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Friday, February 19, 2010

Don't you, forget about me: Ray Allen edition

There might be nothing going on in the sports world besides the Olympics (snooze) but for one day, the NBA was front and center. The trade deadline came and passed yesterday with many teams making minor moves and a few making a big splash.

Antawn Jamison is on the Cavs, Marcus Camby went to the Blazers and T-Mac and his juicy expiring contract went to the Knicks. For the Celtics, the weeks of Ray Allen rumors proved pointless as he stayed with Boston although they did trade Eddie House, J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker to New York for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry.

I love House and will always have fond memories of his time in Boston (particularly the championship year) but he's having a bad year and he was very expendable. Nate Robinson is younger, more dynamic and can hopefully provide the consistent scoring off the bench that the Celtics so desperately need.

Oh and by the way, the Celts were at the Staples Center last night playing the Lakers albeit without the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant.

Whatever the reason, perhaps because of the burden off his shoulders (of not being traded), but Ray Allen was back to his old self last night, dropping a game-high 24 points as the C's (34-18) held off the Lakers (42-14) 87-86.

The Christmas day win in Orlando and this are interchangeable as the best wins of the season so far. Last night, Boston played great defense and although they only scored 11 measly points in the fourth quarter, they were able to hold LA to 17. The Celts' second half collapse when they were up 11 happened but they weathered it and pulled out a huge road win.

All five starters scored in double-figures in what fittingly was the definition of a team win. Rajon Rondo added 14 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and five steals as he badly outplayed Derek Fisher (3 points, 1 of 9 shooting). Kendrick Perkins finally showed up and had 13 points and 14 rebounds, Kevin Garnett scored 13 and Paul Pierce notched 11 points.

Even without Kobe, the Lakers are one of the deepest, most talented teams in the league. Pau Gasol led LA with 22 points, Ron Artest scored 15 and Andrew Bynum added 14 points and nine rebounds. The Lakers backcourt was their downfall as Shannon Brown (8 points) couldn't quite fit Kobe's shoes.

Boston will look to go 3-0 on its West Coast trip with a tough game in Portland this evening. Nate Robinson might make his Celtics debut and we know that Blazers star Brandon Roy is out indefinitely.

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