Paul Pierce must be considered a saint to the Boston Celtics faithful.
With no KG, Rondo’s imcompetent shooting and Allen being locked up by Corey Brewer for a good portion of the night, Pierce had it within himself to single-handedly reel the Wolves back in, showing exactly why he is this team’s captain. And to close the game out, he got a little help from his friends sending the Wolves back home with yet another disappointing loss in their back-pockets.
Instead of going into how this team can’t hold a lead or this team can’t close games out in the clutch, allow me to say this: What a hell of a game. Really, that may have been the most exciting game to watch all season long, even more than the New York Knicks thriller at home just because of the sheer talent and heart the Boston Celtics possess, especially when a game comes down to the wire like this. So often have they done it before, this was as simple as learning to walk — right, left, right, left, etc.
But what made it even more exciting was how the Wolves held their own walking right along with the Celtics. Sure, their comeback was inevitable, you all should have known that. But watching our Pups go toe-to-toe with the best of the biz, the cream of the crop when it comes to facing adversity and overcoming it with a resilient comeback, was truly something special.
We learned two things tonight:
- Michael Beasley is the best pure scorer, and finisher, the Wolves have ever had.
- Kevin Love is indeed the greatest rebounder in the NBA after grabbing 24 tonight over big bodied bruisers like Shaq, Jermaine O’Neal, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Luke Harrangody. But this is a minor observation to Beasley’s emergence as a go-to guy.
Down the stretch, coach Rambis, the players and everyone watching knew it would come down to a close one like it did. But like I explained earlier, the Wolves didn’t cave at all, rather they let Beasley take over on his own and create shots for himself. He did that; And he made them. That final minute of basketball was no longer Wolves vs. Celtics; It was Michael Beasley vs. the world. He created space, took the shot and nailed it on three different trips down the court. And his facial expression, one of sheer determination and pure, intense focus, that dominated his face when he trotted down court to play defense said it all: He was in that mode; He was unstoppable.
Again, it’s a shame to let efforts like Love’s and Beasley’s go to waste, but these are the types of losses we’re going to have to swallow on our climb out of NBA’s cellar. Not until we get a taste of the playoffs, just like the Celtics, are we going to be more consistent and resilient in these down-to-the-wire ball games. And the way we played tonight, both offensively and defensively, that taste shouldn’t be too far from our grasp.
Speaking of resiliency, David Kahn came on in the second quarter and joined Hanney and Petey to talk a little more about the current status of the team. What struck me as most interesting was how he brought up the Wolves’ resilience thus far this season. And he’s right. This kind of game has happened before, we all know that, but what’s been real pleasing to watch is how this team doesn’t roll over and die the next game. We hit rough patches earlier this season, but after a loss like this, I can guarantee they won’t come out and lay an egg in there next game– which is Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats at home. Instead, this kind of loss will feed our hunger to only get better and ultimately win games.