The injury-ravaged Boston Celtics entered tonight’s game against the Detroit Pistons with their backs against the wall. Undermanned, even the luxury of home-court advantage couldn’t cover the lack of depth at Doc Rivers’ disposal. The strategy was simple – throw a heaping helping of Rajon Rondo at the Pistons and hope that Paul Pierce and Ray Allen would be enough to get the C’s over the hump. Rondo did his part, playing the first half as if shot from a canon before stalling in the third period. By the time he got it going again it was too late; the Pistons were up by 8 late in the fourth, and won this game going away.
Now the Celtics travel to Chicago for a rematch with the Bulls. Sunday’s 95-91 win must feel like a lifetime ago. Jermaine O’Neal played tonight but was ineffective (imagine that), so the guess is that he’ll develop a hang nail and miss tomorrow’s tip. KG let it leak that the hip flexor wasn’t as bad as originally feared, which led some to think that he’d be in the lineup tonight. The fact that he wasn’t in the lineup even after firing up the propaganda machine probably means he may be out for two months. (Sarcasm, people.) Chris Wilcox actually turned it up against the Pistons with 17 points (on 8-12 shooting) and 9 boards, which means Mr. Inconsistent will probably pull a disappearing act in Chi-Town. Where are the rebounds going to come from? Hopefully Doc will figure out a way to keep it close enough for Pierce to redeem himself. He’s coaching a roster of junkyard dogs at the moment.
Problem is, these dogs are more bark than bite.