 points on 13 shots, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks.
It was great to see Willie Green playing again. I'm not a big fan of Green's playing style, but he has his moments. Considering what he has had to deal with lately, its just nice to see him on the court again.
Tommy Heinsohn, the Celtics color commentator, is unbearable. He complained about the officiating all game long. Literally, from the tip to the final frame, he didn't shut up about what he perceived as missed calls. Personally, I find that rather unprofessional.
Neither Belinelli nor Ariza shot well overall (shocker), but they both hit huge threes near the end of the game. Ariza's was a total fluke, but hey, flukes still count for three points.
This was definitely a defensive battle. The Hornets scored just 98.3 points per 100 possessions. Thankfully, they held the Celtics to an even worse mark of 95.9 points per 100 possessions.
Even with Garnett and Rondo out, this is a team with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Why is Glen Davis putting up more field goal attempts (14) than those guys?
Alright guys, sorry for not producing a more in-depth recap, but I've got to go clean my house! I wish all Hornets fans a very happy new year. Enjoy the win.