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Thursday, October 28, 2010
The J.J. Hickson/Byron Scott era truly begins in Cleveland
After Tuesday's spectacle vs. the Heat on Opening Night, the Celtics predictably succumbed to the trap game in Cleveland last night.
At Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavs (1-0) began the post-LeBron era with a nice comeback win over the Celts (1-1). Over the course of the season, one of the biggest story lines to focus on for Boston will be how they hold up over back-to-back nights (a ubiquitous part of NBA life).
Mo Williams was out with a groin injury and Antawn Jamison was coming off the bench so I guess the newest marketable star in Cleveland is J.J. Hickson? He did play well, with a game-high 21 points.
Daniel Gibson (haha Boobie) added 16 points off the bench, Ramon Sessions had 14 points while Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker and Ryan Hollins all had 10 points.
Rajon Rondo led the C's with 18 points (never a good sign) while Glen Davis had 14 points off the bench. Looks like the few younger guys on Boston were less fatigued as Paul Pierce (13 points), Ray Allen (12 points) and Kevin Garnett (9 points, 15 rebounds) were not as sharp as they played against Miami.
Boston was up 23-21 after the first quarter and 47-46 at the half. With a decent third quarter (26-22), the C's looked poised to go 2-0 but they had a meltdown in the fourth quarter (27-14).
Even without Rasheed Wallace, odds are the Celtics will be the clubhouse leader in the NBA for technical fouls. They got off to a rousing start last night with two in crunch time (fourth quarter) by Shaq (7 points) and Nate Robinson (8 points). It all started because Robinson kneed Hollins in the balls and Shaq argued the call after Nate picked up a technical foul. Refs are quicker to pull the trigger now on technicals and the Celts will have to adjust somehow since they love to run their mouth after every play/call.
Boston comes home tomorrow night to face the New York Knicks. A team that they've owned in the last couple years but they'll get their first look at Amare Stoudemire.