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Jeff Green hits game-winning layup, completes Celtics improbable comeback (VIDEO)

Mar 7, 2013, 12:32 AM EDT

With a little over four minutes left in this game, the Pacers were up nine and seemingly in control of this game.

But that Jeff Green layup with .05 on the clock capped an 11-0 Celtics run to win the game 83-81. It’s a play that happened because everyone on the planet expected Kevin Garnett to be the shooter, including David West, who stopped watching Green and got bumped off by a strong Paul Pierce screen. Lance Stephenson should have been the weakside help but he was a┬áspectator.

This game explains a lot about how people view these teams heading into the playoffs. Boston doesn’t have the most talent but the guys they have make plays under pressure and execute with the game on the line, which makes them dangerous. The Pacers still played great defense for the game (they only gave up 83) but you can slow their offense to the point that it’s still a game late.

 

  1. eventhorizon04 - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    I was definitely part of the, “It’s too early to judge” crowd after the Celtics began winning games without Rondo. I wanted to wait till the Celtics reached around 20 games without him.

    Well, since Rondo was injured, the Celtics have gone 13-4 in 17 games.

    They have had wins over playoff teams like the Miami Heat, LA Clippers (without Chris Paul), Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, and now the Indiana Pacers.
    In this stretch, they’ve gone 1-1 against the LA Lakers (who will probably end up as the 7th or 8th seed in the West since they’re only 1 game out of the 8th spot right now).

    So that’s 7 wins against likely playoff teams, with the only losses being to the Lakers, Nuggets, Trailblazers, and Bobcats. The loss against the Bobcats came on the second night of a back-to-back after a triple OT game against Denver (basically, a schedule-loss).

    The Celtics still have 22 games left without Rondo, but they’ve done *remarkably* well without Rondo the past 17 games. If that trend continues, then the conclusion is obvious…

    • dko83 - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:02 AM

      Not sure what this obvious conclusion is… Celts better w/o Rondo? B/c that’s just crazy man. I think it’s more that some prideful veterans (and young fellas) are deciding to give it everything they have w/o their best player because that’s what an amazing coach + old men that have done this a long time will do to you.

      I’m obviously biased, I’m a Celts fan BECAUSE of Rondo, being from Louisville and all, but it’s probably more of an answering the call situation rather than a Celts are just better without him situation.

      • eventhorizon04 - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:20 AM

        To clarify – I think Rondo is a very good player. I meant the conclusion – assuming the Celtics don’t collapse down the stretch – was that the Celtics’ Rondo-less system is better than Rondo-centric system.

        The best analogy I can think of is the Lakers. The Lakers suddenly started playing better once Kobe made it a point to pass the ball more. As more Lakers players touched the ball on each possession, the team gave better effort on defense, and the team started winning games. Kobe was still playing, but he played differently – fewer isos, driving to create shots for others (not for himself), etc.

        Obviously, Rondo has always been a willing passer, but when he was on the floor, he was always the guy initiating the offense. The Celtics so far look more engaged when the ball handling responsibilities are being shared between Pierce, Terry, and Bradley. Maybe when Rondo comes back, the Celtics should try sometimes having those guys initiate the offense, or they should encourage Rondo to make the first pass earlier in the shot clock to encourage more ball movement on each possession.

        Just as Kobe helped his team by remaining on the floor but tweaked his game to get more teammates involved, maybe Rondo should try aiming more for “hockey assists” (making the second-to-last pass before a score) than assists (making the last pass before a score). Because the system of “everybody stand around and watch Rondo try to do something brilliant” seems to have had worse results than what they’re getting right now.

      • jrose606 - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        I don’t think he was implying they are better without him. I think he was leaning towards… well march comes rolling around and look who is back in playoff shape making their anual push… it’s the Truth, KG and those gritty celtic’s.

      • dko83 - Mar 7, 2013 at 11:57 PM

        Well said guys. As an unabashed Rondo lover, it’s hard to imagine them actually being better without him, not playing better, but being better. Bill Simmons (A Celts fan) has some great points I love reading. But yeah, wow, they’re moving it better and winning games without him (scratches head).

  2. BigBeachBall - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    celtics are more fun to watch without the napoleon complex

  3. fanofevilempire - Mar 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I hate Celtics, but I have to tell you, what they have done is impressive.
    Like I said, I hate Celtics.

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