Did anyone forget about “Gino Time” in Boston, or better yet does anyone still know what this is? Tonight, the Celtic faithful got reintroduced to the loved tradition that was started before the most recent “Big Three” era. Most will admit that it was different without Kevin Garnett looking up at the screen and roaring with laughter, but it’s still a special time no matter who is on the team.
The bigger question is how did the Celtics finally reach Gino Time? The question to that is simple, the guys finally put together their first complete game of the season. On track to put together the worst home losing streak since the 2006-2007 season, the C’s would finally give the home crowd something to smile about.
The C’s would jump to a quick start, as they would breakout to an 18-2 lead over the Cavs, and would never look back from there. It wasn’t a one or two man show as we have seen in recent years, as Pierce and Garnett would take on most of the scoring responsibilities. Instead it was an overall team effort, as almost everyone was getting on the score sheet. Avery Bradley broke out of his shooting slump a bit, as he would score eight points in the first quarter, and go on to score 21 game total points on 9-11 shooting from the field. Crawford would prove his worth as well, as he would do his best Rondo impression of the night, earning himself a triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists). Brad Stevens seemed to be a bit surprised when in the post-game press conference, “He had a triple double? Crawford did? Holy smokes, he had 11 rebounds? Jordan Crawford had 11 rebounds?” Stevens was presently surprised but would echo that his guards have to rebound if the expect to win on a regular basis.
It wasn’t just Crawford pouring in some amazing stats on the night, as Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass would have spectacular nights as well. To sum up how the night when for the C’s, Brandon Bass would make his first ever three-point bucket of his NBA career (Bass was 0-16 before making that shot in the final possession of the third quarter). Stevens the other night stated that Sully wasn’t shooting enough three-pointers, so the big man would listen to his leader and nail three of them in this game. Jeff Green would show flashes of why so many people feel that he can be a superstar in this league, as he would pour in 31 points on the night (most by a Celtic player this season).
The Celtics would lead by double-digits for the entire game, and finally a game in which the fans saw their beloved Celtics put together four quarters of outstanding effort together. After the game, Green would echo this by stating, “ We got great defensive stops to being the game with. That’s how we got the lead, we are finally putting everything together. We’ve had our ups and downs throughout the season, but it was good to put an all-around game together.
The struggling Cavs would lose their fifth straight game, and would fall to a dismal 1-9 record on the road. The Cavs would score only 10 points in the entire first quarter, as the Celtics seemed to suffocate them with their stingy defensive play. Dion Waiters scored 21 points for the Cavs and Kyrie Irving would also put in 17 points, but they would be hard pressed to find production from any other player on the team. Head coach Mike Brown (his second stint with the organization) said that this was a work in progress, and the team would go through nights like this along the way. Celtic fans can agree with this, as nobody knows what Celtic team will show up from game to game. Waiters after the game said, “They [Celtics] threw the first punch tonight, and I feel like we laid down. They controlled the game, we have to grow up, we can’t just turn it around and think its going to be easy.”
Overall, this was a total team effort for the C’s as all five starters finished the game in double figures. As a team, the team shot an impressive 50 percent from the field, while holding the Cavs to a disastrous 37.2 percent from the field. This could be signs of things to come for the Celtics, and only time will tell if this was a fluke or something everyone should expect on a regular basis from this team.