Shamrock Roundup: Celtics Start Two-Game Winning Streak
There are now 10 games left on the Celtics’ calendar before the playoffs start on April 20. They’re currently the seventh-seed in the Eastern Conference, 1.5 games ahead of eighth-seed Milwaukee and 1.5 games behind sixth-seed Atlanta.
The last time the Celtics won two games in a row, they lost the next five. Those were games against Toronto and Charlotte at home, where the Celtics dominated defensively, and were able to score baskets at will. After the five-game losing skid ended with a 93-92 over Cleveland on Wednesday, the Celtics will hope to be more consistent come April.
Their last win over Atlanta on Friday could prove to be crucial in whether or not they’ll match up against the streaking second-seed Knicks, or the slightly less dangerous Pacers, who are in third.
Jeff Green scored 27 points against the Hawks, after scoring the game-winning layup against Cleveland. Green was 11 of 20, and hit a clutch 3-pointer with less than two minutes to go.
Paul Pierce was everywhere–whether it’s scoring points, making plays for his teammates, or grabbing rebounds. Pierce ended up with his third triple-double of the season. His stats line is 20 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds.
The Celtics bench also came to life: Jason Terry hit five shots behind the arc and scored 24 points; Shavlik Randolph scored nine points and had 13 rebounds. Randolph outplayed starting center Chris Wilcox, who was limited to four points and four rebounds.
Randolph had seven offensive rebounds. He also blocked two shots.
“I knew I was coming here to a playoff team, I knew what the situation was,” he said. “I’m not coming in here to a team that was tanking, that wants to develop guys for next year or anything. I was coming here in a situation where if they needed big men, I was going to have to be ready, and I have to be ready right now because KG is out for a while. The coaches have worked with me and I’ve paid attention and gotten better since I’ve been here, so it’s worked out for me.”
Friday also marked the first day Rajon Rondo was back on the bench after a season-ending surgery.
“We felt like we had our captain back,” Avery Bradley said. Doc Rivers said Rondo has been doing most of his rehab work in Florida. “He told us today he was coming in, and it was good to have him back around,” Rivers said.
The Celtics will play the Knicks on Sunday. This could be a preview to another sensation playoffs series between the two should the Knicks keep their second-seed, and the Celtics their seventh-seed. The clock is ticking.