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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Poor Big Al, he'll never be on a good team

You have to feel bad for former Celtics teenager Al Jefferson. He's had a nice NBA career but unfortunately he has bounced around from bad team (Minnesota Timberwolves) to now rebuilding team (Utah Jazz) and it appears like barring a trade or something drastic, he'll never be on a contender which is a shame.

The Boston Celtics finished their emotional West Coast trip 3-1 with a 107-102 win last night at EnergySolutions Arena over the Jazz.

Jefferson had a game-high 28 points and 19 rebounds with two blocks but it wasn't enough as Utah (32-29) missed its closer-Deron Williams-who is now rotting away (like everything else) in Newark, N.J.

New guy Devin Harris (19 points) was good but he's no Deron Williams. Andrei Kirilenko sporting his latest unique brand of a Eurotrash hairstyle added 18 points while Paul Millsap had 17 points.

The Jazz have great fans but you have to wonder if former coach Jerry Sloan is even watching this mess anymore or is he driving around aimlessly on a tractor somewhere in the sticks?

All five Celtics (43-15) starters scored in double figures led by Ray Allen (25 points). With Tommy Heinsohn sitting in the CSNE studios and Bill Walton riding his spaceship back in San Diego, Allen's BFF Donnie Marshall was left to fill in on play by play duties. I can't remember hearing a pro announcer getting more excited over a regular season game than Marshall was after Allen hit a clutch 3-pointer, "sniper!" It was pathetic and hilarious at the same time.

Paul Pierce had 21 points and seven rebounds, Kevin Garnett notched 16 points and 14 rebounds while Rajon Rondo put up 18 points and 11 assists. Oh and Nenad Krstic had 11 points and five rebounds.

Boston was up 30-21 after one quarter but Utah whittled it to 56-53 at halftime. The Celts held off the Jazz in the third quarter (23-22) and in the fourth (28-27) thanks to Allen's big shots.

One thing is clear which I never thought I'd say in a million years: the Celts desperately need Shaq in the lineup. With Perk gone, there is a huge void inside that can be taken advantage of by any decent post player.

Boston shot 47.6% to Utah's 44.9%. The Celtics made six more 3-pointers (7-1) but the Jazz hit nine more free throws (31-22) in the tightly called contest. Boston had one more rebound (42-41) and six more assists (22-16). The Cs made four more steals (9-5) but the Jazz had 12 more points in the paint (54-42) thanks to Jefferson and Millsap.

Some help is on the way as Troy Murphy has reportedly signed with Boston after getting bought out by the Golden State Warriors. He should provide size, rebounding and offense off the bench.

The Celtics return home (seems like they've been gone for months) tomorrow night when they host the Phoenix Suns. A team that they normally abuse but that they lost to in Phoenix a few weeks back in that weird KG punching Channing Frye in the balls game.

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