EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – It is hard to win in the NBA

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Heart wrenching loss. This one sucks. But I am not entirely sure why. The team played hard. They battled back from a deficit. They didn’t blink for most of the night. We had 7 ties and 2 lead changes in the 4th quarter by itself. The game was a 1 possession game for the final 9:55 of regulation and for 3 minutes of overtime. It was a fierce game and the Celtics made a few more plays.

• They made a ton of mistakes but I think that is when playing someone as tough as the Celtics does to you. They tax you physically and mentally all game. Garnett is holding, grabbing, moving on picks, doing everything he can possibly get away with, he hits you with every elbow he can, with every shove that is there and you have to be able to hold it together. Pierce is doing the same in his subtle way. It must be infuriating to deal with that all game.

• The C’s have the Hall of Famers to make plays late. It almost felt unfair. We are trying to get looks for Hayward, Burks and who knows and they are milking one guy who is 15th all time on the scoring list and another guy who is 21st all time. They made every play. Pierce was unreal late on the offensive end and then when called upon Garnett hit the big shot. You knew Garnett was going to get about every rebound. They just don’t make a mistake late. They have been there so many time.

• Paul Pierce has played in 293 that were within one possession in the final 24 seconds, Jason Terry 263 and Kevin Garnett 258 — Hayward has been in 44 and Burks has been in 13. Take it one step further – Games within 4 in the final 2 minutes – Jason Terry has played 370, Kevin Garnett 371 and Paul Pierce 410 whereas Hayward has played in 53, Carroll 23 and Burks 16.

• I can’t explain how much that matters.

• The bummer tonight was the amount of mistakes that were made defensively, missed switches, misunderstandings about what was run, two guys chasing a player in the back court on the final inbound play leaving Courtney Lee wide open. That stuff has to go away. I assume experience does it but some of these guys shouldn’t make those kind of mistakes.

• The Celtics pressure defense dictated the game for the key stretches. The third quarter they knocked the Jazz out of everything they were doing and then in the overtime on a bunch of big possessions the Jazz couldn’t get into anything they wanted to get to.

• The Celtics took Jefferson out of the game.

• Marvin Williams reappeared and played well tonight. Jazz started Earl Watson to increase energy and tempo and it worked and it got Marvin going. He finished with 15 pts and played super defense on Paul Pierce.

• Jazz played DeMarre Carroll on Pierce and Hayward was switched over on him a few times. The defense 1 on 1 was pretty strong and he nailed shots. At times it seemed they were too worried about Garnett and it allowed Pierce to get free. Other times there was some confusion but overall they battled and Pierce made tough shots. He has been there done that.

• Gordon Hayward had 26 –he is averaging 22 since coming back from the injury.

• Burks had 5 rebounds. He is averaging 5 a game over the last 5 games. His lack of natural point guard skills and feel was exposed more by the Celtics than anyone had so far. He had some nifty drives and his ability to try to make a play was needed.

• Tough to win games in the NBA and this night shows it.