By Sammy Newman-Beck

PREGAME

-Ray Allen apparently has been suffering from a pinched nerve in his neck. While his cat-scan and MRI came out negative (according to Doc Rivers) he will not be suiting up. The same goes for the recent game hero Glen “Big Baby” Davis who is out with a sore knee.

-Doc Rivers states, “If today was a playoff game they would both be playing”—fair enough.

-Pre-game talk includes getting Paul Pierce into the all-star game (He deserves it), as well as what can Tony Allen give the team.

– As the Celtics get ready for introductions, KG comes next to where I am sitting and does his usual head bang off the padding on the bottom of the hoop. I notice one of the scariest looks ever to see from a man as he stares into the crowd (He really is one of the most intense basketball players alive).

-Big Baby and Ray Ray head out right before tip. Ray is sporting a nice suit and tie with a pink shirt, while Baby has a nice suit jacket with some ever-so-trendy True Religion Jeans and to top it all of a pair of Nike Dunks sneakers. Go figure.

1st QUARTER

-The teams trade baskets with the Celtics looking to have a slight edge.
-Rajon Rondo scores a handful of baskets and looks as if he can get to the hoop whenever he wants.
-The Celts go on a 6-0 run and take the lead 18-12 with 3:32 left in the quarter.
– Oh and by the way, shout outs to Greg Dickerson who does the Celtics games for the Boston area Cable Sports Network—representing my very own Emerson College!
-During the timeout the Celtics big-screens show clips from that very intense Detroit-Boston game a week ago. And to top it off at the end of the clip add in “Round 3- 3/5/08 at the TD Banknorth Garden”.
-Coming out of the timeout Boston has part of its 2nd lineup in which consists of: Garnett, Rondo, T. Allen, Posey and Scalabrine.
– They close out the 2nd half up four at 24-20, Boston.

2nd QUARTER

– The 2nd team for Boston seems to struggle a bit, until, Eddie House gets hot!
-Celtics 31, Charlotte 22
– And for the first time the fans are cheering for Brian Scalabrine.
-Eddie House is extremely fast to my surprise, yet he only plays at one speed which is hyper at all times.
-UConn product Emeka Okafor has some great post moves!
– While Eddie House is fast, he also needs some help on his defense.
-Charlotte comes storming back—35-31 Boston with 3:54 left in the half.
– Jason Richardson has quietly been putting in work and hits a jumper to take the lead with 2:32 left in the half.
– The Celtics offense looks a little stagnant, and maybe even a step slow.
– Paul Pierce is OFF!
– J. Rich is ON! He hits a 26 footer at the shot clock buzzer, making it look easy.
– The ref’s aren’t exactly great either, making two controversial charging and block calls late in the half.
– To sum up the Celtics right now they look a step slow on defense—just then Jason Richardson waltzes down the court and goes coast-to-coast to hit lay-up at the halftime buzzer.
– Halftime Score: Boston 41, Charlotte 45

3rd QUARTER

– I realize that Rajon Rondo has not scored since the 1st quarter—which is the same thing he did in that Detroit loss at home. He seems to become less and less aggressive as the game goes on.
– I then realize that the Bobcats are without Sean May and Adam Morrison—they have some potential!
– Celtics start off the half well, with a KG block and a Rondo steal.
– J. Rich nails a three in front of the Celtics bench to bring em back to reality. Rich and House exchange some friendly words.
-KG nails a turn-around to take back the lead 54-52 with 7:11 left in the quarter.
– The Celtics help defense continues to struggle as the bobcats get the ball into the paint and score lay-ups.
-Again, Rondo has NO shot attempts!
– Bobcats steal, Gerald Wallace ESPN highlight windmill dunk!
– Rondo actually takes a shot but misses. Then another, and misses.
– All tied up at 65 all with 2:30 left in the quarter.
– Celtics are not rebounding (End up getting out-rebounded by two).
– Former BC star Jared Dudley enters game with 1:09 left in quarter (Shout outs to Boston College Basketball!)
-The big green are looking very sloppy as Kendrick Perkins gets a line violation for stepping over the line on an inbounds play with 1.1 seconds left in the quarter.
– End of 3rd Quarter: Boston 65, Charlotte 72

4th QUARTER

– Teams trade baskets—Boston 67, Charlotte 75
– Scalabrine gets a dunk! And no that is not a typo.
– Seems like the big green are ready to make a run…I was wrong.
– Two Celtics turnovers in a row.
– Charlotte’s lead grows to 11 at 81-70 with 7 minutes left in the game.
– Nicely drawn up play by Doc Rivers. Paul Pierce nails a three out of the timeout.
-Paul Pierce hauls in a huge defensive rebound
-Rajon Rondo finally hits a floater
-Momentum builder…nope. Rondo throws the ball out of bounds.
– Charlotte looks in control at 89-80 with 2:30 left in the game.
– The Celtics could use Ray Allen, especially when Paul Pierce winds up shooting 4-14…like if that’s not obvious.
– KG motions for the crowd to rise, it’s almost a god-like experience.
-Offensive foul on Kendrick Perkins, the crowd is…silent.
– Jason Richardson hits an unbelievable step back jumper with Paul Pierce in his face to seal the game. Great D Paul, even better shot Jason (who finished with 34 points and 9 rebounds)
– Final Score: Boston 83- Bobcats 95

POSTGAME

– I just realized that Nazr Mohammed had 18 and 10—who would of thought.
– The Celtics seem to struggle against the Bobcats. Maybe other teams need to look into why?
– The feeling from the players is that it was just one of those days.
– Pierce states, “Tonight was just one of those nights man”.
– While they all give credit to the surprising play of Charlotte.
– Doc Rivers states the obvious and continues sentiments, it was just one of those nights…he doesn’t seem very upset. I guess we can cut them some slack…29-4 isn’t too bad of a record is it.