It was a very interesting game last night. I know, another loss, but still, I think there are a couple of positive things that we can take away from this loss.
We started the game with a 5-0 run and we never led once again in the whole game. The Raptors had better numbers in every department: better shooting percentage, higher number of rebounds and more points in the paint. The only positive thing, is that we took a better care of the ball, having a higher number of assists with almost half of their turnovers.
When I first looked at the box score, I envisioned myself looking doing a research in a digital archive: you enter the word “forward” and the only match you get is “NOT FOUND”.
Bass and Green combined for 8 points in the first half, even shooting the ball the right way, but at the end of the game they had just 10 points and 7 rebounds. They literally disappeared from the court. This time Stevens set them both in the fourth quarter and let our bench guys to take over down the stretch and that almost allowed us to complete an epic comeback. I read that Green had a sore neck, but I’m pretty sure this was not the only reason why he’s been bench for the most part of the second half.
Bradley had another solid game teaming up with Rondo. He finished with 16 points on 6 for 15 shooting and three boards. While we struggled in the first quarter, Avery came out of the gate strong and scored 8 points right away. If I have to say something negative about his game, is the fact that he scored no points in the fourth quarter while we were trying to pull off our comeback.
There were a couple of bench guys last night that played great for the team last night:
Sully is one of them. Like everyone on the team is going through some ups and down lately, but last night he showed once again why we can count on him for the future. Jared scored 26 points on 8 for 17 shooting and grabbed 8 boards to go with a couple of blocks. He had an incredible fourth quarter, during which he scored 19 points relentlessly attacking the basket earning 8 free throws.
I really appreciate the fact that he played so well in down the stretch, and not only because he showed once again the fact that he never gives up, but also for what he said after the game: Sully said that he looked at Rondo, who was bringing a lot of energy and was doing all the right things, and he understood that he needed someone else to help him. Rondo is the leader and we know the guys to follow him; but they don’t have to follow him blindly like flock of sheep, they have to look at him and support him along the path that they’re walking together. Sully is really a wonderful teammate.
Chris Johnson is another guy that played a really good game last night, finishing with 13 points shooting 5 for 8 to go with 4 rebounds. Like Sullinger, the most part of those points came in the last quarter: too bad that they were basically the only guys to score down the stretch: the only other guy that added some points in those last 12 minutes has been Kelly that is keeping up his solid play.
And now Rondo: we’ve seen this guy fight through some amazing things, yet, every time he amaze me like the first time. There are different way to inspire people, but what Rondo does are hands down the most inspiring things that you can ask out of your leader. The guy got nine stitches between his eyes last night, and he came back on the field to fight for his teammates in a game that honestly had no value at all. You want a guy that show you what “never give up” means? Well, I think we found him!! Then we can say that the guy finished with 9 points (and I’m not talking about those on his forehead) and 15 assists, but that was not the most important thing about his game.
This is the kind of situation that can make you excited even after a loss.
Day off now, and we’ll have the chance for a quick revenge. Let’s hope that we’ll bring with us some of that fourth quarter excitement!!