Monday, February 4th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  8 responses

Post Up: Super Sunday

Three games went down before last night’s epic Super Bowl.

by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad

Celtics 106 (24-23), Clippers 104 (34-15)

The Celtics led by as many as 19 but blew a big fourth quarter lead to give the Clippers a chance down the stretch. With under a minute to play and the Celtics leading by two, Avery Bradley drew an offensive foul on Jamal Crawford to protect the lead and give the ball back to Boston. On the next possession, Vinny Del Negro foolishly chose not to foul to send the Celtics to the line. Paul Pierce made the Clippers pay by nailing an ice cold three-pointer right in Matt Barnes’ face with 2.5 seconds left to seal the Celtics’ fourth-straight victory. The Truth led Boston with 22 points, 5 boards and 4 assists and Jason Terry chipped in with 13 points and 6 dimes. Eric Bledsoe finished with 23 points, 10 dimes and 7 rebounds, Blake Griffin dropped 20 and grabbed 11 boards and Jamal Crawford scored 23 off the pine.

Lakers 98 (22-26), Pistons 97 (18-30)

The Lakers blew an 18-point second half lead and barely escaped the Motor City with a dub. With under two minutes to go, Kobe (18 points, 5 assists) airballed a jumper and was seething. He demanded the ball on the Lakers next possession and drove past Kyle Singler (11 points, 6 boards) and was fouled on a tough layup that broke a 95-all tie. Bryant finished his breakfast to put the Lakers up for good. After  a Piston bucket, Earl Clark missed two free throws and Detroit had a chance to take the lead. Will Bynum (18 points, 10 assists) drove the lane but his layup attempt just rimmed out. Steve Nash grabbed the rebound and was fouled but missed both of his free throws (in all seriousness, has that ever happened in his career?) to give the Pistons a chance with 1.2 seconds left. Singler threw an inbounds alley-oop to Andre Drummond (9 points, 11 rebounds) but the rookie couldn’t gather the ball and slam it home and the Lakers walked off the court with a one-point victory over Detroit. Pau Gasol scored 23 points and grabbed 10 boards and Earl Clark notched a 17-10 double-double. Greg Monroe scored 20 and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Heat 100 (30-14), Raptors 85 (17-31)

Chris Bosh had  a huge fourth quarter to push the Heat to the finish line. Bosh scored 13 in the quarter (the Raptors only scored 18) and his three-pointer with 2:42 left put the Heat up 90-83 and proved to be the dagger. After that shot, the Heat went on a 10-2 run to close the game and improved their record to 24-2 when they score at least 100 points. LeBron finished with 30 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes and 2 steals. Bosh scored 28 and DWade chipped in with 23, 5 and 5. DeMar DeRozan finished with 27 points and Rudy Gay scored 29 in his first start with Toronto.

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  • Dagger

    Observations from a Raptors fan who went to yesterday’s game:

    Rudy’s game is much more effective when he’s the first option in a more up-tempo team, and most importantly when his bigs are mobile enough for him to get into the paint at will. That’s why his scoring will rise sharply with the Raptors. It’s not that he was “dogging it” in Memphis, as some post-game articles suggested, it’s that the offensive system is now much more attuned to his strengths.

    Speaking of Gay: there aren’t many players in the league that can go at Lebron one-on-one and consistently get a stop or score. Rudy is definitely one of them. He has the size, the quickness, the athleticism and the handle. The complexion of the game changed not only when Amir went out with his fourth foul, but when the Heat (led by Lebron) started aggressively fronting Gay and hitting him with a quick double team as soon as he managed to catch the ball. Taking the ball out of his hands actually provided some opportunities for Derozan – who did well – but it made the Raps’ offense much less dynamic, and the Heat gained an important edge.

    But Gay gives the team a priceless commodity in the NBA: a dynamic wing who can iso effectively when the offense breaks down. That was more than worth what Raptors surrendered for him (in hindsight, not that much). Strengths that have been lost are more easily acquirable than a wing like Gay. Some have said that the team revealed how much it missed Calderon last night, but I’m not sure if the lack of a pass-first PG is the most crippling weakness right now. After all, talented wing players that can create have compensated for the lack of elite point guards on most NBA champions over the past decade, and Derozan seems to be improving his passing. A big who can shoot would be nice – giving Derozan/Gay more room to drive – but not at the expense of rebounding or defense (sorry, Bargnani).

    The bottom line: Gay and Derozan aren’t Lebron and Wade, but they may be shaping into the best one-two punch the Raptors have ever had. That’s reason to be excited as a Raptors fan.

  • spit hot fiyah

    really nice inbounds play by the lakers. and steve nash is done, great run, but it’s over

  • https://twitter.com/Wayne__o BuenoWayno1

    Steve nash doesn’t look right this year, really the entire Laker roster looks old and disinterested

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Very well said, Dagger. I was pleasantly surprised to see Gay play extremely solid defense on Lebron. He has the foot speed to stay in front of Lebron, the strength to withstand that initial bump, and the length to challenge his shot. Lebron still had a monster of a game, but Gay made it a battle on both ends of the floor.

    On another note, I don’t think John Lucas is the right back up pg for this roster. He’s a very streaky shoot-first pg with questionable playmaking ability and a liability on defense.

  • Dagger

    Agreed on all counts.

  • Nigel

    Nash is playing in his first new offensive system in nearly a decade….an offensive system that is not predicated on him dominating the rock at that. Also, dude missed a month with a broken leg. I would hardly say he’s done….he’s just had a rough stretch. Had he stayed in Phoenix, I bet you his numbers would look similar to what he posted last year.

  • LakeShow

    I’m sorry but…. no.

    He has lost a step, but your never done when you shoot his numbers and can see the floor the way he does.

    11-8 on 52% FG’s – 44% 3 point FG’s – 91% FT’s … that is one nice “done” player.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman