Here we see MKG and Rondo in a push-up contest. MKG was the winner, completing 103 push-ups.
Recently the Bobcats effort has been...lacking to say the least. But have no fear! Up until this point, the Cats are 1-0 when I write the recap. You're welcome guys. Would the Bobcats come out of the Garden with a W? Keep reading to find out...
To say the least, we could've started out much better. Boston started off on an 11-2 run which was followed by a quick timeout by Coach Dunlap 3 minutes into the game. Yikes! Not the most ideal start for the boys in blue. If the team was standing on the beach, they couldn't have thrown the ball into the ocean. If you were watching, you might have noticed that the Cats couldn't get a call from the officials even if they got on their knees and begged for one. After the Celtics continued to make the Bobcats cry uncle and enforce the mercy rule in the first quarter, Hakim Warrick battled his way through traffic for an emphatic 2-handed jam, hoping to spark some life into the team and end some of the Boston momentum. With 1:30 left in the 1st, a timeout was the only thing that could stop the Celtics freight train of an offense as they had 25 points on a blistering 67% from the field up to this point while holding the lead 25-15. Some back and forth action led to a 28-18 score to end the 1st, with the Cats shooting a paltry 28%. The effort wasn't bad, but definitely not what we needed to come out of Boston with a much needed victory.
A back-and-forth battle is what we were in for in the 2nd quarter, and we saw the Bobcats cut the lead to 5 points. Just like that, we were back in it! We're coming back! We're going to the championship! Absolutely…NOT! The Jolly Green Giants dashed any hopes of coming back with a quick 7-0 run to stretch the lead up to 12. The lead hovered around 15 for most of the quarter. Hendo was hit with a flagrant and Kemba was hit with a technical foul, and to that point everything was pointing to an easy Celtics victory. An MKG bucket and a Sessions 3 cut the lead down to 10 and there was a glimmer of hope for a split second...until Avery Bradley drilled a corner 3 to squash any momentum we had. Some more back and forth until the end of the half leads to an 11 point Bobcats deficit. (If I had a dollar for every time I heard that...)
Well folks, I missed the first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter and I came back and the game was TIED. Dunlap must have put some of Michael Jordan's secret stuff in the Gatorade because if the score says anything we must've looked like a different team to start the half. Some resilient play led to this stunning run, something we haven't seen from the team lately. It was nice to see the guys actually want to play ball, and realize that we can come back from a deficit with some good solid ball. However, yet again, the Celtics decide to play Sargent Buzzkill as they proceeded to go on a 7-0 run after we had tied the game. Some awful Bobcats offense led to this, including an offensive foul on MKG and a blown layup by Kemba in transition. Those are the looks that we need to convert on if we have any chance to contend with upper echelon teams in the league. The Cats and the Celtics continued to trade baskets and stops as the Celtics took a 6 point lead into the 4th. Will my recap magic prevail yet again? Are the Cats playing for me? I’ll boost my ego and say yes.
The 4th quarter began with Ben Gordon fouling Jeff Green with a slight bump to the chest. Green flopped like a salmon out of water. He should be getting a call from Mr. Stern for that, but time will tell. Ben Gordon started to do Ben Gordon like things; scoring 2 quick buckets on awful shots that somehow went in, but the Cats couldn't couple that with defensive stops to cut the lead lower than 4 for a while. At the 6 minute mark, the Celtics opened up a 10 point lead which felt like a stranglehold because the Cats couldn't muster a bucket for their 9 lives. As if he knew I just commented about the lack of offense, Ben Gordon and Hendo both proceeded to hit jumpers, directly after the Celtics hit them first. Now the offense isn't lacking, it’s the defense who can't stop anything...let me interrupt this recap to comment on a monster jam by Hendo! Followed by a put back dunk by Biz!...who gets a technical for hanging on the rim. Paul Pierce knocked down the free throw and sliced in for a layup on the ensuing possession. The C's went back up by 9 with 3 minutes to go, and the fat lady is in the dressing room warming up her vocal cords.
Well folks, my recap winning streak of one is officially over. It was a good run, and I appreciate everyone that stuck with me through it. Final score: Bobcats 89 Celtics 100. It was a valiant effort from the Cardiac Cats, after being down 18 to come back and eventually tie the game. It's just that full out effort isn't there consistently enough for us to really contend for anything other than a low draft pick, which really won't mean much in this upcoming draft which is extremely weak. (I wonder if, perhaps, maybe some major changes are coming for this team). The foundation is there. Kemba, MKG, Taylor…the only problem is that none of these players can fill out gaping hole at PF or C, and how can we go about addressing these needs? Trade? Draft? Free agency? Michael Jordan needs to come out and smell the roses and realize that it's going to take some cash out of his pockets if he ever wants the Fighting Felines to win a playoff game, let alone a series or a championship.
Some final stats for tonight:
Kemba: 12 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds on 4/16 shooting...forgettable night for Mr. Walker. Keep your head up bud, brighter days are ahead.
Hendo: 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
MKG: 10 points, 8 rebounds
Warrick: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Biyombo: 4 points, 5 rebounds
Gordon: 12 points, 2 rebounds on 5/14 shooting
Sessions: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Adrien: 1 point, 6 rebounds
Taylor: 8 points, 2 steals
Interesting note, Tyrus Thomas looks like he's been completely replaced in the rotation by Jeff Adrien, to the delight of many Bobcats fans. The looming amnesty clause is looking more and more pleasing to be used on the lanky power forward. It also needs to be mentioned that Rajon Rondo of the Celtics recorded a triple-double. He was everywhere the entire night just disrupting things for the Cats. Free throw shooting continues to be a problem for the Bobcats as they shot 17/24 from the line last night leaving many opportunities at the line. The Celtics assisted on 24 of their makes, and they shot the corner 3-ball very well, which is also a constant problem for the Bobcats defense.
Coming up for the Cats is a home date with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. The last time we faced the Pacers at home we ended that pesky 23 game losing streak from last season. Hopefully the Cable Box will be rocking tonight as we help to bring the team a victory. Indiana has one of the best defenses in the league and with superb length and size they're a tough egg to crack. We're going to need our defense to step up and create open looks in transition to get easy buckets against the Pacers because our half-court offense isn't a thing of beauty. Here's to a good game tonight, and hopefully a Bobcats win!