It had been so long since the Celtics blew a team out at home that Doc Rivers almost forgot who Gino was. The Celtics’ 104-80 win over the Bobcats was an important step in cleaning up the mess that Cleveland and New Jersey made on the parquet, Rivers said. He pointed to the Celtics 21-10 road record as a sign that they’re one of the NBA’s best teams, but admitted that the way they’ve played at home (17-11) has been a let down. The Celtics play 13 of their 23 games at the Garden and the schedule, for the most, part is favorable.
“That’s a good question? What’s the guy? Gino? I can’t remember the last time they played him. It was December? That’s amazing. It really is. We’ve got to get it going at home. I look at our team, we’re tied for the best record in the NBA on the road. That tell you we’re a good basketball team, but our home record is what has let us down so far. We’ve got to get better at home.”
CELTICS 104, Bobcats 80
That teams were no longer scared to come into the Garden was no longer the issue. The last time the Celtics were at home, Cleveland and New Jersey came in and rubbed their feet on the couches, handing the Celtics their worst losses this season and doing it on the parquet.
Handed a 9-point cushion by the second unit, the starters looked rocky until Doc Rivers began to run the offense through Pierce, who was lethal from long range (4 of 6 from 3-point range) and equally efficient on the whole (9 of 13 from the floor).
inutes. It’s something that happened late in games earlier in the season, but you don’t really expect to see it with Pierce just coming back from a sprained thumb. He hit a turnaround free-throw line jumper in the Celtics final possession of the half and he had the ball in his hands the whole time. He’s got the high right now with 14 points, and he was the stabilizing factor for the Celtics’ first unit.
Michael Jordan’s got the kind of aura that makes him present even when he’s absent. Before the game, conversation centered around his newest investment and also that 1995-96 team that made the NBA look like an intramural league. Rivers said he was glad that Jordan’s found something to challenge himself besides beating Ray Allen in golf. Allen said that he’s excited to see what Jordan can do for small-market Charlotte with a coach like Larry Brown at his disposal and also without having to butt heads with management.
have him on their team, just having him around has meant a great deal to the
players,” Allen said. “Sometimes he can be a little too imposing. Just from his stature.
Young guys come in and they see him and they just get nervous. He hasn’t played
in 10 years and he still carries that awe-factor when he comes around and
people see him. People still look at him like he just finished last year or he
might even still be playing.”
But in trying to figure out the problem that’s haunted the Celtics much of the season — a tendency to feel like they can turn it on and off at will — Allen thought back about Jordan’s Bulls, the only team he’s seen that could actually flip that switch.
“They kind of coasted and then in the fourth quarter they kind of flipped the switch and annihilated teams out there. I haven’t seen a team since that has that capability. They had the best player of all time on their team … There was one game I was in Milwaukee, we were neck and neck with them, it looked like we had a chance of winning. They just flipped the switch. It was done. It was over.”
Kendrick Perkins is a go, meaning this will be one of the rare occasions this season that the Celtics are at full strength.
… where the Celtics are playing the new Jordanaires.
Years ago, Michael Jordan called his Durham Nissan dealership to say he was in town and wanted to drop by the morning sales meeting. When Pat Pascarella, who owned Michael Jordan Nissan with the basketball star for a decade, told him the team didn’t meet on Tuesdays, Jordan said, “P-Squared, how many times have you seen the Chicago Bulls just come out and play?” Pascarella recalled.”We’ve got sales meetings every day.”Jordan was a fiercely competitive, if hands-off, business owner, his former partner said. He’d review finances carefully and push for specifics on how the company could improve. And he’d stamp the dealership with his Jordan brand, from installing hoops in the showroom to rewarding employees with the latest pair of Air Jordans.Yet despite his successes, Jordan’s lengthy post-basketball resume is peppered with business plans, from car dealerships to driving ranges to restaurants, that didn’t pan out.Partners rave about his astute business sense, but others say he’s not committed enough, dabbles in too much – that the skills that propelled him to six NBA titles, five MVPs and a 1982 NCAA title at UNC don’t translate to the business world. Now, in the days since Jordan agreed to buy the Charlotte Bobcats, mixed opinions have surfaced on how he’ll fare.