I thought Jeremy had a very good game last night. He took care of the ball well and basically played All-Star Rondo to a standstill. In the end it was too much pick and roll with Rondo and Garnett. However, I thought the game was lost at the free throw line and in our weak play in first half.
Going 12-29 from the line, you're not gonna win many games no matter who you're playing. In the first half, Sullinger (14 pts, 8 rebs in first half) totally dominated our bigs. Not having Greg Smith in to play Sullinger, was a big coaching/scouting mistake. Smith's the only Rocket big with the size or athleticism to keep him off the boards. Secondly in the first, Harden stunk it up with 5 turnovers. His ball stickiness really shows against strong defenses. He can hold on the ball and break double teams agains weaker D's, but this bad habit killed them against the Celtics.
I really believe these Celtics will be a top 3 team in the East, with Miami and Indiana. Lets remember how much Championship experience they have with Rondo, Garnett, Pierce, and even Terry. Now, with Bradley back, Sullinger, Green, and Lee off the bench, look out. However, this is the kind of game experience a young team like the Rockets need. I was pleasantly surprised to see Greg Smith play in crunch time. Lets remember he is 21 years old and like the rest of the Rockets, have basically zero experience playing in crunch time. Keep playing him McHale.
Some may complain that Jeremy didn't do enough in the 2nd, but I just didn't see much opportunities. He was going against the top defensive back court in the game with Garnett to protecting the rim. He of course defers to Harden when they're both in. I saw only one pass from Harden to JLin for a corner 3, where he was setup for anything. Harden was out for a few minutes and thats when JLin got more aggressive going to the basket. I thought he got fouled by Sullinger, but was surprised how quick he was cutting off the lane. What a steal for the Celtics in the last 1st round. He's gonna be very good.
As I said earlier, the Rockets need to make a move before the deadline. They're gonna have trouble beating the Warriors and Blazers of the world without more help inside.
Finally, tonight will be another challenging one. Even though the Sixers have been struggling, they do play solid defense. Jeremy will have his hands full with Jrue Holiday who should make the All-Star team this season.